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A Decade Ago: Development zoning takes center stage

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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A Decade Ago: Development zoning takes center stage | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: Though the page one story of the 2005 November 19-25 issue is without a doubt the sexiest story of the week, it is the editorial that strikes to the heart of an issue that remains unresolved even now, ten years later: land zoning.

Just 15 years ago it was apparently easy enough for corrupt officials in the Land Office to produce a computer-generated contour map showing that just about any piece of Phuket property was in fact below the 80-meter construction limit – pending financial compensation. With that beast somewhat reined in 10 years ago, the Phuket Gazette turned its concerned eye to coastal zoning.

It is vital that Phuket gets zoning laws, the Gazette said.

“This would ensure the more beautiful parts of the island are not spoiled by thoughtless development, but are preserved for low-rise, low-key projects, while other, less attractive areas are slated for mega-developments that could, it might be argued, improve the coastline. The key to success, of course, will be who decides which is which.”

Phuket, now, does indeed have proper zoning for the coastline. However, who signs off on where those zones actually start and end… well, that is continuing to cause issues.

Perhaps the most recently publicized issue revolves around the Eva development. Given the case has a number of local officials involved and serious amounts of cash tied up in it, and is still under investigation, it’s best not to delve too deep into the story. However, the crux of the matter appears to be where the high-tide mark is. The high-tide mark, which admittedly changes with time, as the ocean steals some bits of beaches, is where zoning measurements begin. They are in place to preserve the island’s beauty that ten years ago, the Gazette feared would be lost. Take a walk down some of the Phuket coastlines during high tide – and without naming any names – tell us what you think.

Don’t worry, just because we launched into the meat of the issue, doesn’t mean we will be skipping all the sexy stuff on page one. Dutchman Jen Jensen was a hero of sorts – though at the end of the day he was charged with negligent driving causing death.

Mr Jensen gave chase in his truck after a failed assassination attempt, eventually crashing into the suspects on their motorbikes, killing one. Though business or property related assassination attempts are oddly still common on the island – let us not forget about Ae Inside, Phuket media man, or Jintana Mahattanapak, human resource manager and mother of two – Mr Jensen did what many an expat fantasizes about: seeks immediate vengeance. Though those wishing to take the law into their own hands are without a doubt forced to pay the consequences.

— Isaac Stone Simonelli

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

Tourism

Phuket prepares to welcome first Chinese tourists in over 6 months

Maya Taylor

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Phuket prepares to welcome first Chinese tourists in over 6 months | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Jing Daily

The first group of tourists to arrive under Thailand’s new Special Tourist Visa scheme are expected to land in Phuket on October 8. The Bangkok Post reports that a flight from Guangzhou in southern China will carry 120 tourists, who will spend their first 14 days in alternative state quarantine. They are reported to be travelling under the government’s new STV.

Arrivals who do not pass the initial health screening will be transferred to specially chosen hospitals, as “Patients under Investigation”. Those who do pass the screening will be transported to alternative state quarantine once they’ve gone through immigration processing.

A Centre for Covid-19 Situation Administration spokesperson says the resort islands of Phuket and Koh Samui will be the first to welcome travellers under the Special Tourist Via scheme. He pointed out that Guangzhou has not recorded any new cases of the Covid-19 virus for a prolonged period, meaning next week’s tourist arrivals are deemed “low risk”. His assertion is confirmed from the official figures at worldometer.info website recording world Covid-19 cases.

The CCSA reports that there will be a limit of 300 foreign tourists admitted each week, but this will be reviewed after the first phase of the re-opening. All arrivals will be subject to 14 day quarantine, although the Tourism and Sports Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn has suggested reducing this to 7 days eventually. The CCSA says they are not considering reducing the quarantine time at this stage.

Thiravat Hemachudha from the Thai Red Cross Emerging Infectious Disease Health Science Centre is not opposed to the idea.

“We can study this with foreign visitors who will arrive next month. During the 14 day quarantine they will be tested on the first, the seventh and the fourteenth day. If they are free of infections, we can shorten the quarantine to 7 days.”

However, not all are in agreement, with a doctor from Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University cautioning against any shortening of the quarantine period.

Meanwhile, Phuket governor, Narong Woonsiew, says the province is ready to welcome the new arrivals, with Covid-19 labs in place at Phuket airport, and officials due to carry out a full dress rehearsal today.

Thanit Sermkaew, chief of the Phuket Public Health Office, says over 1,200 rooms at 9 hotels have been chosen as alternative state quarantine properties, with a total of 73 hotels, providing over 5,800 rooms, applying for consideration.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Phuket

Woman arrested for abandoning newborn baby on a bench in Phuket

Caitlin Ashworth

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Woman arrested for abandoning newborn baby on a bench in Phuket | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Siangtai/Newshawk Phuket

Police tracked down and arrested a Burmese woman who allegedly left her newborn baby on a bench in Phuket’s Patong area last week. The mother faces charges of abandoning a baby.

The newborn was left in a reusable shopping bag on a bench behind a Krungthai Bank branch. A woman in the area heard the baby crying and found the newborn in the bag along with a bottle of milk, diapers and clothing. Police reviewed surveillance camera footage shows a woman, police later identified as Ei Ei Phyu, leaving the bag on the bench.

Police say the woman gave birth on September 9 at a local hospital in Surat Thani’s Phun Phin district. Ei Ei allegedly took a van from Surat Thani to Phuket on September 22 and stayed with a friend in Patong. The early the next morning, she allegedly left her baby on the bench before boarding a bus back to Surat Thani.

Burmese workers in the Patong area told police Ei Ei used to work at a local Indian food restaurant before she moved to Surat Thani to work as a rubber tapper. Ei Ei allegedly told police she is not in the position to raise a child.

In earlier reports, police said the baby is healthy and does not appear to have any injuries.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid | The Thaiger

Phuket Provincial Police have arrested 6 people after finding large amounts of methamphetamine and other drugs during a raid. One suspect alone allegedly had 7.6 kilograms of crystal meth (ya ice) and over 12,500 methamphetamine pills (ya bah). 29 year old Surasak ‘Bank’ Wijit and 27 year old Panida ‘Mei’ Saeyang were arrested at an apartment car park in Soi Lookkaew, Moo 6, Rassada, in eastern Phuket, after they were found in possession of the drugs.

Police also found 2 mobile phones and a red Honda PCX, registered in Phuket, as evidence. Both suspects have been charged with posessing a Category 1 drug with the intent to sell.

Other suspects arrested at the same time include 36 year old from Chiang Rai, 42 year old Sarawut ‘An’ Srichanon, from Ranong and 31 year old Pornthep ‘Iew’ Thepchampa, who were charged with the same crimes in Chalong after police found more drugs in their possession. 33 year old Kamon ‘Kung’ Sae-ngow, was arrested as well after police found kratom juice and leaves at a house in Rassada. He was taken to Phuket City Police station and was charged with a Category 5 drug possession.

SOURCE:The Phuket News

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