Connect with us


Changes in Phuket: Make them last

Legacy Phuket Gazette




PHUKET: Even as the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) continues to roll on with its unprecedented and long overdue law-enforcement campaign, pressure inevitably continues to rise – both within the country and internationally – over when new elections will be held and democracy restored.

“Branding” a military coup is never an easy task, but images of a pristine Surin Beach free of encroachers (story here), demolished mafia taxi shacks in Karon (story here), and so on, have gone much further in swaying public opinion in support of the current “restart” than the public relations initiatives, such as the free concerts in the parks (story here) and even the free broadcasts of all World Cup matches.

Democratic development aside, many of the actions the NCPO has taken so far should be, and have been, widely and enthusiastically applauded. We fear, however, that as soon as elections are held the same old forces of corruption and cronyism will simply re-exert themselves in the ways they always have; that the current period will be remembered only as a brief interlude of sanity in an otherwise endless span of political discord, social disharmony and never-ending protest – hallmarks of a society with inadequate respect for the rule of law.

Thus the key question is: What steps can the NCPO take now to address the underlying issue of corruption in the long term, after they hand over control to the next civilian government?

A good place to start was the rolling out of provincial offices of the National Anti-Corruption Commission throughout the country this week, providing a distinctly independent channel for the NCPO to receive complaints of graft. The previous alternative was for victims to contemplate the consequences of attempting to report corruption to the very officers accused of being corrupt.

Another positive step would be to overhaul or do away with laws and regulations that are difficult or even impossible to enforce, but which nevertheless remain on the books and create a powerful “extortionist’s toolbox” for corrupt state officials and their elected counterparts.

Among them: the time restrictions on alcohol sales, brought into effect about a decade ago, during the Thaksin regime. Restricting alcohol sales to 2pm to 5pm has done nothing to reduce alcohol consumption or the various problems it can cause.

The restrictions were reportedly introduced to prevent kids from buying alcohol on the way home from school, yet the sale of alcohol to minors has always been prohibited. All that was needed to keep kids away from booze was to enforce the existing law.

People who enjoy alcohol will always find a way to drink. Leaving in place ridiculous regulations that facilitate extortion will drive them to it.

Thailand already has many world-class laws; the trick is to see that they are enforced. If efforts are not ongoing, the ghost of Corruption Past will come back to haunt us for sure.


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forum
🔔 Subscribe to our daily newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Media3 hours ago

No sex please, we’re Thai

Events5 hours ago

An aquatic meal with Olga Belka – taking art to new depths

Transport8 hours ago

Hua Lamphong (Bangkok Train Station) – History and future | VIDEO

Sponsored2 days ago

CBRE recommends top 5 luxury condominiums in Phuket with fantastic locations

Thailand8 hours ago

Bug-eating challenge with Natty, feat. Mark Abbott | VIDEO

Coronavirus (Covid-19)9 hours ago

UPDATE: Israel bans ALL foreign entry over Omicron

Thailand12 hours ago

New variant could dampen Thailand’s reopening enthusiasm

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Coronavirus (Covid-19)13 hours ago

UPDATE: Latest news on Omicron – what we know

Tourism1 day ago

Songkhla prepares for tourism across the Southern land border

Thailand1 day ago

French expat being denied re-entry to Thailand over repeated criticism of the Thai monarchy

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

COVID-19 SATURDAY: 6,073 infections, 32 deaths, provincial data

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Omicron causing concern, Thai authorities ban travellers from 8 countries

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Thailand’s nightlife venues and bars told to keep closed until January 16

Protests1 day ago

Amnesty International under investigation for defending activists

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

New Covid-19 strain named “Omicron” and a variant of concern

Thailand1 day ago

Entertainment venues will not open before January 16

Thailand3 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism9 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism9 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism9 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand10 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11