Yingluck shows the touch of a fairy godmother

Almost every prime minister uses the word "appropriate" when choosing people for their Cabinet, and of course, each choice is met with a positive or negative response.

However, this time, we have chosen to focus on the good points of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra's latest Cabinet reshuffle.

A woman's touch: Some may wonder what Thailand's first female prime minister really meant when she told the Asia Society in New York last September that she hoped to use her womanly charms when addressing disputes in the South China Sea. Her fourth Cabinet reshuffle shows that she was not joking.

Unlike her brother, former PM Thaksin Shinawatra - who was ousted in a military coup in 2006 - this political novice knows that to protect herself, she needs to make friends with the top brass. After all, if she didn't have the support of the armed forces, how could she possibly have become the country's first defence minister?

Obviously, her woman's touch worked in this case. Now we can only hope that her womanly charms will help resolve prolonged security problems, especially in the South, amid peace talks with Barisan Revolusi Nasional and ongoing disputes with Cambodia.

Promoting women's role and status: Yingluck - who set a record by becoming a country's leader in just 49 days - seems to have made history on at least three counts. She is not only Thailand's first female premier, she is also Thailand's, and ASEAN's, first female defence minister.

Plus, she is unselfishly giving other women a chance to step in and help run the country. The best example is Pavena Hongsakul, who has been given the Social Development and Human Security portfolio. Pavena, founder of the Pavena Foundation for Children and Women, is perfect as no-one can match her saintliness.

The six-time Bangkok MP is so well-suited to this portfolio that she beat outstanding contenders such as Sudarat Keyuraphan, former deputy leader of the now-defunct Thai Rak Thai Party. Both these ladies were among the 111 executives banned when the party was dissolved. Their ban ended in May last year.

Bringing about reconciliation: The repeated exclusion of Jatuporn Promphan, red-shirt leader and No 1 enemy of the elite who ousted Thaksin, from her Cabinet and relegation of some hardcore ministers could be a sign that Yingluck is trying to lay a gentler path toward reconciliation.

According to Pheu Thai's Samut Prakan MP Worachai Hema, another red-shirt, Yingluck is demoting her "warriors" and Chalerm Yoobamrung is a great example. He was shifted from deputy PM - and oversight of national security and also played a big part in attacks on the opposition - to the Labour Ministry.

1 2 
Become a fan on Facebook