Connect with us


Gov sparks furore with Phi Phi proposal

Legacy Phuket Gazette



Gov sparks furore with Phi Phi proposal | Thaiger

PHUKET: Governor CEO Pongpayome Vasaputi has landed in the middle of a war of words after suggesting that the central government should buy the Phi Phi islands, kick out private businesses and run the islands as a state enterprise. During a speech about the CEO system at a Thai Rak Thai Party seminar on Friday at the Patong Beach Hotel, Gov Pongpayome said, “At the moment many islands are not as beautiful as they used to be. The government should buy them; Phi Phi and other tourist centers should belong to the nation. “Some of the private businesses there cause a lot of damage to the islands and then, after the damage has been done, the government has to fix it. “That’s not right. The best thing would be for the government to buy the islands and then run them itself,” he said. He proposed that, after buying the islands, the government should manage them like a state enterprise, taking care of all businesses initially and letting private operators open again only after “everything is under control”. “It’s lucky that about half of the islands are national park, so buying the land back should cost about 3 billion to 4 billion baht,” he pointed out. Gov Pongpayome’s idea got a scathing reception from Saritpong Kiewkong, Vice-President of the Krabi Provincial Organization Administration (OrBorJor) and owner of the Phi Phi Pavilion Resort. K. Saritpong told the Gazette today, “The Governor of Phuket must be dreaming. He should concern himself only with Phuket Province. I think he must have lost his map.” Many islands in Phuket province, K. Saritpong said, were dirtier than Phi Phi, and Gov Pongpayome should take care of his own backyard before talking about other provinces that are outside his jurisdiction. “Gov Pongpayome has complained that Phi Phi is like a garbage dump. But many islands in Phuket Province, such as Koh Loan and Koh Hei, are like septic tanks,” he said. “The problems in Phi Phi are not caused by the private sector. They are the result of poor law enforcement and a few selfish businessmen. “Local people here are not dreamers like the Governor of Phuket. They think that the government should first take care of basic facilities in Phi Phi, such as power, water, a jetty, sanitation, good walkways, an incinerator, and proper policing,” K. Saritpong said. An incinerator and a water treatment plant were installed many years ago on Phi Phi Don by the central government but have never worked properly because, say locals, no one was taught how to use them properly. A dam to store drinking water, also built by the central government, leaks, despite being repaired three times. “When Gov Pongpayome says that there’s a lot of garbage in the sea around Phi Phi, he is striking a blow at the heart of tourism in Phi Phi,” K. Saritpong said. “I don’t understand why he didn’t discuss the issues privately with those concerned, instead of making them public through the media. “If I were dreaming like the Phuket Governor, I think it would be better for us to sell Phuket Island – it’s more famous, so we could get a lot more money for it and repay Thailand’s IMF loans.” But the local director of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Anupharp Thirarath, told the Gazette that he thought a government purchase of Phi Phi would be a fine idea. Pointing out that the Phi Phi Islands attract about 800,000 tourists a year, he said, “Phi Phi has many problems. It is a very beautiful place, but because of encroachment and disorder, its value has been wasted. “If it is possible to reorganize everything and redevelop the Phi Phi Islands, they would become a valuable and classy tourist destination in the future.”


Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates


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:

Protests51 mins ago

Police to prosecute yesterday’s protesters for Covid-19 violation

Thailand2 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Pfizer vax approved, IATA testing vaccine travel pass, Covid Update | June 25

Thailand2 hours ago

Man wanted for attempted murder arrested on train

Phuket Sandbox July 1st


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

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand3 hours ago

The list of high/medium/low risk countries for travelling to Thailand now

World4 hours ago

Rare, giant barking deer makes appearance in Cambodia

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Anutin says health system won’t collapse despite shortages

World4 hours ago

Fire at Chinese martial arts school kills 18, mainly kids

Thailand5 hours ago

Man allegedly steals almost 300,000 baht from monk

Thailand6 hours ago

Illegal cigarette shipment busted, valued at 30 million baht

Thailand8 hours ago

Pair arrested for allegedly stealing prepaid phone cards worth 240 million baht, take home almost 150

Best of8 hours ago

Top 5 Indian Restaurants in Bangkok

Phuket9 hours ago

A Korean restaurant catches fire at a Phuket shopping centre

Best of9 hours ago

Top 10 Provinces to visit in Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)9 hours ago

Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine approved for emergency use in Thailand

World9 hours ago

1 dead 99 unaccounted for in Florida building collapse

Thailand4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

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

Phuket4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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