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Phuket villagers protest, accuse village chief of corruption

Phuket villagers protest, accuse village chief of corruption

PHUKET: More than 100 residents from Koh Siray, on the east side of Phuket Town, arrived at the Muang Phuket District Office this morning (July 15) in protest, calling for their local village headman to be removed from his position.

By The Phuket News

Wednesday 15 July 2020, 06:47PM

Shouting and holding placards, the residents called for Maitri Duangchan to be removed from his position as village chief of Moo 1, Rassada.

They accused him of corruption and using his position of authority for his own benefit. 

Villager Suthon Pontha explained, “We have had no support and we have no other way to fix this. We are here because we cannot bear him anymore.

“We are here to present our complaints because the village chief used his authority to benefit himself and his friends. He has ignored the development of the village. He never holds meetings and  public hearings to explain to the village what will be done after he receives the budget.

“For 10 years as the village head, he has never held any public hearings about anything that affects us,” he said.

Mr Suhtorn said that Mr Maitri has asked villagers to pay B6,000 in order to have their homes officially registered so they can be designated an official address.

“This should be free of charge,” he said.

“Villagers cannot ask for electricity and water supply if they do not have a registered house number,” he explained.

“When he [Mr Maitri] gets any budget, he never informs his villagers. He ignores our requests for help,” Mr Suthorn said.

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“This headman never informed villagers about a construction project at Koh Siray that affected the lives of local residents. He also has asked for bribes from fishing pier owners and taxi drivers at the queues at a hotel on Koh Siray,” he alleged.

“He invaded a mangrove forest for his own business. He also created a dirt race track without permission. The race track creates a lot of dust and the area is prone to landslides when it rains,” Mr Suthorn continued.

“He built a building on land that the owner donated so it could be made into a playground, but instead he used this land for his own benefit. Plus he has done nothing to support us during this  COVID-19 situation. 

“We are really suffering and getting in trouble,” he said.

District Chief Anupan Rodkwan Yodrabam met the villagers and formally received their long list of complaints.

Chief Anupan explained that a task force will be set up to investigate the villagers’ complaints.

“The investigative committee will have 15 days to present its findings,” he said.

“I will invite this village headman for questioning. All villagers, please present your evidence and cooperate with me. Then we will see how this goes,” he said.

Additional reporting by Eakkapop Thongtub

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mgb | 17 July 2020 - 17:12:41

Kurt, Agree 100%. All countries suffer from Nepotism.  When people say Thailand could learn for them. I could debate that all night. 

Kurt | 17 July 2020 - 13:41:22

@mgb,  Until a certain extend I agree with you. However, name me 1 South East Asian country that is free of nepotism, besides Japan and Taiwan.

mgb | 17 July 2020 - 10:02:05

Singapore Ha, no corruption but Hell talk about nepotism. What did the famous Mr. lee say about the Lee Tat Property company? If you cart help your own who can you help. Singapore a ledged in its own lunch time I don’t remember people being burned out of their homes in Bangkok to aid urban development.

Kurt | 17 July 2020 - 00:37:49

.....Singapore understands that red tape/corruption keeps people poor, and a country 'behind'. 

Hermann1 | 16 July 2020 - 18:19:41

And Singapore is a country with very little corruption. International recognised. Thailand can learn a lot from them.

Kurt | 16 July 2020 - 12:14:05

@Christy Sweet, Yes, any Singaporean National involved in corruption in other countries has to face criminal charges ( if made) in Singapore Courts. That is serious 'business'. Before one knows he is going to do long prison time in Singapore. Singapore has a special professional anti corruption department with high level integrity. S'pore understands that red tape/corruption keeps peop...

Christy Sweet | 16 July 2020 - 10:23:53

Please investigate the huge resort  company in Cherng-Telat that filled in the  ocean access to a salt water lagoon so they could put up  condos. Who signed off on that  deal I wonder?  btw, Singapore has laws about  corruption in other nations. When will the Or Bor Tors have elections again? Ever?  

Kurt | 16 July 2020 - 10:07:51

As I wrote few days ago, it  is the 'highest time' to have local elections. 6 Years without it is to long. Everywhere on Phuket are local 'kingdoms' of local Thai who became influential Hi-So's. They are untouchable. That is not how a 'democracy' works. There is no reason to delay local elections any longer.

Capricornball | 15 July 2020 - 22:50:21

Good for these people!  I hope other villages see what these people are doing, and that a big movement against corrupt local officials begins.  So many of these village heads,  and OrBorTor chiefs are nothing but lying cheating self-serving crooks. The citizens of Phuket deserve better. Please keep us posted on the progress!


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