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Foreigner appointed as advisor to Phuket Governor’s office

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Foreigner appointed as advisor to Phuket Governor’s office | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: Who is that foreigner standing next to the governor welcoming HRH Princess Sirindorn to Phuket?

There he is again, with the party greeting President Jimmy Carter.

He can be seen quietly slipping in and out of meetings with the governor, vice governors and the many ambassadors and senior government officials who visit Phuket every year. Now, for the first time, Provincial Hall has allowed access to, and is commenting on, this reclusive expatriate advisor.

The significance of the appointment of American James A. Mabey as Economic Development and Foreign Affairs Advisor is far reaching and likely to be roundly welcomed by the foreign business community here.

A consultant to many large-scale businesses in Phuket over the past five years, Mr Mabey has assisted several governors in dealing with this vital sector of the economy, but until about a week ago his work on behalf of the province has been decidedly low profile.

Governor Tri Augkaradecha and Vice Governor Nivit Aroonrat are now allowing the American, who holds an MBA from Prince of Songkla University and lectures at several of Thailand’s leading universities, to take a more visible role.

He is formally attached as an advisor to the offices of both the Assistant Permanent Secretary of the Interior in Bangkok and Phuket Vice Governor Nivit Aroonrat.

Mr Mabey, who typically works three days a week at Provincial Hall, spends a lot of time on airplanes, both as a private pilot himself and in connection with frequent visits to his overseas clients.

He is also a regular commuter to Hong Kong where he is working on a Doctorate degree at the School of Hotel and Tourism Management of Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The school is currently ranked second only to Cornell in hospitality education.

Adding value to his background in international investment and corporate finance are some formidable language skills. Mr Mabey is fluent in Thai, written and spoken, and often finds himself in a bridging role over five dialects of the language. He’s also fluent in Mandarin, Spanish and Laotian.

Originally from the west coast of the US, he spent time in Central America when he was a teenager and moved to Asia in 1999. He has lived in Phuket for five years.

“I think Phuket is a great place to live, and it’s encouraging to see its growth as a cosmopolitan place where you can meet people from all over the world. This, possibly more than anything else, has led to the notion that it’s a high-potential place to invest. But to be successful at that, foreigners need to adjust to a business environment that is often quite different from the one they know back home,” says Mr Mabey.

“I have enjoyed the opportunity to work together with governors and vice governors throughout Thailand. I try to keep my focus on simplifying issues and finding win-win solutions for both local people and the foreign companies who support the local economy by doing business here.”

In explaining the appointment, Vice Governor Nivit told the Phuket Gazette yesterday that Mr Mabey is well situated to carry out his responsibilities as an advisor.

“There are a lot of foreigners who come to Phuket – not just tourists, but people who come to do business here. We found it necessary to have an advisor who was an expert on investment and economic development not only from a foreigner’s point of view, but who could see the Thai side as well. Mr Mabey is an indispensable part of my team. He has a very good understanding of Thai government, our laws and our ideas on economic promotion,” he said.

“Based on that, we wanted Mr Mabey to help us give advice to people when they are trying to set up a business here, or when they have business problems. Ideally, we wanted somebody who could help give advice to organizations before they actually have any problems at all,” he added.

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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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