PHUKET: Governor CEO Pongpayome Vasaputi today backed away from his controversial suggestion that the national government should buy out existing businesses on the Phi Phi islands and run the islands as a state enterprise. Addressing a press conference, the Governor said, laughing, “I don’t want to talk about this. I just wanted to shed some light on the subject. “I haven’t submitted any documents following up the matter because it’s up to [people in] Krabi whether they’re interested or not. “I don’t know, and I’m tired of it. The end result of it was that I burned myself,” he said. The Governor became embroiled in a war of words with Krabi officials and business people after making the suggestion at a Thai Rak Thai Party seminar on November 9. Yesterday, he explained that he had received many complaints from residents and businesspeople who disagreed with the idea. He said, “These days, Thai society doesn’t accept new ideas. When someone presents an idea that’s different, it’s instantly dismissed as a joke.” He added, however, that he had received calls from many managers and owners of large hotels and resorts in Krabi, thanking him for turning the spotlight on Krabi’s problems. They told him that many tourists there had voiced their support for preserving the area’s natural beauty.
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