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Phuket Governor to appeal for Bangla bars and clubs to close at 4am

PHUKET: The crackdown on bars and clubs along Bangla Rd in Patong was eased this week with provincial officials revealing they will formally request that the government issue special dispensation to allow entertainment venues on Phuket’s prime tourist party street to stay open until 4am.

tourism, patong, economics, crime, corruption, police,

Tanyaluk Sakoot

Saturday 11 February 2017, 10:00AM

The Phuket Governor is to sign a formal request to allow entertainment venues on Phuket’s prime tourist party street, Bangla Rd in Patong, to stay open until 4am. Photo: Tanyaluk Sakoot

The crackdown began last Monday (Jan 30), with all bars along Bangla Rd forced to close at midnight and nightclubs to kick patrons out into the street at 1am.

The reaction by the Patong Entertainment Business Association (PEBA) was swift, with PEBA President Weerawit Krueasombut and Patong scion Preechawude “Prab” Keesin, head of the Pisona Group of companies, along with 20 other night venue operators two days later filing a formal petition addressed to Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha calling for extended trading hours in the entertainment district. (See stories here and here.)

“We have prepared a formal request to be sent to the Permanent Secretary of the Interior Ministry asking for consideration to allow entertainment businesses along Bangla Rd only to stay open – and sell alcohol – until 4am,” Phuket Provincial Chief Administrative Officer (Palad) Thawornwat Khongkaew, told The Phuket News on Wednesday (Feb 8).

The request is for Bangla Rd only, Mr Thawornwat confirmed.

“This because Bangla Rd is a very special tourist area,” he said.

Mr Thawornwat was part of the joint law-enforcement team with Patong Police Chief Col Chaiwat Uikum and Kathu District Chief Chief Sayan Chanachaiwong who raided the bars and clubs on Jan 30.

“The petition submitted by the Patong nightlife venue operators will be attached with our official letter, which must be signed by Phuket Governor,” Mr Thawornwat said.

The Governor, Chockchai Dejamornthan, however, is away in South Korean until Saturday (Feb 11), Mr Thawornwat said on Wednesday.

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“I will follow up on this with the Governor as soon as practicably possible and follow this up with the Interior Ministry. We are hoping for a formal response before the end of this month,” Mr Thawornwat said.

Phuket Vice Governor Siwaporn Chuasawad told The Phuket News that Gov Chockchai rated the issue a top priority.

“Governor Chockchai wants to defuse the stress from this situation,” she said.

“The feedback from this is that the crackdown also had a direct effect on many people who in the Patong nightlife industry,” she added.

Mr Thawornwat added, “This is an uncomfortable situation in a tourism area. I think it is a good idea if there is special zone set up. If the nightlife venues are able to stay open legally, then tourists can enjoy themselves in a safe area.

“Most tourists go out on Bangla Rd at about 11pm. If the entertainment area closes at midnight, where they will go? They might just keep drinking beside the road or on the beach, which risks their safety and only encourages criminals,” he said.

“If this special zone is approved to stay open until 4 am, tourists will remain in an area where the police and officials are able to look after them. They will be safe,” he added.



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Rorii | 15 February 2017 - 04:22:20

Eagle, you are being pedantic,  grow up son.

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Jor12 | 14 February 2017 - 19:24:35

Kurt... You contradict yourself in points 1 & 2, so no-one seems to fathom what you are saying. If you want to know where the Governor goes and why... just ring and ask. 

Rorii...perhaps you haven't heard, but we under Military rule. Just pay your taxes, the Military doesn't want to hear you, unless you "overstep the mark".

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Eagle | 14 February 2017 - 17:31:25

Kurt P-I responded to Roriis words{from the moment anyone steps foot in thailand...they should have some say}.If it is meant as a resident,than why it is not written so?!And regarding Mrs.Dalley,i gave a comment to that article.So next time you should open your eyes!

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Kurt | 14 February 2017 - 15:36:09

Eagle, you not play fair in your comment to Rorii.
You know very well, that is not a 'arrival short stay matter', as you like to play it.
You try to downplay it to that. Stop discussing this in a 'holiday frame work'.

Point is, someone with a Green card in US, or living in Thailand as a resident ( not a tourist) are member of a society. They contribute, in tax paying, in giving thai people jobs, international hotels, car factories, shopping centers ( Like Singaporean Jungceylon in Patong or foreign Tesco lotus)) 

Try to start to think more international, global, or at least AEC wise.
Interaction between people from developed countries with people living in a still developing country just benefit the developing country and it's population.

I not understand people who like to block that development.
Read about story Phuket Soi Dog in PN, about mrs Dalley.
Open your eyes.

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Eagle | 14 February 2017 - 12:33:36

Rorii,if i understand you well,it means if i would fly to the US,the moment i would spent my first dollar there,i would have the right to get informed about what every governor is doing and what the taxmoney is spent for?I am sure if i would openly ask for that,it would be a short holiday.

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Rorii | 13 February 2017 - 16:58:01

swerv, you do not think very well, from the moment anyone steps foot in Thailand, they are paying, some form, of taxes, so yes, they should have some say. Now, a very important fact, have you ever stopped to THINK that just maybe, many thais think the same, as Kurt, you, on the other hand, seem to support this corrupt organisation, one must assume you have your own, maybe no so clean, agenda, so do not want change.I wonder just how many "brown envelopes" you pass over.

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Kurt | 13 February 2017 - 12:06:08

So, the solution is quite simple.
If there is a valid reason to change opening times entertainment places, ok, do that by law!
Now, on Phuket we see daily that due to police corruption opening times don't need to be respected.

But to make just a exemption for the 'Bangla Road Enclave' will not work.
Bars, other entertainment venues etc at many other roads/locations will complain:  "Why only Bangla Road, why not us?" 
It will initiate a discussion about: ..Not fair, we also have to feed families..

So, what justifies to give Bangla Rd by law full night opening time, and other locations on Phuket not?
Like for example Chalong Patak Road entertainment, just around the corner of Chalong police station, that area doesn't need to respect official ( by law!) opening hours for some reason. hahahaha.

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Eagle | 13 February 2017 - 11:45:17

Maybe the PN should offer Kurt a job as reporter,so he had a chance to get an answer to all his questions by his own research!

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Kurt | 13 February 2017 - 11:45:02

Swerv: Any citizen/resident of Phuket, thai and foreigner, have the democratic right to know what State Officials who serve the people (!), are doing work wise.

We read regular about the Governor local doings in Phuket press.
Why not a press bulletin about the reason of his overseas trip?
Yes, we have the right to know and we can ask, swerv.
State Officials serve the people, get indirect paid by the people.
Together they are the democratic society.  Or not?

I think even the Governor of the small Province Phuket has a press chief.
It is not normal that a Governor of a small province monthly makes oversea trips to China, Japan, South Korea without informing the people he suppose to serve.
Why is that? What is this South Korea trip for?

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LivinLOS | 13 February 2017 - 09:58:09

As Kurt is saying (and to the other commenter, theres plenty of farangs paying taxes here). 

The law is what should be followed, a clear and consistent law country wide. Dont like the law, lobby to have it changed, let all sides weigh in and debate, and then if it is changed, change it legally and properly for everyone. 

Remove the 'paying police to not do thier job' issues and create and adapt sensible correct laws (with the issues and drawbacks later opening makes for residents) or dont (with the issues and drawbacks that makes for incomes). 

You cannot have one system for chiang mais clubs, another system for Samuis, and another system for Phukets and a web of payments skimmed off to enable this. This localism and fiefdoms of law breaking needs to be brought in line. 

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