Connect with us


Governor’s Letter: Resolving conflicts between Thais and foreigners



PHUKET: Phuket Governor Dr Chokchai Dejamornthan is the island’s 47th governor. Originally from Chachoengsao, he holds a doctorate in philosophy from the Christian University of Thailand, a master’s in Social Development from the National Institute of Development Administration, and a bachelor’s degree in Law from Thammasat University.

Here, he talks about resolving conflicts between Thais and foreign tourists on the island.

In terms of tourism, I believe Phuket people are going in a better direction. I can see that we have improved our services and developed a more welcoming attitude toward tourists. However, as we saw recently, there have been some violent altercations between tourists and Thai people.

As regards Thai people causing trouble, I have asked the police to keep a close eye on such incidents. Anyone who instigates or is involved in violence must face the appropriate punishment. Anything that is against the law must be dealt with justly. I especially want to crack down on mafia activities. We have worked very hard to improve the reputation of Phuket by getting rid of illegal taxis and solving beach management issues.

In the recent incident, it was reported that one of the Thai people was hospitalized. I want to discourage such incidents from both parties. As soon as I came to hear of this, I talked to the concerned consulate to make sure that we all work together on the issue. Moreover, I asked them to make sure that any speech or statement they make is not biased against Phuket. They cannot always blame it on Thais; we must be fair to everyone. The image of Phuket gets tarnished if we are unnecessarily blamed for all such incidents.

There are both good tourists and bad ones. What we must do is to make sure that we work together and form partnerships. I have spoken to several of the consuls in Phuket, who are just as keen to do that. The Australian consul, for instance, is very professional and helpful. If any such incidents occur in the future, we have both promised to talk directly to each other before releasing any statements. We have made a similar arrangement with the Chinese consul as well. I intend to have this discussion with other consuls as soon as possible.

We have also approached the Phuket offices of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports (MOTS) and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to collaborate with us on a process of screening tourists in the future.

As far as the zero baht tours are concerned, we have already started cracking down on them. I believe that in the future we will have a lot more quality tourists coming to the island. I can see that our tourist numbers are increasing. However, at this stage, we are not focusing on the number of tourists, but rather on the quality.

The most important thing is that our nation is now in a mourning period, and I wish to see Thai people keeping calm. I want to maintain peace at all times. We are doing public relations activities to encourage local people to be good hosts and to approach the authorities [when conflicts arise] instead of taking matters into their own hands.

I understand that sometimes people act out of anger, but once you have lost your temper and done something to cause harm to others, you will be arrested and have to face the consequences.

During the past few weeks, I have read through a lot of projects which are slated to start on the island. For instance, we have finished drawing up plans for the Tah Chat Chai checkpoint and I am now working on securing the budget for it. We will release more information on this later, but I expect to sign the contract next month.

Another thing we have to work on is land encroachment and the smart city project. I want to expedite the project to have free WiFi throughout the island. These are not new projects; they have already been tabled and discussed. However, I want to make sure that I actually make things happen during my time here on the island.

— Chutharat Plerin


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:

World14 mins ago

Australia sets goal of preventing any more species from going extinct

Crime17 mins ago

Mass shooting in Thailand: 36 dead, including 24 children, 12 injured

Thailand20 mins ago

9 Thais arrested in South Korea for smuggling drugs

Sponsored5 hours ago

Segafredo Zanetti Coffee teamed up with Bangkok Airways and hosted “Bangkok Airways Surf Festival 2022”

Drugs27 mins ago

Police snag 2.5 meth pills in checkpoint stings

Thailand42 mins ago

Nong Bua Lamphu Hospital needs urgent blood donations after mass shooting

Crime1 hour ago

BREAKING: Nursery mass shooter shoots dead wife and child before killing himself

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Central Thailand1 hour ago

Meditation retreat in lush garden setting coming up in central Thailand

World2 hours ago

Death of 66 children linked to an Indian cough medicine

Crime2 hours ago

BREAKING: at least 32 dead in mass shooting at nursery in northeast Thailand

Drugs2 hours ago

Drug traffickers and rangers swapped gunfire on Thai-Burmese border

Myanmar2 hours ago

Strong emotions and tea on the Myanmar border

Hong Kong3 hours ago

Shark warning – illegal Chinese money lenders nailed in Pattaya

Thailand4 hours ago

Bangkok airport shames driver for parking in disabled bay

Politics4 hours ago

Never forget Thailand’s October 6 massacre

Thailand5 hours ago

Angry American man smashes up a Thai man’s car

Thailand1 year ago

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

Thailand2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

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

Phuket2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

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

Tourism2 years 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