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MP tells how she lobbied Thaksin over bar problem

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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MP tells how she lobbied Thaksin over bar problem | The Thaiger
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BANGKOK: Chalermlak Kebsab, Phuket’s Member of Parliament for Region 2, which includes Patong, was a busy woman yesterday morning, trying to persuade the government in Bangkok to relax the crackdown on bar closing times in Phuket’s entertainment capital. Her first port of call was a meeting of the Democrat Party, at which she sat with Pol Lt Gen Wannarat Kosharat, former Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, and now a Democrat party-list MP. “I told him about the problem and asked him how the previous government had handled similar problems – he had been involved in this sort of situation when he was in the police. I pointed out that, in the past, tourism provinces had always received special dispensation but that, this time, they had not,” Chalermlak said. She said that Gen Wannarat had made suggestions about how to solve the problem and had asked for the telephone number of the Chief of the Kathu Police, Pol Col Paween Pongsirin. Next, K. Chalermlak tried to get an appointment to see the Minister of Interior, Polachai Piemsomboon, but he was too busy to see her. So, using her initiative, she managed to pin down Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra in Parliament. She informed him, she said, about the protests against the crackdown, and about how the protests were backed by businesses owners and local politicians, all urging the government to allow bars to remain open until 4 am. “He told me it was his policy to keep minors out of bars. I told him I agreed with that, but I pointed out that Patong is different from other parts of Thailand, because our market is mainly tourists. I urged him to be flexible,” K. Chalermlak told the Gazette. “I told the Prime Minister that I had heard that the bar owners had decided to suspend business in Patong on Wednesday, and I was worried that the situation would result in economic damage, not only to the bar owners, but also to the country,” Chalermlak added. She told him she didn’t want to wait until Parliament passed new legislation providing for zoning of entertainment areas, because this would take a long time. “I felt that the crackdown should be relaxed until the new law came into force,” she added. “He said he would discuss this point with [Polachai]. I don’t know what he said to the minister but, in the event, the closing hours have been relaxed. I didn’t put any pressure on anyone to help; I told them that if they wanted to check the truth of what I was saying, they could always do so. “I don’t know if it was I that solved the problem; maybe the Prime Minister already knew about it,” K. Chalermlak added modestly.

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

Phuket

Police say Phuket school won’t be charged for employing foreign teachers without a work permit

Caitlin Ashworth

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Police say Phuket school won’t be charged for employing foreign teachers without a work permit | The Thaiger
FILE PHOTO

An international school in Phuket is not facing charges for employing foreign teachers without a work permit, police told the Phuket News. Back in November, 2 British nationals were arrested at the Palm House International School in Rawai in a raid by Phuket Immigration officers, acting on a tip that teachers were working at the school without a work permit.

The case was handed over to the Chalong Police. The department was also requested to investigate the school for suspected illegal hiring practices. When pressed by Phuket News reporters, the Chalong Police Chief Sarawut Chuprasit said the school officials are not facing any charges for employing the teachers illegally, without a work permit, and referred reporters to the provincial prosecutor.

“I have no reason to press any charge against the school at all. It is not right to accuse the school.”

Many schools in Thailand, especially international schools, obtain work permits for foreign teachers and even pay the fees. It’s also fairly common for foreign teachers to work without the proper documents, especially during the pandemic where travel restrictions make border runs nearly impossible.

Phuket News say police will not release the names of the 2 British teachers and will not give any additional information. They add that the provincial prosecutor’s office will also not release information without a police case number or suspects’ names. In a previous report, Phuket Immigration Deputy Chief also declined to identify the British nationals by name or age.

“Their visa status does not allow them to work or perform any form of business. They were arrested as they are suspected of working without a work permit.”

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Phuket

Phuket health chief urges “red zone” travellers to abide by quarantine measures

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket health chief urges “red zone” travellers to abide by quarantine measures | The Thaiger
PHOTO: National News Bureau of Thailand

With Phuket’s new disease control measures requiring those travelling from high risk areas to quarantine, the province’s public health chief is now saying those at alternative state quarantine hotels won’t be locked up in their rooms throughout their 14 day stay in isolation. He says guests can wander through certain areas of the hotel to have meals and do other activities.

Those travelling from “red zone” provinces are required to self-quarantine at a hotel or at their home for 14 days. People from areas classified as the “highest risk,” including Samut Sakhon, Chonburi, Rayong, Chanthaburi and Trat, must quarantine and undergo a Covid-19 swab test.

The public health chief Thanit Sermkaew says there will be harsh penalties for anyone who violates the new measures and urges travellers to stay at their quarantine location, home or hotel, for 14 days. People who violate the order can be punished under the Disease Control Act, either under Section 51, which carries a fine up to 20,000 baht, or under Section 52, which carries up to a year in jail and a fine up to 100,000 baht.

“It would be great if visitors from the ‘red zone’ areas stay in their hotels, so we are asking for their cooperation. They do not need to stay only in their room. They are able to do activities within the hotel, such as having meals, swimming, yoga and other activities… Please do not go outside the hotel. That would be a good preventative measure in Phuket province.”

Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panaphong says hotels should “request” that their guests stay inside the hotel.

“Phuket officials have asked for the cooperation from operators to record the travel moments of guests before they arrived at the hotel and to request that their guests stay within the hotel area only, not to go outside of the hotel area.”

People who completed quarantine in Bangkok and tested negative for Covid-19 do not need to quarantine in Phuket as long as they travel directly to the island immediately after being released.

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Phuket

Screening measures to enter Phuket, travellers from “red zone” provinces to self-quarantine

Caitlin Ashworth

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Screening measures to enter Phuket, travellers from “red zone” provinces to self-quarantine | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Siangtai

Phuket authorities have announced screening measures for those entering the island province, which includes requiring those travelling from 20 “red zone” provinces to self-quarantine for 14 days. Those travelling from “hotspot” and “high risk” areas are required to do a swab test. While measures were put into effect over the weekend, some people say nothing has changed.

The “required” self-quarantine, which is apparently monitored by the Mor Chana tracking app, might be more of a guideline than a requirement. Arrivees on flights from Bangkok to Phuket Sunday morning, just 24 hours after the new screening measures were imposed, were not required to self-quarantine.

The minimum required for all individuals travelling to Phuket is to 1) download the “Mor Chana” app on their smartphones and display them when the officer calls for inspection, and 2) register online through the website www.gophuget.com to inform officials of the travel details to Phuket.

Screening measures to enter Phuket, travellers from

Screening measures to enter Phuket, travellers fromScreening measures to enter Phuket, travellers from

Screening measures to enter Phuket, travellers from

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