Connect with us


Phuket Opinion: Corruption and the duality of man



PHUKET: Every now and then, local officials do things that either stun the Phuket Gazette’s readers or slide right past them. The news stories this week about the push to establish a “Chalong Hospital” and the projected opening of the Patong Tunnel both highlight a phenomenon often overlooked – that sometimes officials do have the public interest at heart.

Local authorities pushing to upgrade the Chalong public health clinic deserve credit. The officials give as their reason a motive of the highest order: People in need of emergency medical care in the southern reaches of the island are dying in transit before reaching the major hospitals located in Phuket Town.

These officials are lobbying the Ministry of Public Health to “bend a few rules” to make the Chalong Hospital project a reality. They have already been given Cabinet approval, at least “in principal”, to establish the country’s first subdistrict-level government hospital. They are also moving forward in another key area: acquiring the needed land and lining up private investment.

Similar refinements are at work in the Patong Tunnel project, which when completed would become the first tollway built by the Expressway Authority of Thailand (EXAT) to not only allow motorbikes, but provide them with a dedicated lane for added safety. Let’s just hope the toll collectors can bar entry to illegally-modified motorbikes like salaeng and and the other contraptions that cause so many unnecessary accidents year-in and year-out.

If the online forum comments posted by the Gazette‘s most cynical readers are any indication, many foreigners read into such infrastructure developments first and foremost a hidden agenda of corruption, with officials railroading projects through as a way of feathering their own nests.

Cynics tend to portray official corruption as an everyday fact of life on the island. The reality, however, is that very few law-abiding people suffer at the hands of corrupt officials on a regular basis. The average resident is only confronted by graft at certain critical junctures, but this is often enough to reinforce the impression that official corruption is more widespread than it actually is.

A sad result is that many honest, well-intentioned officials are also assumed to be on the take.

A topic seldom discussed in forum discussions is the extent to which official corruption exists in the foreigners’ home countries, especially where large government contracts are involved.

For some reason, some foreigners seem so attached to a cynical view of life that they tend to forget that few people are truly good or truly evil, and that most will go out of their way to do the right thing if the opportunity presents itself — public officials included.


Get more from The Thaiger

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.

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand8 mins ago

Indian man arrested for smuggling 17 live animals out of Thailand

Guides18 mins ago

English-speaking counselling/therapy services in Bangkok

Thailand45 mins ago

Thai man faces prison for growing & selling corals online

Sponsored1 day ago

Super luxury villas in Phuket with breathtaking ocean views

Crime1 hour ago

‘Real owner’ of Mountain B nightclub released on bail for 1 million baht cash

South2 hours ago

UPDATE: 21 year old man found dead after Deep South bombing

Cannabis2 hours ago

Thai govt open to cannabis recreation, not pot-smoking tourists

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand2 hours ago

Tourists travelling for pot-smoking not welcome in Thailand | GMT

Press Room2 hours ago

School’s In, Face-To-Face Learning Shifts to the Home

Destination Guide17 hours ago

Best areas to live in Phuket (2022)

Video18 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Fears of shenanigans in Mountain B Pub fire investigation

Travel18 hours ago

5 vineyards and wineries in Thailand all wine lovers should know

Thailand18 hours ago

Thai neitzens angry at SUV driver using a siren just to use toilet

Thailand19 hours ago

New poll says people from Thailand more relaxed about Covid-19

Thailand20 hours ago

Rama 2 Road guilty of being a repeat accident offender

Thailand20 hours ago

Body of one teacher found in double suicide pact in SE Thailand

Thailand11 months ago

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

Thailand1 year ago

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

Tourism1 year ago

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

Phuket1 year ago

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

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

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

Tourism1 year ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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