There is no privacy in public office
On his trip to Malaysia last week, Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung became drunk, and afterwards told the public, "Five people downing eight bottles of wine together - how wouldn't I be drunk?" He says he was the only Thai present and was off-duty at the time.
But can a public figure like our deputy prime minister for security have a private life separate from his public one?
I agree with Judy Nadler, who said, "Everyone, including public figures, is entitled to privacy. But when a person goes into public life, he or she must understand: certain issues that might be considered private for a private individual can become a matter of reasonable public interest when that individual runs for office. Becoming a public servant means putting the public's interest ahead of your own."
The public servant in charge of our nation's security must be ready to work 24/7. What if southern terrorists had, say, bombed General Sukhumpol's office while Chalerm was drunk? Remember that Pearl Harbor was at rest when the Japanese attacked because the soldiers believed "nothing happens on a Sunday".
Also, being drunk in the presence of foreign VIPs is hardly putting us in the best light, and as the US wartime poster put it, "Loose lips sink ships." Was our DPM for security too under the weather to remember what came out during his drunken stupor?
Prime Minister Yingluck should sharply reprimand him and let him know that, if he is to continue handling security, he must reform immediately.