Connect with us

Opinion

Phuket Opinion: There’s no place like home

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

PHUKET: The low turnout for the Phuket Provincial Administration Organization (PPAO) council election last weekend highlighted yet again the problems the island faces due to the fact that so many migrant workers who live here continue to maintain house registrations in their “home” provinces, in some cases despite having lived and worked on the island for over a decade.

The Patong elections being held this weekend are likely to throw this same issue into sharp relief.

According to official figures, turnout for the August 26 poll was 41.8% of just over 234,000 eligible voters. This means that fewer than 100,000 of those eligible were sufficiently motivated to make it to the polls to vote for the person who would represent their interests in the PPAO. As a point of reference, the figure is probably on par with the number of illegal workers from Myanmar living on the island.

The source of apathy among voters is somewhat hard to fathom, apart from the fact that the almost complete lack of policy debate among the candidates left many voters in the dark as to what differentiated would-be representatives, apart from a number.

The small percentage of island residents who enjoy voting rights should be more than happy to exercise them; the PPAO not only enjoys an annual budget close to one billion baht, but also a level of autonomy over how it is spent that is the envy of the bureaucrats at the Phuket Provincial Office. To get some grasp of the numbers involved, the budget works out to over 9,000 baht for each voter who took part in the balloting last weekend.

Efforts to produce a reliable count of how many people actually live in Phuket continue to stymie officialdom. Preliminary figures produced by the national census conducted in 2010 showed 525,018 people living in Phuket: 409,137 Thai (77.9%) and 115,881 foreigners (21.1%), but despite efforts to include foreign residents for the first time this figure is almost certainly on the low side.

Former governor Wichai Phraisa-ngop said during his tenure that the island probably had an actual population of more than a million people during high season.

Whatever the actual figure, there is little dispute that the number of Thai migrant workers living in Phuket long-term probably numbers around 200,000. That they fail to appear on local registrations costs the island millions in budget allocations annually.

Perhaps one strategy to redress the imbalance might be incorporated into the new initiative to legally register the many black plate taxis operating on the island. The drivers often complain that “as local people” they have the right to make a living.

Perhaps the drivers should be required to submit a copy of their local house registration as a part of the application process. Such a move might be a small step forward in getting the island’s true minority, born-and-bred Phuket natives, to have more actual say over what is happening on their island.

 

Get more from The Thaiger

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

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:

Bangkok8 mins ago

Peaceful pro-democracy protests in Bangkok by Taloo-Fah

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 hour ago

Kanchanaburi prison builds field hospital for 379 Covid-19 cases

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Covid-19 train sends 1,490 infected from Bangkok to hometowns

Welcome back to Thailand!

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

Thailand4 hours ago

Covid-19 Poll: People trust doctors, social media, 85% confused.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 hours ago

Record high as Chon Buri hits nearly 800 Covid-19 infections

Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 hours ago

Covid outbreak closes Nakhon Si Thammarat rubberwood processing factory

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand8 hours ago

Nearly 600 temples now offering free cremation services

Thailand9 hours ago

Phetchabun chicken processing plant sees over 3,000 infections

Phuket9 hours ago

New Covid-19 infections drop, still worrisome for Phuket Sandbox

Phuket9 hours ago

Phuket “car mob” protest demands the removal of PM, calls for mRNA vaccines

Thailand10 hours ago

Samut Sakhon Governor Veerasak offers to resign if communication in his province doesn’t improve

Coronavirus (Covid-19)10 hours ago

Sunday Covid Update: 15,335 new cases; provincial totals

Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

Covid UPDATE: 15,335 new infections, provincial numbers

Coronavirus Infections11 hours ago

DDC says infections still rising, possibly falling in Bangkok

Coronavirus (Covid-19)12 hours ago

DDC says use the QueQ app to book appointment at sports stadium in Pathum Thani

Thailand5 months ago

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

Tourism5 months ago

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

Phuket5 months ago

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

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

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

Tourism5 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Trending