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Opinion

Phuket Opinion: Finding a cure for overloaded courts

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket Opinion: Finding a cure for overloaded courts | The Thaiger

Parinya Chaowalittawin, 45, took up the position of Chief Judge at Phuket Provincial Court on April 1. Originally from Trang, Judge Parinya has Bachelor’s of Law, Barrister-at-law and Master of Law degree from Ramkhamhaeng University. He has served as a judge for 17 years. Here, he explains what needs to be done to help clear the backlog of cases at Phuket Court.

PHUKET: Civil cases in Phuket are quite different from those in other provinces. Here, they involve much more money and there are more cases about land ownership. Resolving land ownership is very complicated.

Land in Phuket is very valuable, and the less land there is available – after all, Phuket is an island – the harder people fight for it and the more complicated the cases become. Having foreigners

involved in court cases complicates matters further.

Such cases take a long time to finish and many people are willing to take their cases to the Civil Court, the Appeals Court and even the Supreme Court.

In Phuket, our courts are overloaded. From 2008 to 2012, the number of cases to be heard rose dramatically, and is likely to keep going up. In 2008 there were 8,839 cases heard; in 2009 there were 10,159 cases; in 2010 it fell to 9,259 cases; but rose again in 2011 to 9,737 cases; and in 2012 there were 10,462 cases.

We have 21 judges to take care of all the cases. We need two more to cope with the workload. I have requested two more judges, but I am still waiting for a reply.

In the meantime, we will try to process cases as quickly as we can. The most important thing is to be fair and equal to everyone, Thais and foreigners.

We have opened a “night court” and a “weekend court” to help clear the backlog of cases. The night court is open from 4:30pm to 8:30pm, Monday through Friday. The weekend court is open from 8:30am to 4:30pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

Now, if people want to have their cases heard outside normal office hours – and if both parties agree – we will assign our judges to hear the case.

We had to open the night court and the weekend court because Phuket does not have a Municipal Court.

The Municipal Court hears cases that carry punishments of not more than three years imprisonment, or a fine of not more than 60,000 baht, and any cases that involve damages of not over 300,000 baht.

I have assigned two judges to work only on Municipal Court equivalent cases to speed the flow. Phuket is now being considered for a Municipal Court, but we do not know when that decision will be made.

What worries me is the drug cases, especially those involving ya ice (crystal methamphetamine).

Statistics show that over the past five years the number of drug cases being heard at the Phuket Court has increased dramatically.

Phuket has a lot of nightclubs, which makes it easy for drug dealers to sell drugs to tourists. Sometimes tourists are even drug dealers.

The police and the courts do their part, but everyone must be involved in keeping an eye on drugs, especially administrative officials. For us, we will do our best to deliver justice to everyone.

— Chutharat Plerin

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Opinion

Why the Chinese are infinitely more important than Western tourists to Thailand

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Why the Chinese are infinitely more important than Western tourists to Thailand | The Thaiger

OPINION by Dan Cheeseman – Dan About Thailand

We need to wake up and smell the roses, us Westerners are no longer an important group for the Thailand tourism industry – in fact, we are what you would call ‘niche’ – and with good reason.

The Chinese are here in numbers and not only will this continue to grow but they also outspend Europeans per capita by 53% when in Thailand.

There are more Chinese…

The Chinese now account for 57.48% of all tourists in Thailand and what makes this even more staggering is only 8.7% currently have passports (120 million).

According to Jing Travel this could double by 2020 – that means 240 million Chinese able to travel (363% of the UK population – 66 million). They also go on to state that first time Chinese travellers are more likely to travel more close to home to begin with, so places like Vietnam and, you guessed it, Thailand.

Why the Chinese are infinitely more important than Western tourists to Thailand | News by The Thaiger

And the Chinese share of the pie will only grow.

No wonder Thailand are forecasting tourism to grow from the 38 million now to over 79 million by 2030.

Why the Chinese are infinitely more important than Western tourists to Thailand | News by The Thaiger

The Chinese Spend More…

Quite often I hear the European retaliation that they would like to see the spend levels per capita of Chinese, suggesting it to be low. This could not be further from the truth as shopping is an important factor for when they go on holiday.

The Chinese expenditure into Thailand is US$15,342,000,000 each year, which is more than any other nation. The average spend per day for a Chinese tourist in Thailand is US$192 – which is 53% more than the average Europeans US$125 daily spend.

Why the Chinese are infinitely more important than Western tourists to Thailand | News by The Thaiger

Read the rest of the story… Dan About Thailand

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Opinion

“Racial profiling and xenophobic” – a rant against Dual Pricing

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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“Racial profiling and xenophobic” – a rant against Dual Pricing | The Thaiger

The rules are applied in a lumpy fashion at various tourist hot spots around the country as well as some national parks. Sometimes it’s applied, sometimes, not, sometimes there are signs, sometime they make it up as they go, sometimes they will allow local expats in for the Thai price.

There are dual-pricing apologists who say ‘Hey, it’s cheap anyway, so pay up and shut up’. Whilst dual-pricing whiners say it’s unfair, racist and shows a lack of grace towards tourists and foreigners.

Here’s the story from ‘Despondant Foreigner’. You can have your say on the post at our Facebook page

“I would like to share my story with you that happened to me this morning. I visited Promlok waterfall in Nakhon Si Thammaratt with my Thai wife, child and wife’s family. Upon arrival two soldiers approached our car and my wife began talking to them. They explained to her that as today is Songkran all Thai’s get to go to the waterfalls free of charge but I had to pay. Then a woman dressed in yellow approached the car who confirmed what the soldiers said and told my wife that this is a new law. Well we were all disgusted and proceeded to drive back down to the bottom of the waterfall where we could all swim for free.

I am absolutely disgusted by this. Yet another example of Thailand’s racial profiling and xenophobia towards foreigners. The fact that I am married and have children here doesn’t make a difference. Because I have white skin I must pay the fee whilst all Thais go in free.”

SOURCE: ThaiVisa

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Opinion

Fox News fake news, Phuket gets a bullet

Bill Barnett

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Fox News fake news, Phuket gets a bullet | The Thaiger

by Bill Barnett, C9Hotelworks.com

As Phuket moves slowly into low season, a story published in the international media by the US-based Fox News about how tourists could face the death penalty over taking photos at the island’s airport is a highly flaw piece of sensationalist fake news.

Clearly there is no likelihood that the Thai authorities will apply a legal maximum penalty under the Air Navigation Act for tourists posing for selfies as airplanes land. More likely would be a  charge of trespassing and a fine.

Clicking into Google this morning the story is now running with the New York Post, MSN and other news outlets abroad.

What is distressing is to see how news providers sensationalize Thailand and Phuket with little regard as to the consequences of the economic impact of such a story.

For most readers, what they will remember when reading such a piece is only the headline about Phuket, Mai Khao Beach and the death penalty.

What a sorry state of affairs mainstream news has become.

To read the Fox News article clock HERE.

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