Chalerm's second son, Wan, got a post as minister's assistant secretary and his youngest son, Duang, was reinstated into the Army after the Criminal Court dismissed a murder case against him.
Although Chalerm was ranked last in the Cabinet performance line-up according to Bangkok University's Krungthep Poll earlier this month, he might not have to worry about it too much. Chalerm and his sons visited Thaksin in London and also greeted Thaksin at Suvarnabhumi Airport when he ended his exile in February. Newin has remained one of Thaksin's closest aides during his ups and downs, before and after his exile.
It is not surprising that the former Buri Ram MP Newin was sometimes regarded as Thaksin's "right hand". He was not second to anybody in making sacrifices for Thaksin.
After the September 19, 2006 military coup, two of Thaksin's closest aides were seized and detained by coup leaders. One of them was Newin and the other was Yongyuth Tiyapairat.
While Thaksin was prime minister, Newin got ministerial posts. He gave Thaksin political advice and guided him with some superstitious input- which Thaksin believed. Newin is influential in Buri Ram and in the Northeast. He is good at mobilising people. He sponsored the "Reporter" website as the best way to counter anti-Thaksin groups.
None of four former prime ministers, including Thaksin, Chuan Leekpai, Banharn Silapa-archa and Chavalit Yongchaiyudh hid their admiration of Newin's abilities. Yongyuth said Newin is a trustworthy person. The person he is loyal to can rely on him. Therefore, Thaksin must not leave a supporter like him empty-handed.
Actually, Newin's clique associates have been given a number of ministerial posts in the current Cabinet: Deputy Interior Minister Supon Fongngam, Deputy Agriculture Minister Theerachai Saenkaew, Deputy Transport Minister Songsak Thongsri, Deputy Education Minister Pongsakorn Annopporn.
Theerachai and Pongsakorn also joined Thaksin's merit-making trips to the Northeast. Newin was there, too. Justice Minister Sompong Amornwiwat and Public Health Minister Chaiya Sasomsap also have tight relationships with Newin.
Alas, the political road has not been so smooth for Newin's family. He has yet to see how his loyalty can bring rewards for his family, when both he and Thaksin as former Thai Rak Thai executives, have been banned from political positions.
The name of Newin's 80-year-old
father, Chai Chidchob, has re-emerged as a candidate for House Speaker, replacing Yongyuth, who has resigned.
People Power Party executives unanimously voted for Chai, MPs from the Northeast mostly support him.
But MPs from the North and Central provinces, as well as the South and some from the Northeast, are opposed to him.
Although those with the power to make decisions are the party executives, the views of MPs are not to be ignored. Split opinions could hurt the party, especially under Samak Sundaravej's leadership.
Before Yongyuth's appointment as House Speaker, it was reported that Newin had tried to promote his father for the post. When Yongyuth became head of the House, Chai got the government chief whip position instead.
Newin's wife Karuna won an election and became Buri Ram Provincial Administrative Organisation (PAO) chairman earlier this year. However, her appointment of the banned MP candidate Pornchai Srisuriyanyothin as her deputy has recently been questioned.
Pornchai was red-carded by the Election Commission (EC) in the December 23 general election. His voting rights were revoked and he was therefore not permitted to be a PAO deputy chairman.Karuna might have to face a malfeasance case.
Meanwhile, Supon named Newin's younger brother Saksiam, to chair his working committee. But it is still controversial whether he is qualified for the job.
Saksiam has also been banned from the election as he was one of the 111 former Thai Rak Thai executives whose voting rights were revoked when the party was dissolved.
Newin's family has long been in Thai politics. His influence will not just vanish, neither will Thaksin's. To some extent, the level of resistance to obstacles in the Chidchobs' path will reflect their power in Thai politics.