Mr Chairat was very well known and well liked for both his service as Patong deputy mayor and for his personal nature.
Originally from Nakhon Sri Thammarat, Mr Chairat graduated with a degree in public administration at Ramkamhaeng University in Bangkok, and then completed an MBA from the recently opened Phuket campus of Prince of Songkla University in 1987.
He later graduated from the National Institute of Development Administration (NIDA) with a master’s in public administration in 2001.
Mr Chairat was very successful as a businessman in Phuket. Among the businesses he set up were the Pow Wow Restaurant and Pub, the Beach Resortel, Safari Discotheque and the Wyndham Resort & Spa Phuket.
Explaining his reasons for entering politics, he told The Phuket News in an interview in 2012, “If I remained just a businessman, I would not be able to help anyone or do anything for people. Many businessmen don’t go into politics because they see it as difficult. They are happy just being rich.
“But you can’t take your riches with you when you die, so I realised I should be working for the good of others.”
So, in 2004, he ran successfully in elections for Patong Municipality. He served as deputy mayor for nearly 10 years.
An outpouring of messages of condolences have streamed online since news of his passing broke last night.
Testament to the support Mr Chairat had from all corners of the Phuket community, many of the messages have been from long-term Phuket expats.