Never a dull moment in Thai politics. The new culture minister, Worawat Ua-apinyakul, hardly in office for a week, has proposed that local amulets in unusual shapes such as phallus charms, Nagas, and buffaloes will be made into Thailand's pride as cultural souvenirs.
It's a sick joke, screamed well-known culture academic Srisak Wallipodom, who declared that the minister has no understanding of culture.
Simply put, if the idea was ever taken seriously, he said, it would plunge the country into a "crisis of culture."
The minister had also suggested that his new, innovative "national sovernirs" would include the mythical serpent-like creature naga, also known as "kwai thanu." It's a well-known folk talisman in the shape of buffalo, used by local villagers to protect them against all kinds of evil powers.
"We can turn local amulets with phallus symbols and buffalo statuettes into key chains and sell them to tourists," a dead-panned Minister Worawat said.
He will even provide certificates of authenticity to show that their wares were properly made.
If a lot of Thais think he has gone bonkers, the minister insisted: "Don't you view this new idea of mine with contempt. This is a real innovation."
Well, all I can say is: Sir, you probably have better things to do.