Patong delegation upbeat after talks

PATONG: The entertainment industry in Patong is keeping its collective fingers crossed that Interior Minister Bhokin Bhalakula will be sympathetic to its plight after the recent imposition of earlier closing times.

A three-man delegation from Patong emerged in optimistic mood from a meeting this afternoon in Bangkok with Pichet Sathirachawal, The ruling Thai Rak Thai party’s Chairman of Candidate Selection for the Andaman region.

The delegation consisted of Patong Mayor Pian Keesin, Patong Entertainment Business Association (PEBA) President Sompetch Moosophon and Tiger Complex operator Piya Issaramalai.

K. Sompetch told the Gazette that K. Pichet had promised to discuss Patong’s pleas with the Minister as a matter of urgency.

He added, “We are coming back to Phuket now to await the results of discussions, which we expect in the coming few days.”

Before going into the meeting, K. Sompetch said that he hoped the green light would be given for a closing time of 4 am, adding that he believes that “political game-playing” ahead of next February’s general election is the real reason behind the government’s Better Social Order policy.

He also called for the government to take the issue of zoning seriously and to make sure that “good” police officers – those who would do their job in strict accordance with the law – are given the task of patroling the entertainment areas.

“The government are punishing us, the businesspeople and the entertainment staff of Patong, rather than dealing effectively with those whose job it is to police the industry,” K. Sompetch said.

“Tourists are choosing Pattaya – where they can party all night – in place of Phuket,” he added.

Phuket News

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