Monday, July 28, 2008

Cabinet reshuffle

The first minister of the forthcoming cabinet reshuffle has been appointed already, former US ambassador Tej Bunnag became the new foreign minister. Due to the Preah Vihear crisis, prime minister Samak obviously could not wait with this appointment any longer and leave this post vacant till he gives the full list of changes in his cabinet. Several of his ministers resigned recently for various reasons, while others came under attack as being not competent enough for their respective posts.

Tej Bunnag (เตช บุนนาค, actually pronounced "Tet"), a member of the prestigious Bunnag family, studied history in Oxford before starting to work in the foreign service in 1969. What I wasn't sure about until now is whether he is the same as the author of The Provincial Administration of Siam 1892-1915, but news reports like "Meet Tej Bunnag" now pointed me strongly to believe that it is him. That book based upon his 1968 Ph.D. dissertation is the administrative reforms by Prince Damrong, the first minister of the Interior. I am still looking to get myself a copy of this book, I only have scans from one from a library. And to make the full circle, I wonder if the current minister of the Interior, Chalerm Yubamrung (เฉลิม อยู่บำรุง), will be among those to loose his job in the forthcoming reshuffle as well since he attracted quite some criticism over his performance in office.

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