PHUKET: The Royal Thai Police force is fighting off a barrage of slurs to its reputation to the extent that even the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has recognized the problem as its top “Health & Safety” concern for tourists (here).
The recognition comes amid headlines of the ongoing corruption investigation centered on former Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) chief Pongpat Chayapan, who was found with cash and valuables from unexplained sources to the tune of 2 billion baht (story here).
That scandal came hot on the heels of allegations of police brutality in the Koh Tao murder investigation (story here) and widespread claims on Thai social media of a cover-up by police to protect a local government official’s family (story here).
The allegations of a cover-up were debunked by the suspect publicly taking a DNA test (story here), but the reaction online plainly highlighted how many Thais didn’t trust the investigation.
Here at home, Phuket Immigration has yet to answer claims of money being extorted from foreigners at the Patong office (story here).
Meanwhile, the Public-sector Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) has yet to reveal its findings in a case focusing on allegations of Chalong Police officers extorting money from dive industry operators (story here).
However, Governor Nisit Jansomwong is fighting back against such lack of transparency with his requested investigations into allegedly corrupt police.
Gov Nisit called for an investigation into the Cherng Talay Police and their superior officers for their alleged abuse of martial law during a raid on a family house in Srisoonthorn earlier this month (story here).
Joining him in the fight for transparency is Phuket City Police Superintendent Sermphan Sirikong, who ordered an investigation into alleged police brutality at a night checkpoint in Phuket Town (story here).
Yet the incessant string of “incidents” and “misunderstandings” have done little to improve the image of the Royal Thai Police. So, the Phuket Gazette asks its readers, just as the TAT has: “Do you trust the Thai police?”
Answers available in the poll are:
1) Yes, absolutely
2) Yes, most Thai police can be trusted
3) It depends; some Thai police can be trusted, but not all
4) No, most Thai police cannot be trusted
5) Not at all, I don’t trust any Thai police officers
To have your say in this poll, vote at right.
If your preferred option is not listed, feel free to enter it in the comments section below, and we’ll make sure it’s counted.
If you have already voted and want to check the latest results, click here.
To view the results of our previous poll, asking “Should jet-ski operators be allowed to operate on Phuket’s beaches?”, click here.
Have an idea for a poll? Contact us with your suggestions at email@example.com
‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people
On October 18, the ‘Always Smile Journey’ group and its partners will host an exhibition with plenty of fun activities at the Yak Yai Market, near Chalong Circle, in Phuket. This event was designed to raise funds to provide free English classes for underprivileged people on the island of Phuket on Saturdays and Sundays. The group does not accept donations but aims to raise money through the sales of the products available at the event.
From 2 pm to 8 pm, there will be a number of artists, musicians and performers who will keep the attendees entertained along the way. There will be a short film about His Majesty King Rama 9 as well as fun activities and games for kids and families, which are all free of charge.
The big bike crew is also a part of this event. They will ride a parade from Rawai Beach heading to the market and showcase their gorgeous two-wheel buddies.
One of the highlights of the Always Smile Journey exhibition is the ‘Happening’ artists group, who will draw and paint a picture of the His Majesty King Rama 9 under the name ‘Street Art King Bhumibol’ on a 4×10 meter sign live at the event so the guests will experience this large-scale art in action. The Happening will also offer portrait sketching for the participants.
There will also be some western menus available at the event which will be donated to underprivileged children.
This free English class project has over seven years of experience through its cooperation working with individuals and other charity organizations. Throughout the years, the group visited several areas such as Ban Laem Hoy School, Ban Bopud School and Ban Angthong School in Samui, Surat Thani province, Ban Bueng Ao Oun School and Ban Kakoh Rayong, in Surin province, Jalae Village of Lahu (Muser) in Chiang Rai province, as well as community education centers in Siem Reap, Cambodia and in Luang Prabang, in Laos.
This event is a cooperation between several groups, including Happening, Yak Yai Market and Arrow Media, Tattoo artist group, Thonburi Art School Alumni, International School of Tourism, Suratthani Rajabhat University, big bike group from Phuket, artists/performers/musicians from many provinces as well as several businesses across Phuket.
The world’s fastest growing tourist destinations
PHOTO: Hello Phuket – destined for huge tourist growth in the next six years – fodors.com
In 2018, international tourist arrival traffic grew by 6% to reach a total of 1.4 billion world tourists, according to research by UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. And there’s a lot more to come with international travel predicted to increase by a massive 35% over the next six years to 2025.
But where is all that extra traffic going to go? Which destinations are quiet now that might be swarming with tourists in the years to come? Two destinations in Thailand are set for a prosperous future, according to the data. Whilst almost all the growth is excepted to be to Asian destinations, an under-visited resource for world tourism so far.
Euromonitor data has been used to simulate tourist growth models and reveal the fastest growing projected visitor arrivals in major cities and destinations around the world for 2025, compared to arrival figures in 2018.
In Thailand, Phuket’s tourist traffic is poised to increase up to 85% in the next six years, from nearly 12 million arrivals in 2018 to over 22 million in 2025. Bangkok is predicted to see the 8th most prolific rise in tourist traffic, with arrivals in Bangkok set to swell an additional 68% during the same period. Doha, the capital of Qatar, is set to explode with 104% increase in traffic over the next six years.
The data also predicts that both Bangkok and Phuket will rebound big time in 2020, Phuket in particular with a growth of around 20% for the next year, accord to the data from TravelSupermarket.com.
By 2025 the data predicts that Bangkok will be the world’s #1 tourist destination, a position it’s held before in recent years. The Thai capital will be followed by Singapore, Dubai, Phuket and Kuala Lumpur, making South East Asia the world’s emerging tourism hotspot.
Some of the world’s favourites – New York, Paris, London – will continue to grow their tourist numbers but not at the rate of most Asian destinations.
You can read the full list HERE.
Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com
Stats compiled by travelsupermarket.com
Rawai beachfront water shut-off tomorrow for mains works
The Phuket Provincial Waterworks Authority says Rawai’s mains water supply will be shut off tomorrow (Tuesday, October 15) as new water pipes are fitted in front of The Title Beach Front condo resort complex on the town’s beachfront.
The mains water supply will be shut off from 9am until 4:30pm along the beachfront strip.
The PWA says the areas affected will be along Wiset Road along the Rawai beachfront road, as well as Soi Yanui and Soi Ruafaed.
Residents and businesses are being urged to collect water for use during the day today, before tomorrow morning’s shut-off.
As usual, the PWA say…“We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
Contact the Phuket Provincial Waterworks Authority on 076 319173 or 082 7901634 for more details.
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