Governor “not worried’ about transfer rumors
PHUKET TOWN: Provincial Governor Pongpayome Vasaputi says he has heard the recent rumors that pressure is building to have him transferred out of Phuket because he is applying Thailand’s laws too stringently. He said he had heard that business people whose profits had been hit by his strict enforcement of laws were prepared to pay money to get him moved out of the province. But, he told reporters, it is his job to be strict, and he is not losing any sleep over the rumors. “Of course, if it happens, it happens. I’ve had a lot of conflict with businessmen who lost profits after I was strict with laws such as those governing illegal workers, entertainment places, foreigners who want to do business, people encroaching on public land or protected mangrove forests – so it is possible someone will manage to get me transferred.” He added, “It’s normal, when someone tries to solve long-standing problems, that there will be those who appreciate his efforts and those who do not.” In a move that is unlikely to make him many new friends in the “entertainment” industry, he announced plans to designate specific zones for the industry, outside of which new karaokes, beer bars and similar establishments will be banned. “We are discussing this with the three districts, the municipalities and other local offices. I think we will have defined the entertainment zones by the end of this month,” Gov Pongpayome said. The Governor said that his officers will continue to look very carefully at every new company that wants to open an entertainment venue. “We will be strict with every new company that wants to set up. As for existing entertainment places, we will check that they are doing everything according to the law. “I believe that this will result in a reduction in the number of such businesses in Phuket. This will be a good thing because we don’t need them [bars, karaokes, etc] here.”
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