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Letter from the Phuket Governor: Creating unity in a time of discord

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Letter from the Phuket Governor: Creating unity in a time of discord | The Thaiger

Maitri Inthusut arrived on the island to take up the position of Governor of Phuket in October 2012. With a master’s degree in political science from Thammasat University, he joined the National Security Council, rising to the position of NSC Secretary-General, before taking up the position of Chief Secretary for Secretariat of the Cabinet. He has also served as Governor of the provinces of Trang and Phayao.

Here, in his third ‘Letter from the Governor’, he thanks two foreigners who helped Phuket residents in need.

PHUKET: As we face ongoing political instability, protests and even violence, it is reassuring to hear of generous charitable acts, of people who feel moved to help others without asking for anything in return.

This is particularly so when the people involved come from different countries. It reminds us that regardless of our differences, we are all human beings and it helps us feel united in a fundamental way, in our hearts.

I’d like to thank and warmly praise Derek Clarkson from Australia and Delyse Gibson from new Zealand for helping two Phuket residents.

Mr Clarkson helped put Wilaiwan Damnui, a cigarette vendor who was born with a deformed leg and no hands, on the path to getting a new prosthetic leg (story here).

He said he was inspired by her independence – despite her handicaps, for years he saw her working every day to support herself on Bangla Road in Patong.

When he realized that she needed a new leg, he stepped forward to help and contacted the Phuket Gazette for assistance in communicating with Ms Wilaiwan.

In Ms Gibson’s case, it was a disaster that motivated her to come to the aid of mini-crepe seller Prayoon Inpuang, someone she had never met.

Even though she wasn’t in Phuket, when she read that his sole source of income, his crepe cart, had been destroyed in a fire, she was moved to contact the Gazette to find a way to help him (story here).

A lot of people feel moved when they read stories such as Ms Wilaiwan’s and Mr Prayoon’s, but not many people take action. Mr Clarkson and Ms Gibson are excellent examples for all of us. If we reach out, if we take the time to make the effort, we can make a difference.

I’d also like to praise the Gazette for their role in making these good things happen. What they did reminds us that the media is one of the most important elements to building a better society. Sometimes they can even make dreams come true.

Without diminishing the kindness of the donors, I’d also like to remind everyone that the government has subsidies and services to provide for those who need them.

I was told that Ms Wilaiwan had already received one prosthetic leg and wasn’t aware that she was eligible for another one.

There are foundations and organizations to help all Thai people. I’d like to encourage anyone who might be in a similar position to seek out help with your local government office. If you fail to get the help you need there, come to us and we will connect you with the appropriate group.

There are also subsidies available for disabled people in Phuket. Those people who are eligible will receive a monthly allowance after they register with the government. It is not a lot of money, but we hope that it will help you when you need it.

If all other avenues fail, come to see me in person to tell me what trouble you are in. It is my job to make sure the government is taking care of you.

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

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Crime

Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft

Greeley Pulitzer

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Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Patong Police

Patong Police have yet to develop any tangible leads tracking down a foreigner who made off with US$30,000 in cash from a currency exchange booth in Kalim, north of Patong in Phuket, last Tuesday.

The man is about 168 centimetres tall with grey hair and around 60 years old, Patong police told The Phuket News.

“We have no clue what nationality he is.”

He was last seen at the currency exchange booth wearing a purple polo shirt, blue jeans and black cap. Police have checked hotels in the area, police stations across the island and Phuket Immigration, but have yet to join the dots and come up with firm leads.

“Investigators have checked CCTV in the area and collected what evidence we have but we still do not know the man’s name or where he was staying.”

The man had visited the booth several times before Tuesday, when he disappeared with the $30,000 in US banknotes, according to police.

“It was always small amounts”, he added, noting that the amounts didn’t warrant staff at the exchange booth to check the man’s passport before making the exchange.

The man arrived at the booth again at about 1pm on Tuesday, saying that he had 900,000 baht cash to exchange.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Crime

Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room

The Thaiger

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Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phuket Hot News

The security guard of a hotel in Nai Yang, northern Phuket, 52 year old Yingyot Butsabong, from Maha Sarakham province, was found dead yesterday (October 16) in his room. Police remain mystified how the man came to grief.

A woman named Supattra received a call from the hotel he worked at and was informed that he didn’t show up at work yesterday, so she went to his apartment to check on him.

She saw that his room was locked from the inside, so used the key she had in her possession to open the room and found Yingyot laying on the floor, face down. She thought he was just sleeping so she tried to wake him up but once she flipped him, she found that he already passed away.

She immediately called Saku police, and once on the scene, police found that there was some blood on the floor. The man had a 2 centimetre wound on his left eyebrow which was deep into his skull. There was also a wound on his chin about 1 centimetre long and about a centimetre deep. His left eye had a bruise which looked like he was attacked by a hard object.

Police report that he had been dead for around four hours in the room.

The room was not ransacked and there was no sign of fighting or theft. His body has been sent to Thalang Hospital for a detailed autopsy and to look into the cause of death.

SOURCE: Phuket Hot News

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People

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people

Nattha Thepbamrung

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‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | The Thaiger

On October 18, the ‘Always Smile Journey’ group and its partners will host an exhibition with plenty of fun activities at the Yak Yai Market, near Chalong Circle, in Phuket. This event was designed to raise funds to provide free English classes for underprivileged people on the island of Phuket on Saturdays and Sundays. The group does not accept donations but aims to raise money through the sales of the products available at the event.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

From 2 pm to 8 pm, there will be a number of artists, musicians and performers who will keep the attendees entertained along the way. There will be a short film about His Majesty King Rama 9 as well as fun activities and games for kids and families, which are all free of charge.

The big bike crew is also a part of this event. They will ride a parade from Rawai Beach heading to the market and showcase their gorgeous two-wheel buddies.

One of the highlights of the Always Smile Journey exhibition is the ‘Happening’ artists group, who will draw and paint a picture of the His Majesty King Rama 9 under the name ‘Street Art King Bhumibol’ on a 4×10 meter sign live at the event so the guests will experience this large-scale art in action. The Happening will also offer portrait sketching for the participants.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

One of the works created by the Happening team; a painting of HM the King Rama 9 on a huge wall (Photo credit: Chawat Chumpasan)

There will also be some western menus available at the event which will be donated to underprivileged children.

This free English class project has over seven years of experience through its cooperation working with individuals and other charity organizations. Throughout the years, the group visited several areas such as Ban Laem Hoy School, Ban Bopud School and Ban Angthong School in Samui, Surat Thani province, Ban Bueng Ao Oun School and Ban Kakoh Rayong, in Surin province, Jalae Village of Lahu (Muser) in Chiang Rai province, as well as community education centers in Siem Reap, Cambodia and in Luang Prabang, in Laos.

This event is a cooperation between several groups, including Happening, Yak Yai Market and Arrow Media, Tattoo artist group, Thonburi Art School Alumni, International School of Tourism, Suratthani Rajabhat University, big bike group from Phuket, artists/performers/musicians from many provinces as well as several businesses across Phuket.

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