Monday, October 5, 2009
Abhisit, Nibhon: Today's the day!
It would really take a miracle for Nibhon Promphand to change his mind about quitting...and PM Abhisit Vejjajiva seems resigned to the fact that he will have to effect a mini-Cabinet shake-up to shake off the political fall-off from this rather bizarre episode.
What's the big fuss about a PM's secretary (even if "general" is attached to the title) quitting? Under normal circumstances, it might have made news for a day or two and a new secretary would be named in his place.
What's the big fuss about a replacement for the national police chief? It might have made headlines for a few days but after the PM decides who the new guy should be, things would be back to normal.
But in this case, one small thing led to another small thing and a big bang materialized.
Those who claim to know the "inside story" say Nibhon is no ordinary PM's secretary. He is supposed to have special connections that the PM can't afford to ignore. And when he joined up with Deputy PM Suthep Thuagsuban (who happens to be his brother-in-law)to support Police Gen Jumpon Manmai instead of going along with the PM to name Police Gen Pateep Tanprasert, it was obviously not an ordinary case of "I-beg-to- differ, sir" sort of argument.
It has also been pointed out to me that the PM did raise some eyebrows when he went to Nibhon's house instead of the other way round one day last week to try to thrash things out.
"Things will be cleared up on Monday (today)," Abhisit repeatedly told reporters.
Last night, speculation began to fly to the effect that Nibhon wouldn't change his mind and Abhisit was pondering a mini-Cabinet reshuffle -- naming Deputy PM Korbsak Sabhavasu to replace Nibhon and putting senior Democrat Trairong Suwannakhiri to replace Korbsak.
Morals of this story: Never put two small things together. They could explode into a big big bang.