The study, which is said to have been ongoing for at least five years, has been confirmed by a member of the study panel who disclosed information to The Phuket News unaware that he was speaking to an undercover reporter.
“The new laws, which will apply only to the island’s expat community, will be called ‘Live Thai’ rules,” said Paul Skinback of the Skegness Douwhoop University in the United Kingdom.
“The study began after a large number of Thai people – and it was large, and not only hi-so – started making complaints to officials in popular expat provinces that they were getting annoyed by several habits of foreigners.
“Issues that these people saw as annoying included: those that made no attempt to speak the Thai language, those that could not eat spicy food, men in ‘speedos’ and women in ‘thong’ bikinis on beaches, men wearing long socks with sandals, and also some more which are a lot more bizarre,” said Mr Skinback.
When asked who actually requested he get involved in the study, Mr Skinback was reluctant to say. “I don’t think it is my duty to reveal that information to you,” he answered.
Asked if he was in a position to confirm what any of the laws would be, Mr Skinback again was reluctant to answer. However, after a small pressing he revealed: “They saw that expats not making an attempt to speak Thai was a big problem. A lot of people, especially beach vendors, complained about this. In fact, in more recent times I believe they have complained more about this than having not been allowed to work on the beaches.
“In view of this, if the new ‘Live Thai’ rules are introduced, this will include only Thai residents, not migrant workers, being able to report expats that do not try to speak Thai with them,” he said.
“They will be able to report these expats to immigration officials, who we have been told will not receive any payment for receiving the report, who will take action,” he added.
Mr Skinback could not confirm if any punishments had been set for breaking the new rules but did say that if successful. the rules would be introduced in other expat popular areas including Pattaya and Khon Kaen, “Where a lot of men have recently settled very happily with their young wives” he said.
“It could also been introduced in other expat popular regions in other countries there has been so much positive feedback,” Mr Skinback revealed.
Asked if he knew when the rules would be introduced,” Mr Skinback replied, “Today, April Fool’s Day!”