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OPINION – One, two, three bad incidents on Patong Hill within 24 hours

The Thaiger

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OPINION – One, two, three bad incidents on Patong Hill within 24 hours | The Thaiger

The bottom of Patong Hill, on the Patong side, has been the scene of numerous fatalities over the past 20 years. Following a steep decent and some tight windy turns, some vehicles simply come to grief.

Residents and shops at the bottom of the hill have built barriers, walls and fencing to try and defend themselves from the parade of accidents flowing down the hill.

In just 24 hours, between 5pm on Tuesday January 22 and 3.34pm on Wednesday, January 23, there have been three major incidents, luckily none of them fatals, which have caused long delays for people accessing Phuket’s main town and tourist hub. On Tuesday night some people were stuck trying to get out of Patong for three hours.

Phra Baramee Road is the only way in and out of Patong, otherwise it’s a long trek south past Karon before you can go over Kata Hill to get to the east coast. The long-awaited tunnel has shuffled along for 20 years going from idea to proposal to study to environmental reports to funding assessments to more studies to artists impressions to more reports and ‘statements’ from various departments.

Net result after all this discussion and deaths on the Hill over 20 years?

Nothing, Nada. Zero. Just a lot of carnage.

Nary a day goes by when there isn’t a multitude of ‘incidents’, many of them minor, where traffic in the one or two lanes in each direction, isn’t delayed or stopped. The three beeps at the top of the hill as drivers pass the temple, the Pun Tuao Kong Chinese Shrine, obviously don’t appear to be calling on the correct luck gods.

The temple at the bottom of the hill is also a failure when it comes to bringing any luck or divine protection to the hapless drivers passing by.

So, in just 24 hours, in much the same spot – the final 100 metres of Patong Hill outside the temple – three major incidents (photos below).

Here’s what will happen.

• The Governor will make an announcement that there will be ‘important discussions’ between the Provincial office, police and Land Transport department.

• There will be a ‘crackdown’ on buses and trucks with ‘checkpoints’ announced to ensure that all vehicles going over the hill are safe to do so.

• Police will urge transport companies and tour bus operators to ensure their drivers are properly licensed and trained.

• The media will be urged not to ‘dramatise’ the situation or present a negative image that may affect tourism.

• Brake failure will be cited as the cause for almost EVERY incident without any evidence being presented.

So, let’s recap the last 24 hours along the same 100 metre stretch of Phra Baramee Road in Patong…

1. Tuesday, January 22 @5.03 pm

OPINION - One, two, three bad incidents on Patong Hill within 24 hours | News by The Thaiger OPINION - One, two, three bad incidents on Patong Hill within 24 hours | News by The Thaiger OPINION - One, two, three bad incidents on Patong Hill within 24 hours | News by The Thaiger OPINION - One, two, three bad incidents on Patong Hill within 24 hours | News by The Thaiger

2. Wednesday, January 23 @ 7.40am

[ #ภูเก็ต #อุบัติเหตุ #ป่าตอง 23-01-62 ]#คลิป // 09.45 น. รับแจ้งอุบัติเหตุ รถทัวร์เบียดกับรถกระบะ เลยวัดสุวรรณคีรีวงก์ ขาออกป่าตอง #เหยี่ยวข่าวภูเก็ต

Posted by เหยี่ยวข่าว ภูเก็ต on Tuesday, January 22, 2019

3. Wednesday, January 23 @ 3.34pm

OPINION - One, two, three bad incidents on Patong Hill within 24 hours | News by The Thaiger OPINION - One, two, three bad incidents on Patong Hill within 24 hours | News by The ThaigerOPINION - One, two, three bad incidents on Patong Hill within 24 hours | News by The ThaigerOPINION - One, two, three bad incidents on Patong Hill within 24 hours | News by The Thaiger OPINION - One, two, three bad incidents on Patong Hill within 24 hours | News by The Thaiger

The only people making anything out of this mess are people selling brooms or the roadside banner advertisers with all the unexpected additional advertising coverage.

That there has been no fatalities in the past 24 hours is a matter of luck, not good planning.



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

If you have story ideas, a restaurant to review, an event to cover or an issue to discuss, contact The Thaiger editorial staff.

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Opinion

“Racial profiling and xenophobic” – a rant against Dual Pricing

The Thaiger

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“Racial profiling and xenophobic” – a rant against Dual Pricing | The Thaiger

The rules are applied in a lumpy fashion at various tourist hot spots around the country as well as some national parks. Sometimes it’s applied, sometimes, not, sometimes there are signs, sometime they make it up as they go, sometimes they will allow local expats in for the Thai price.

There are dual-pricing apologists who say ‘Hey, it’s cheap anyway, so pay up and shut up’. Whilst dual-pricing whiners say it’s unfair, racist and shows a lack of grace towards tourists and foreigners.

Here’s the story from ‘Despondant Foreigner’. You can have your say on the post at our Facebook page

“I would like to share my story with you that happened to me this morning. I visited Promlok waterfall in Nakhon Si Thammaratt with my Thai wife, child and wife’s family. Upon arrival two soldiers approached our car and my wife began talking to them. They explained to her that as today is Songkran all Thai’s get to go to the waterfalls free of charge but I had to pay. Then a woman dressed in yellow approached the car who confirmed what the soldiers said and told my wife that this is a new law. Well we were all disgusted and proceeded to drive back down to the bottom of the waterfall where we could all swim for free.

I am absolutely disgusted by this. Yet another example of Thailand’s racial profiling and xenophobia towards foreigners. The fact that I am married and have children here doesn’t make a difference. Because I have white skin I must pay the fee whilst all Thais go in free.”

SOURCE: ThaiVisa

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Opinion

Fox News fake news, Phuket gets a bullet

Bill Barnett

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Fox News fake news, Phuket gets a bullet | The Thaiger

by Bill Barnett, C9Hotelworks.com

As Phuket moves slowly into low season, a story published in the international media by the US-based Fox News about how tourists could face the death penalty over taking photos at the island’s airport is a highly flaw piece of sensationalist fake news.

Clearly there is no likelihood that the Thai authorities will apply a legal maximum penalty under the Air Navigation Act for tourists posing for selfies as airplanes land. More likely would be a  charge of trespassing and a fine.

Clicking into Google this morning the story is now running with the New York Post, MSN and other news outlets abroad.

What is distressing is to see how news providers sensationalize Thailand and Phuket with little regard as to the consequences of the economic impact of such a story.

For most readers, what they will remember when reading such a piece is only the headline about Phuket, Mai Khao Beach and the death penalty.

What a sorry state of affairs mainstream news has become.

To read the Fox News article clock HERE.

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Election

Is Thanathorn the new Thaksin? Will the ‘establishment’ tolerate his new political vision?

The Thaiger

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Is Thanathorn the new Thaksin? Will the ‘establishment’ tolerate his new political vision? | The Thaiger

Is Future Forward Party leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit a popular fad or does he, and his party, have the staying power to make him a sustainable threat to the entrenched Thai political elite?

Many analysts are comparing Thanathorn to Thaksin in his early days. They say there are clear similarities. First off, Thanathorn is facing the kind of legal trouble that Thaksin faced when Thailand’s political crisis started to brew.

After becoming Thailand’s PM, Thaksin faced a share transfer scandal in which he moved his company shares to poor servants, allegedly to avoid stock market restrictions imposed on people owning big lots of stocks. Now, 40 year old Thanathorn is facing a legal controversy over his previous ownership of media shares, which could still doom his election candidacy.

The allegations are yet to be considered by the Election Commission.

Thaksin, in spite of repeated denials, was always alleged to have controversial political ambitions. Thanathorn, meanwhile, is seen in an increasingly similar situation. The list of complaints is growing, many to do with his perceived unorthodox ideology that contrasts with the conservative political ‘Thainess’ that includes non-negotiable support for the Army and Monarchy.

Thanathorn has been criticised for something he said about the Khana Ratsadon Party, which played an instrumental role in changing Thailand’s system from absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy in 1932. The secretary-general of Thanathorn’s party has also been forced to deny making highly-controversial comments about Thailand’s political culture.

Future Forward did very well on March 24, surpassing pundits’ predictions for the new party. Analysts say the success is due to three main factors — Thanathorn’s youthful image that attracted the majority of first-time voters, the dissolution of the Thai Raksa Chart Party that shifted a lot of votes to Future Forward, and the new party’s fresh ideology and perspectives.

He, and the party, attracted a lot of newer voters along with a core of disaffected voters who are looking for change.

But Thanathorn’s looming legal trouble is described as a potential banana skin. It concerns a large number of shares he had in a media company, which were transferred to his mother so that he could qualify as an election candidate.

One apparently-private document, which he is relying on, showed he transferred the V-Luck Media Company shares on January 8, before he applied for election candidacy. Another document, which his accusers are relying on, apparently showed the transfer was brought to the authorities’ attention after he became an election candidate.

Controversy continues to build around the young billionaire and chances are it will grow.

SOURCES: Thai PBS | The Thaiger

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