A recent video released on Thursday went viral as it showed a senior military officer lecture a soldier who previously spoke out about corruption within the hierarchy.
The senior officer who was seen on the video and later identified as the commander of the Army Ordnance Materiel Rebuild Center, Apichart Artsantia was telling Sgt. Narongchai Intharakawi to avoid gaining public attention to the issue and advised him to respect his officers and fellow members.
"You may be able to get away this time, but there's no next time for you," Maj. Gen. Apichart is heard saying. He added that if Narongchai had any issues with the procedures within the unit, there are protocols set in place to fix the problem.
He also said that his 30 years of service in the armed forces, justice has always prevailed and that he has not seen injustice unfold within the units he has handled, as reported by Khaosodenglish.
The general continued to tell the soldier to stop thinking like a civilian nad that reporting the issue to media outlets would only lead to trouble. If Narongchai wanted to become successful, he had to learn to adapt to the situation, said Apichart.
The general expressed his disappointment at Narongchai for ruining his unit's reputation as he gave him one final chance.
The soldier made headlines last April when he reported an alleged fraud regarding his unit's allowance money. He shared his concerns to a Parliament's committee about the transparency of the incident.
Narongchai tried to report the corruption to different media outlets for a year, a decision that almost him his life, he said, to no avail.
The sergeant shared on Wednesday that he was forced to enlist into the program similar to how other low-ranking members have.
"I have no family or children, so I want to speak out for my colleagues in order to protect them and for the sake of the nation," he added. No soldier would willingly hurt the army, but he said that the higher authorities should not ignore the fact that it happens.
According to The Star, amid the growing cases of corruption, Thailand's Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-Cha has plans to reform the military to abolish the ill-mannered conducts among high-ranking officials.
The plans include the reduction of size within the armed forces where the Defence Ministry demanded 500,000 soldiers and only 40% of those registered willingly.
One such behaviour was where high-ranking officials would order their soldier to run errands and is seen as a deplorable action, said the prime minister, and that such actions will be punished accordingly.
The Thai Liberal Party MP, Sereepisuth Temeeyaves announced that he would arrange a meeting to investigate the matter as the lifting of the emergency decree is implemented.
Sereepisuth considered the allegations as a serious matter as a previous incident has led to an annoyed soldier stationed in Korat conducting the country's worst mass shooting in history early this year.
"We must take action immediately. Otherwise, it can escalate like the Korat case," said Sereepisuth. He also asks Narongchai to remain calm amid the events and repercussions of his actions while the House Committee proceeds with the investigation to their utmost ability.