Connect with us

Opinion

Phuket Opinion: Phuket land probes “a plus’ for Phuket

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

PHUKET: Cynics may see the effort by the Office of the Public Sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) to investigate officials who allegedly colluded with investors to steal state land in Phuket as just the latest in a series of politically-inspired witch hunts. However, we should hold out hope for any effort to expose corruption, especially when elected officials and “civil servants” are among the alleged perpetrators.

The history of land rights in Phuket has been a Pandora’s Box. Corruption and collusion have been consistently powerful forces, so much so that most of the abuses will never be exposed. We have experienced many times what can happen to those who try to bring them to light.

This space is far too limited to list all the scandals involving land rights issues in Phuket over the years, but, simply put, we are looking at a landscape of vast inequity. On one hand are families who began to amass fortunes in the tin-mining era and who have since parlayed their holdings to become fabulously wealthy with the advent of the tourism industry and ensuing real estate boom.

At the other end are poor communities such as the sea gypsies, who have lived in certain seaside areas for generations yet find themselves at the mercy of Bangkok-based investors who appear out of nowhere with state-issued deeds and marching orders.

The 2,000 families in the Soi Kingkaew community of Rassada now fear mass eviction following the shocking presentation of a SorKor 1 paper, reportedly issued over 80 years ago.

This case highlights some of the absurd realities that have developed on the ground in Phuket over the years. Soi Kingkaew, once a vast expanse of verdant mangrove forest, is still nominally protected as such by the state. This is despite the fact that most of the land in dispute is now home to little more than a shanty town.

Rounding out the irony is the fact that these very same people who encroached on the mangroves in the first place are now donning the environmentalist mantle in telling the holder of the antique SorKor 1 that he cannot exercise his claim to the land because it is, or at least once was, protected mangrove forest.

The Phuket Gazette will closely follow the work of the PACC. We don’t expect all the abuses of the past to be addressed, but will remember that after the curious Pandora opened the box letting loose all of the evils in the world, at least one thing remained inside: hope.

If we can finally begin holding at least some officials accountable – and prosecute them – then perhaps we can gradually start moving away from the dark past to a brighter future.

 

Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

image

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Protests1 hour ago

Police to prosecute yesterday’s protesters for Covid-19 violation

Thailand3 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Pfizer vax approved, IATA testing vaccine travel pass, Covid Update | June 25

Thailand3 hours ago

Man wanted for attempted murder arrested on train

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand4 hours ago

The list of high/medium/low risk countries for travelling to Thailand now

World4 hours ago

Rare, giant barking deer makes appearance in Cambodia

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Anutin says health system won’t collapse despite shortages

World5 hours ago

Fire at Chinese martial arts school kills 18, mainly kids

Thailand6 hours ago

Man allegedly steals almost 300,000 baht from monk

Thailand6 hours ago

Illegal cigarette shipment busted, valued at 30 million baht

Thailand8 hours ago

Pair arrested for allegedly stealing prepaid phone cards worth 240 million baht, take home almost 150

Best of9 hours ago

Top 5 Indian Restaurants in Bangkok

Phuket9 hours ago

A Korean restaurant catches fire at a Phuket shopping centre

Best of10 hours ago

Top 10 Provinces to visit in Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)10 hours ago

Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine approved for emergency use in Thailand

World10 hours ago

1 dead 99 unaccounted for in Florida building collapse

Thailand4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

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

Phuket4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending