PATONG: The Ministry of Interior is looking at the enforcement of the 2 am closing law and may decide to make an exception for Patong, allowing bars and other entertainment venues in the town to stay open later. The announcement of the possible reprieve was made today by the Governor of Phuket, Pongpayome Vasaputi. He stressed that the clampdown on opening hours was part of a nationwide drive to stamp out drug abuse, and that the decision to exempt Patong was one that the Ministry alone could make. The reasoning behind the possible change of policy, he explained, was that Patong is a tourist center, and most of the people who go to entertainment venues there are foreigners, not Thais. He added that owners of entertainment venues in Phuket Town and other parts of the island need not feel disheartened, as there is a possibility that entertainment venues on some streets outside Patong may also be exempted from the 2 am rule.
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