Shark staff petition in vain
PHUKET TOWN: 131 staff members of Patong’s Shark Club, ordered closed yesterday by Phuket Governor CEO Pongpayome Vasaputi, assembled at the Provincial Hall this afternoon to demand that he reopen the club. They were unable to meet with the governor, who was in Bangkok today, and instead presented their petition to Vice Governor Manit Wattanasen. Three representatives – Pathamapan Rattanapan, the club’s administrative officer, Sayan Ongwimonkarn, the head of engineering, and disk jockey Nopadol Saksook – told V/Gov Manit that they were extremely upset at being so abruptly out of work. V/Gov Manit explained the reasons Shark had been ordered closed: irregularities in its operating license, and staging immoral and shameful entertainment, which had “a negative effect on the image of Thai women and damaged Thai culture”. He also said, “We have had many reports from many people about the Shark Club and have been preparing to deal with these complaints for a long time. “I should like to thank the newspaper reporters who gave the pictures to the Governor, and who published them. It made it easier for us to do our work. And we are so lucky to have an Interior Minister like K. Purachai [Piemsomboon].” K. Nopadol replied, “When the club was closed, we were all immediately out of work. We are in trouble financially – our families and children too. “We didn’t come here today to help the owners of Shark. We understand that some of the things they did were not right, but that’s not the fault of the staff. We just need the government to acknowledge our troubles.” The Vice Governor answered, “Before we decided to close the club, we did give considerable thought to the problems of the staff. “But what else could we do? [What was shown in the pictures] was very wrong and very ugly. I’m an administrator of this province, and I felt embarrassed and upset. The troubles of 131 people are far outweighed by the reputation of Thailand, which is worth more than any money.”
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