This is ‘tor tahan’ – a low class Thai consonant. It was only when going through the Thai alphabets for the umpteenth time that something clicked at the back of my mind…
‘Tahan or ทหาร’ means soldier in Thai, whilst in Malay ‘tahan’ means to refrain/endure/hold back. The corresponding Malay word for soldier is ‘askar’. The root word is taken from Arabic, عسكري
However, there still appears to be some similarity between Thai and Malay with regards to the usage of ‘tahan’ in terms of military meaning. The Malay term for defence is ‘pertahanan’, which literally means ‘of defence’ – our Ministry of Defence is called Kementerian Pertahanan.