From Manager, April 16, 2014
Caption: They sure come numerously today.
Chalerm Ubumrung: But you said those Palad [permanent secretaries] are so afraid of us and every of them will come to take policy from us… But what are these?
Paradon Pattanathabutr: Ohh! It’s Palad Khig!
[Chalerm is the caretaker labor minister and director of the Center for Maintaining Peace and Order (CMPO).
This is word play. “Palad” is “permanent secretaries” and “palad khig” which is the male sexual organ. While permanent secretaries are as subject to political manipulation as any other person in the Thai world, they are intended to be outside of party politics and appointments and instead regulated by long service records and gradual promotions.
Thaksin-directed governments have been notorious for insisting that non-partisan government official like permanent secretaries toe the party line and have interfered in the bureaucracy-laden promotion of permanent secretaries by trying to place political appointments in the posts.
Here, Chalerm expects permanent secretaries to follow party strategy to resist anti-government protesters, but is surprised when none want to. Some permanent secretaries have resisted becoming involved with these efforts and at least one had a friendly meeting with Suthep when protesters came to his ministry.]