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OrBorJor election set for March 14

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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OrBorJor election set for March 14 | The Thaiger

PHUKET TOWN: March 14 has been set as the date of Phuket’s much-anticipated Provincial Administration Organization (OrBorJor) elections. The announcement came this morning from the Phuket Election Commission (PEC) just one day after the expiry of the previous OrBorJor administration, which was led by president Dr Prasit Koeysiripong. The poll has drawn national attention since Democrat Party party-list MP Anchalee Vanich-Thepabutr resigned her seat in parliament to run for the OrBorJor presidency. She will be up against two candidates – Samroeng Chaisorn of the government-backed OrBorJor Gao Mai TRT (“New Step TRT”) party and Wisut Santikun of the OrBorJor Gao Mai Khonbaanrao (“New Step Our People”) party. Making the announcement at the OrBorJor offices was Phuket Town District Chief Veerawat Chanpen, who has been appointed to head a five-man provincial election oversight committee. He explained that, from February 9 to 13, the PEC will register candidates both for the presidency and regular seats at tables set up in front of the OrBorJor building. For provincial politics, Phuket is divided into 24 precincts, each electing one councillor. A total of 277 polling stations will be set up. Though estimates of the island’s total population have been put as high as 400,000 people, only 218,595 of these are eligible to vote because few people who have migrated to Phuket from other provinces are listed on local house registration papers. Voters will cast two votes, one for the presidential candidate of their choice and another for a candidate running in their precinct. Regular OrBorJor candidates are limited to spending 200,000 baht apiece on their campaigns, but candidates for President may each spend up to 1.5 million baht. K. Veerawat seemed resigned to the fact that campaigning would be fierce. “It’s normal for candidates to compete hard in an election,” he said. But he warned candidates not to break the rules, noting, “Nobody is above the law.” He added that he needed more volunteers for the seven-member local election committees in each precinct. One of the main tasks of these committees is to eliminate vote-buying, traditionally performed by party organizers who “rent” ID cards from people for an agreed amount and then use them to cast votes for their candidate. Aware that the round of elections will likely be more heated than anything Phuket has seen now that national party politics are involved, K Veerawat told the Gazette, “We are also responsible for security at polling stations and we are coordinating our efforts with both the Navy and local police units.” Phuket OrBorJor will spend two million baht to publicize the election and encourage voter turnout.

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Business

Official complaint filed with the DSI over The Peaks Residences Condominium in Phuket

The Thaiger

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Official complaint filed with the DSI over The Peaks Residences Condominium in Phuket | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Inspections at the property in March this year – Kritsada Mueanhawong

Bangkok MP Sira Jenjaka has gone ahead and filed a long list of formal complaints over The Peaks Residences Condominium project being built in the hills above Kata Noi in Phuket.

The Palang Pracharat MP has also claimed to have had death threats made against him over his investigations and accusations over the condo’s land titles and ownership in recent weeks.

The MP filed an official complaint with the Department of Special Investigation chief in Bangkok this morning.

The complaint alleges that the Karon Mayor Tawee Thongcham and the municipality “neglected their duties” by issuing permits to Kata Beach Co Ltd, the developer of the The Peaks Residences Condominium.

In February this year the Karon OrBorTor issued a construction permit for the project but in April municipal officials also sent a letter acknowledging the ongoing legal proceedings over the legitimacy of the land title, the NorSor 3 Kor Number 1863.

The complaint alleges that the project is being built on land with a NorSor 3 Kor No. 1863 land title. The complainants allege that the legal land document would have had to have been presented to obtain building permits and construction to proceed. But they claim that, as the NorSor 3 Kor for that land was under consideration by the Administrative Court, a legal building permit could not be issued.

In August 2017, the Regional Administrative Court ruled that the NorSor 3 Kor No. 1863 land title was invalid. Furthermore it determined that the land was “protected forest land”.

The DSI formally received the complaint documents this morning.

Meanwhile, the developer of The Peaks Residences Condominium, Manassanan Nararattanawee, the CEO of Kata Beach Co Ltd, maintains that the project’s paperwork is all “proper’ and that “everything is under the law”.

“Our company has already suspended construction to wait for the judgment of the Supreme Administrative Court.”

Officials from the Internal Security Operations Command inspected the property in March this year as the owners promised to ‘slow down’ construction. Read that story HERE.

Official complaint filed with the DSI over The Peaks Residences Condominium in Phuket | News by The Thaiger

Official complaint filed with the DSI over The Peaks Residences Condominium in Phuket | News by The Thaiger

PHOTO: Department of Special Investigations

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Environment

Phuket marine vets report on the progress of dugong calf ‘Yamil’

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Phuket marine vets report on the progress of dugong calf ‘Yamil’ | The Thaiger

PHOTO: The Nation

A veterinary team at the Phuket Marine Biological Centre has removed the remaining partially-digested sea grass from the 3 month old dugong calf Yamil’s stomach to prevent complications from possible infection.

The calf still suffers from excess stomach and intestinal gas, abnormal heart rhythms and occasional seizures.

X-ray results showed liquid food is still passing through Yamil’s digestive track, so veterinarians were removing the remaining sea grass from its stomach and would provide the marine mammal with liquid nutrients and minerals, as well as painkillers and antibiotics. Veterinarians say they are keeping a close watch on the young dugong.

The male baby dugong was found washed ashore on Krabi’s Bo Muang Beach on July 1 with abrasions on more than 50% of its body. It is currently in the care of the Phuket Marine Biological Centre until it is old enough and strong enough to be returned to the sea.

SOURCE: The Nation

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Environment

Phuket’s water bosses claim there will be enough water

The Thaiger

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Phuket’s water bosses claim there will be enough water | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Bang Neow Dam in Thalang, just a few muddy ponds

Well into the second half of the Phuket wet season and the three main dams are well below capacity, Bang Wad Dam just over 13% capacity and the Bang Neow Dam in Thalang district around 5%, mostly unusable muddy ponds. The newer Khlong Katha in Chalong is at a much higher level, about 30% of capacity.

But this time of the year the three dams need to be well on their way to full capacity if the island is to get through the high tourists season and dry season without a repeat of last year’s muddle where provincial obfuscation and confusion put the health of thousands of residents at risk by cutting off their water supply and water trucks became more populous than passenger vans.

The lack of water also co-incides with increased development and more tourists arriving each year.

Now the Director of the Phuket Provincial Irrigation Office, Somsawat Chaisinsod, is calling for province administrators and the Phuket Provincial Waterworks Authority to begin water saving campaigns as the annual heavy rains in October may not arrive or be less frequent. The suggestion of water ‘restrictions’ was not mentioned in the meeting.

At a meeting attended by Phuket’s Governor Phakaphong Tavipatana, Mr. Somsawat claimed that the island’s annual rainfall, for the first seven months of 2019, has only been 10% less than average.

But the dams are a LOT more than 10% lower in capacity. In the case of the Bang Neow Dam in Srisoontorn, it’s virtually empty.

A representative from the PWA said that the Authority is currently buying 45,000 cubic metres of water per day from undisclosed “private sources” to top up the island’s potable water needs.

“The PWA is in the process of securing water supply from a new supplier to improve the water supply and reduce the volume of water drawn from the dams.”

Meanwhile Prapan Kanprasang, chief of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation in Phuket, told The Phuket News he “believes Phuket has enough water to the island through the next dry season, after the annual rains cease early November”.

“We have enough water to use.”

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