From October 1, Phuket Governor Nisit Jansomwong replaced Phuket’s former Governor, Maitri Inthusut. He will discuss his life when he was young and about his vision for Phuket.
“Because I am a son of ordinary ranking government officers from an upcountry province, that meant I was not afraid of wading in with the locals, as a sort of teacher,” Gov Nisit told The Phuket News.
Gov Nisit, now 52, was born on September 24, 1962 in Ratchaburi Province, but studied in many primary schools in different provinces as he had to follow his parents who were government officers.
Student life: He graduated with a BA in Political Sciences from Chulalongkorn University with a gold honorary gift (the result from achieving a first). He received a scholarship from HM King Bhumibol to study for a master’s degree in the same university.
“While I was doing my masters, I was also a teacher at Dhurakij Pundit University, Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University and a special teacher for Chulalongkorn University,” he said.
Working life: After he graduated, his parents encouraged him to apply for a job as a government officer. He successfully worked as Chief Administrative of District Office for two years followed by a position as Secretary to the Director-General of the Department of Provincial Administration (DOPA) for seven years.
He was then assigned to cover a government officer’s position as well as be director of policy and planning division of DOPA. “There were a lot of documents I had to work on. Sometimes I had to put 670 stories to fit onto 20 pages as short stories.”
His first high-level job in provincial administration was as Vice Governor of Samutprakarn for four months, before he was moved to be Deputy Director General of the Department of Social Development.
“In this position, I was so proud to give the local villagers support. In Sumutprakarn, I supported One Tambon One Product (OTOP) mobile, which helped locals sell their products to staff in factories,” he said.
He also created the One Factory One Community and One Local Government, collecting the locals’ opinions and trying to understand their needs.
“Moreover, poverty is a big issue which we need to work on. I have supported those in need recently, by asking them to write their requests on paper and then send them to me.”
He was governor of two provinces; Prachuap Khiri Khan for a day and Ratchaburi for a year. “It might seem odd that I took the post in Prachuap for a day only – but there was a good reason.
“I had the opportunity to take up a position there. However, because HM the King was in residence at the time, it might have been difficult for [a new] governor to coordinate with the relevant officers to support His Majesty properly. So the governor continued in the same position, while I moved to Ratchaburi instead,” he explained.
On Phuket’s challenges: From a recent conference with relevant officers, it is clear the following problems need resolving, Gov Nisit said:
CCTV: Phuket have a total of 1,430 cameras so far, with at least 113 broken cameras. There is no CCTV in 378 spots on the island. So, we decided to install 1,009 more cameras.
“While we are waiting for the budget, I have asked the Phuket Tourist Association to support us by asking members to install their own CCTV and pointing the cameras at public areas,” he said.
“I am working on solving traffic related problems, particularly the Koh Kaew traffic lights, as well as tightening marine transport safety, for example, ensuring all passengers wear a life jacket at all times, that boat drivers have licenses, that communication equipment works at all times, and that captains follow the new red flag warning at ports.”
The Marine Security Centre is now fully operational at Chalong Pier, coordinated by the Marine Office, Police, Navy, and DDPM but needs improvement, he said.
“We learned lessons from the tragic speedboat collision. We need to improve our standards.
“The tsunami warning towers must be working properly, especially in December, when the 10th anniversary of the Asian Tsunami will remind people how unpredictable Nature can be.
“We must try and ensure Phuket is as clean as possible. The Asian Beach Games will be our opportunity to promote the ‘new’ Phuket after the beach and taxi regorganisation.
“As I always said, I will continue the projects from the ex-governor and all of the positive things that the people of Phuket suggest to me. I believed that the successful management system is the result of good communication from local residents.”
Gov Nisit plans to improve tourism standards for Phuket to have more international levels of security, cleanliness, transportation, environmental resources and quality food, as well as top show performances and quality hotels.
“Let’s see how we can improve our standard to become a world-class destination,” he concluded.