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Pa Khlok man named Phuket’s ‘Outstanding Citizen’

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PA KHLOK, PHUKET: A 47-year-old Muslim man with no education past high school has won top honors for Phuket in a nationwide search for the most outstanding citizen in each Thai province.

Jeerasak Torthip was named an ‘Outstanding Citizen’ for his work in securing a simple, sustainable way of life for the people of Bang Rong Village, a coastal community of about 1,000 Muslims in tambon Pa Khlok.

Mr Jeerasak was awarded the honor through a project called Thaen Khun Paen Din (‘Showing Gratitude to the Country’) 2552, run by The Nation Group together with the Social Development and Human Security Ministry.

He was credited for his devotion over the past decade to restoring and protecting the natural environment in Bang Rong and ensuring the community sticks to a traditional, Islamic way of life.

Mr Jeerasak said he encourages his neighbors to resist the temptations of materialism, stressing the importance of mangrove forests to their way of life.

“In the past, the people of Bang Rong earned a living through rubber tapping, sea fishing and farming fish in mangrove forests,” he said. “Eighty percent of village people use mangroves as a source of food. Besides that the mangroves played a role as a barrier to the 2004 tsunami.”

Materialism destroyed this traditional lifestyle, he said.

“Villagers sold their land to property developers in exchange for money to buy cars and live lavishly,” he said.

When the mangrove forests started being destroyed it became harder and harder for villagers to make a living, he said.

“Then we became aware of the mangrove’s importance and realized it was time to start recovering these treasures and our old way of life,” he said.

He uses his position as a leader at Bang Rong Mosque to instill the community with Islam-based beliefs about conserving nature.

In 2002, Mr Jeerasak and other mosque leaders created a project called ‘Bang Rong Agrotourism’.

The project is based at Bang Rong pier, which is surrounded by over 2,000 rai of mangrove forest.

Tourists can hire canoes and boats to explore the forests, take a bicycle tour of the village or go trekking.

“We use tourism activities as a tool to manage community resources on both land and in the sea, through a process of informal learning,” he said.

“The villagers are offered an opportunity to remain in the community rather than seek work elsewhere. They also learn to value their own resources.”

Around 50 tourists visit the Bang Rong mangroves every day, he said.

Fish raised in floating baskets in the mangrove forests are caught by local fisherman then sold to tourists at the Krua Chumchon Bang Rong (Bang Rong Community Kitchen) restaurant.

“All the guides for tourism activities are people from the community. Everything runs in a cycle,” he said.

Mr Jeerasak’s community projects don’t stop at agrotourism, however.

The mosque committee started a savings fund with 30 villagers back in 1997.

The fund now has more than 700 members with almost 30 million baht in savings, Mr Jeerasak said.

“With this fund, we’ve bought back many plots of land from investors and given scholarships to poor but smart students so they can get a university education,” he said.

Mr Jeersak talked of his feelings on receiving the ‘Outstanding Citizen’ honor.

“I never expected to receive it,” he said. “Everything I’ve done is for my neighbors, and because of my love for the land and – especially – my love for His Majesty the King.”

He would put his award on public view at Bang Rong Mosque, he said.

“Because without the contribution of Bang Rong residents, we could never have won this honor,” he said.

— Pimwara Choksakulpan

 

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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

Thailand News Today | Pfizer vaccines on the way, Phuket’s July re-opening | May 7

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Disease Control Department back-peddled saying that that foreigners living in Thailand WILL also be vaccinated, governor of Chiang Mai is calling for the ban on dining in at restaurants in the northern city to be lifted and for eateries to be allowed to serve food on-site until 9pm, Tourism and Sports Minister insists the southern island of Phuket must record zero Covid-19 cases if a planned July re-opening is to go ahead, and 150 million baht worth of methamphetamine pills were impounded in Nakhon Phanom yesterday

 

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We’re looking for a Video Editor/Production Assistant in Phuket

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The Thaiger is seeking a full time video editor and production assistant for a new project based in Phuket. The role is open to a Thai national but with great English skills as well. You will need to be able to work to deadlines with a crazy bunch of stressed out news hosts, guests and the rest of The Thaiger team.

You’ll also need a general knowledge of the Thai news cycle as the content will be largely centred around daily news and current affairs. Knowledge of social media, and especially YouTube, will be an advantage.

Prior work in the TV or video production industry would be a requirement; we couldn’t care less about your educational qualifications. The role would be Monday to Friday.

The work hours would be earlier in the day, probably starting around 7am. There may be some occasional travel to Bangkok involved as well. Salary would be between 30-40,000 baht per month, depending on experience with opportunities for bonuses. The initial contract would be for 3 months, renewable.

If you are interested, or know someone who could fit the job, send an email to THAIGER EDITOR at info@thethaiger.com

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket red zone list adds Krabi, Trang, Ranong, Phatthalung

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: The Phuket checkpoint now lists 25 provinces as a red zone.

Visitors to Phuket from Krabi, Trang, Ranong, and Phatthalung will now have to prove they’re vaccinated or have a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of arrival, as they’ve been added to the red zone province list. People entering without those qualifications will have to take a rapid antigen test on the spot before being allowed into Phuket.

The 4 provinces join a group of 21 other provinces already on the Phuket red zone list requiring strict measures to enter. That list even includes Phuket itself, as people do exit the province have to prove a negative test or vaccination before being allowed to re-enter.

Phuket’s vice governor made the announcement yesterday after the governor signed the order and put it into effect until at least May 15th. That same order requires all trucks transporting goods to travel from 11 pm to 5 am, the nighttime hours that other people are not allowed to enter the island. Phuket recently closed its entry checkpoints from late night to early morning after reports of exhaustion from the health officials working to test everyone or verify their credentials.

Delivery drivers will also have to pass the same requirements as red zone province arrivals before entering Phuket. Any driver who does not have a negative test within 72 hours or proof that they’ve received both doses of a vaccine approved by Thailand’s Food and Drug Administration, will be forced to wait until the regular checkpoint opens at 5 am to receive a rapid antigen test.

Over 40,000 people from red zones have now been tested at the checkpoint to enter Phuket. In the first week of the requirement which began on April 22, health officials tested more than 22,000 people, overwhelming staff and prompting the government to close the entrance from 11 pm to 5 am to give checkpoint workers a break.

The 25 provinces currently classified as a red zone for entering Phuket are as follows:

Bangkok Nakhon Pathom Pathum Thani Rayong Suphan Buri
Chiang Mai Nakhon Ratchasima Phatthalung Sa Kaeo Surat Thani
Chonburi Nakhon Sri Thammarat Phuket Samut Prakan Tak
Khon Kaen Narathiwat Prachuap Khiri Khan Samut Sakhon Trang
Krabi Nonthaburi Ranong Songkhla Udon Thani

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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