Connect with us

Phuket

Yingluck’s Cabinet called on to answer Phuket ICEC debacle

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

PHUKET: Phuket MP Anchalee Vanich Thepabutra yesterday stood in Parliament and called for the government to answer why the 2.6-billion-baht project to build a Phuket International Convention and Exhibition Center (ICEC) was cancelled.

The news of the cancellation was never announced by the government, prompting Ms Anchalee to break the news through her Facebook page last week.

Despite being lobbied to review the decision as she entered the mobile Cabinet meeting on Koh Samui last Sunday, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has remained silent on the issue.

Yesterday, MP Anchalee formalized the calls for the government to answer why the project was cancelled, by posing the question in Parliament.

She also asked the Cabinet to clarify exactly where the 2.6bn baht for the project, provided through a World Bank developmental loan, had gone.

Branding the Cabinet “narrow-minded”, Ms Anchalee explained that the funds for the project were secured through the Thai Khem Kaeng (“Strong Thailand”) fiscal stimulus program rolled out by the Democrat government under former PM Abhisit Vejjajiva.

“Former PM Abhisit devised a plan under which Bangkok would become the hub for Asean tourists and Phuket the gateway for international tourists, with 2.6bn baht allocated to building a Phuket ICEC and 2.3bn baht to building the Chiang Mai ICEC,” Ms Anchalee explained.

“At that time, people asked PM Abhisit to re-allocate the 2.3bn baht dedicated for the Chiang Mai ICEC to other projects, but he didn’t because he believed the ICEC would be a very good opportunity for the people of Chiang Mai to boost their income generated through tourism.

“Today, the Chiang Mai ICEC is a reality and ready to open,” she said.

Ms Anchalee argued that the 2.6bn baht dedicated for the Phuket ICEC did not affect the current budget as the funds were allocated years ago

“The Phuket ICEC was planned to open by 2015, in time for the AEC [Asean Economic Community].

“Also, the 5.7bn baht budget to expand Phuket International Airport, a project that is now underway, was approved with the understanding that the Phuket ICEC would be built,” she added.

Phuket generates about 180bn baht a year through tourism, second only to Bangkok, which generates about 400bn baht a year, Ms Anchalee pointed out.

“People all along the Andaman seaboard expect a lot from this project, that [the Phuket ICEC] will boost income generated through tourism. It is a project that is worth every single baht in investment.

“People are now saying that the government has ‘robbed’ them of the project. They want to know why the project was cancelled. They want an answer,” she said.

Prime Minister’s Office Minister Worawat Ua-apinyakul responded with the repeated explanation that the project had failed to pass its Environmental Impact Assessment [EIA] requirements.

“The Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning [ONEP] has not approved the project because there was a problem with the EIA. They believed that the site where the ICEC was proposed to be built upon is a beach where turtles lay their eggs and as the last remaining ‘pristine’ mangrove forest in Phuket – that it should be a protected area,”he said.

Mr Worawat in turn blamed former PM Abhisit for his government failing to provide an EIA that passed ONEP requirements

Mr Abhisit responded, “That is simply not true. Every project has its processes and every project has its problems – The current government under the Pheu Thai Party has been running the country for more than a year, but the government has done nothing about the Phuket ICEC

“It could have extended the deadline so that the problems could be resolved, but it chose not to,” he said.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong

 

Want more from the Thaiger family?

πŸ“± Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
πŸ“§ Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
πŸ‘ Like/Follow us on Facebook
πŸ”” Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

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

Phuket

ICU beds for Covid-19 patients in Phuket are close to a “critical” low

Tanutam Thawan

Published

on

FILE PHOTO

Covid-19 patients in severe condition may have to been transferred from a government hospital in Phuket to a private hospital as the number of available hospital beds at public intensive care units in Phuket is close to a “critical” low, according to Vachira Phuket Hospital Director Chalermpong Sukontapol.

There are 9 ICU rooms at the Vachira Phuket Hospital. 5 are being used for Covid-19 patients with severe symptoms while the other 4 rooms are for those with mild symptoms and are under observation before being moved to another bed.

“If the 9 rooms are full of severe symptom cases, that will be a big critical stage. We may need to transfer our patients to other provinces or private hospitals, which may involve additional costs.”

He says 50% of the Covid-19 patients in Phuket are asymptomatic while 30% have mild symptoms and 10% have severe symptoms. For most of those with severe symptoms, the virus has moved to their lungs and they are in need of special equipment, like ventilators, to help them breathe and Charlempong says those patients need to be under close observation.

SOURCE: Phuket News

 

Want more from the Thaiger family?

πŸ“± Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
πŸ“§ Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
πŸ‘ Like/Follow us on Facebook
πŸ”” Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Continue Reading

Coronavirus (Covid-19)

For travellers to Phuket, testing is out, quarantine is in

Neill Fronde

Published

on

PHOTO: Phuket Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong (via Facebook)

The on-again-off-again plans for testing people for Covid-19 as they arrive in Phuket will be replaced by quarantine after May 15, according to Vice Governor Piyapong Choowong’s latest announcement. In an online video broadcast last night, the vice governor confirmed the new scheme after Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew first mentioned it in an executive meeting at Phuket Provincial Hall yesterday.

There are now 25 provinces on the Phuket red zone list that they instated on April 22, with anyone arriving from those places required to have proof that they are either fully vaccinated or tested negative for Covid-19 within the last 72 hours. Without proof, people have to take a rapid antigen test to confirm they did not have Covid-19 before they would be allowed on the island. The test was first set to be 300 baht for everyone, and later controversially made free for Thai people and 500 baht for foreigners.

There had been some back and forth with budget concerns of being able to provide the mass testing and who would pay how much for continued testing. Perhaps requiring people to quarantine in Phuket is cheaper than testing them when they arrive (cheaper for Phuket officials anyway).

The original scheme was set to expire May 15, and announcements were made about extending the plan and stopping testing right away. For now, this debate seems to have settled on replacing the testing with a mandatory quarantine upon entering Phuket.

The vice-governor explained that the rapid antigen test will continue through May 14, and then starting May 15, anyone who arrives without a vaccine or a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours of arriving in Phuket will be required to quarantine for 14 days. They set a goal of zero new infections by the end of the next two weeks. And he stated they are committed to doing whatever it takes as “Phuket cannot continue with this risk”.

Speaking to The Phuket News… β€œWe want to send a sign to the country that we are cleaning up our province. The 3 vice governors [in Phuket] have been ordered to take care of each district by cooperating with local administration officers as well as community leaders to do proactive screening,”

After announcing the quarantine plan for Phuket, the vice governor spoke confidently that in the near future the island will have enough jabs to vaccinate every person on the island. Religious leaders from any faith are currently being vaccinated because of their general proximity to people during religious ceremonies and practices.

Vice Governor Piyapong pled with people with the people of Phuket who were on the fence about Covid-19 vaccinations, anti-vaxxers, or those otherwise resisting getting the jabs needed to reach herd immunity.

“If you are still deciding whether or not to get vaccinated, please come to get vaccinated”

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

Want more from the Thaiger family?

πŸ“± Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
πŸ“§ Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
πŸ‘ Like/Follow us on Facebook
πŸ”” Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Continue Reading

Phuket

Thailand News Today | Pfizer vaccines on the way, Phuket’s July re-opening | May 7

Tanutam Thawan

Published

on

By

Disease Control Department back-peddled saying that that foreigners living in Thailand WILL also be vaccinated, governor of Chiang Mai is calling for the ban on dining in at restaurants in the northern city to be lifted and for eateries to be allowed to serve food on-site until 9pm, Tourism and Sports Minister insists the southern island of Phuket must record zero Covid-19 cases if a planned July re-opening is to go ahead, and 150 million baht worth of methamphetamine pills were impounded in Nakhon Phanom yesterday

 

Want more from the Thaiger family?

πŸ“± Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
πŸ“§ Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
πŸ‘ Like/Follow us on Facebook
πŸ”” Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

Continue Reading

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism3 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism3 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog CafΓ©s in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand β€˜drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending