Pracha unmoved by Patong pleas

PHUKET: Venues in entertainment zones in Phuket must close at 1 am, tourist destination or no tourist destination, Deputy Minister of the Interior Pracha Maleenont has declared.

The deputy minister was responding to a request from the Patong Entertainment Business Association (PEBA) to be allowed to stay open until 2 am.

Speaking yesterday to Thai Rak Thai parliamentary candidates Sriyada Palimapan and Wisut Santikul, K. Pracha pointed out that the law defines 1 am as a suitable closing time, and added that he agrees with the law.

He said, “Many entertainment venues are still breaking the law by allowing people under 18 to enter, and some places still have problems with drugs.

“When I launched this policy I intended it to run for 32 months, but entertainment venues are still breaking the law, exploiting the shortage of government officers to check what they are doing.”

K. Pracha conceded that Phuket is a tourist destination, but so, he said, were Chiang Mai, Haad Yai and Pattaya – and all these places must obey the law that entertainment venues close at 1 am.

“The law covers all provinces. No province is exempt,” he said.

However, he did say Patong entertainment business operators could present their request for longer opening hours to Governor Udomsak Usawarangkura, who could pass it on to the Ministry of Interior for consideration.

“But the request must be supported by the local community,” he stressed. “Before they approach the Governor, the business people must have a meeting at which the wishes of the local people can be heard.”

Phuket News

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