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Phuket

Province requests B2.5bn for expo center

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Province requests B2.5bn for expo center | The Thaiger

PHUKET CITY: Phuket Province and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) have jointly requested 2.5 billion baht in funding from the central government for construction of the proposed International Convention and Exhibition Center (ICEC) at Saphan Hin – a site still seen by most island residents as inappropriate for such a project. Speaking after a planning seminar at the Royal Phuket City Hotel yesterday, Gov Udomsak Usawarangkura said the ICEC was just the first step in the Phuket Bay (Ao Phuket) Development Plan, a grandiose scheme that aims to transform the city’s muddy eastern shoreline into a high-tech “shopping paradise” featuring marinas, tourist attractions and even a duty-free zone. He admitted, however, that a plan to attract foreign investment though BOI privileges and Customs incentives was still only in the formative stages. A public referendum on where to site the ICEC was held just over a year ago. Of the 250 local government officials, leaders of business organizations and members of the public asked for their opinion, 226 people voted for a site near Tah Chat Chai, in the north of the island. Just 19 people voted for the Saphan Hin site. Among the criticisms of the chosen site: reclaiming land from the sea will be immensely expensive; the location will further exacerbate the worsening traffic situation in Phuket City; the area is a well-known hotbed of teenage gang activity; it is too distant from both the airport and the island’s best hotels; it is incompatible with regional tourism development plans. The decision was also seen by many as indicative of the central government’s failure to take local opinion into account in planning decisions. After making a show of seeking opinion from Phuket residents, the Thaksin government, when faced with the outcome, simply ignored it. At yesterday’s meeting, the Governor addressed some of the concerns of the local people, stating that locating the project at Saphan Hin would help ensure that the island’s tourism development was not focused entirely along the western beaches. He added that the 2.5-billion-baht budget, which has already been submitted to Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak, would be enough to cover the reclamation of approximately 400 rai of land from the sea as well as the cost of the 5,000-seat ICEC “and other expenses”. The budget proposal will now be considered by the Cabinet, he added. Gov Udomsak said the government would provide initial funding for the development but wanted the private sector to become involved and would welcome any proposals. He specified the yachting, retail and healthcare industries as examples of those that could benefit the province. Former Phuket Provincial Administration Organization President Dr Prasit Koeysiripong, also at the seminar, said he supported the ICEC plan, and went on to note that Phuket would benefit from establishment of a duty-free zone similar to the one in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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Crime

Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft

Greeley Pulitzer

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Now you see him, now you don’t… Patong Police hunt foreigner over $30k theft | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Patong Police

Patong Police have yet to develop any tangible leads tracking down a foreigner who made off with US$30,000 in cash from a currency exchange booth in Kalim, north of Patong in Phuket, last Tuesday.

The man is about 168 centimetres tall with grey hair and around 60 years old, Patong police told The Phuket News.

“We have no clue what nationality he is.”

He was last seen at the currency exchange booth wearing a purple polo shirt, blue jeans and black cap. Police have checked hotels in the area, police stations across the island and Phuket Immigration, but have yet to join the dots and come up with firm leads.

“Investigators have checked CCTV in the area and collected what evidence we have but we still do not know the man’s name or where he was staying.”

The man had visited the booth several times before Tuesday, when he disappeared with the $30,000 in US banknotes, according to police.

“It was always small amounts”, he added, noting that the amounts didn’t warrant staff at the exchange booth to check the man’s passport before making the exchange.

The man arrived at the booth again at about 1pm on Tuesday, saying that he had 900,000 baht cash to exchange.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Crime

Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room

The Thaiger

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Mystery surrounds security guard found dead in his Phuket room | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Phuket Hot News

The security guard of a hotel in Nai Yang, northern Phuket, 52 year old Yingyot Butsabong, from Maha Sarakham province, was found dead yesterday (October 16) in his room. Police remain mystified how the man came to grief.

A woman named Supattra received a call from the hotel he worked at and was informed that he didn’t show up at work yesterday, so she went to his apartment to check on him.

She saw that his room was locked from the inside, so used the key she had in her possession to open the room and found Yingyot laying on the floor, face down. She thought he was just sleeping so she tried to wake him up but once she flipped him, she found that he already passed away.

She immediately called Saku police, and once on the scene, police found that there was some blood on the floor. The man had a 2 centimetre wound on his left eyebrow which was deep into his skull. There was also a wound on his chin about 1 centimetre long and about a centimetre deep. His left eye had a bruise which looked like he was attacked by a hard object.

Police report that he had been dead for around four hours in the room.

The room was not ransacked and there was no sign of fighting or theft. His body has been sent to Thalang Hospital for a detailed autopsy and to look into the cause of death.

SOURCE: Phuket Hot News

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People

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people

Nattha Thepbamrung

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‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | The Thaiger

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.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

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.

‘Always Smile Journey’ raises fund to provide free English classes for underprivileged people | News by The Thaiger

One of the works created by the Happening team; a painting of HM the King Rama 9 on a huge wall (Photo credit: Chawat Chumpasan)

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.

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