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Phuket can aim to beat corruption in staking its claim for World Expo 2020

Corruption-Free Phuket Can Win World Expo 2020

Thursday, August 5, 2010
GREATER PHUKET'S bid to be Thailand's candidate to stage World Expo 2020 looks a likely winner after a positive meeting with assessors.

Although there are five other provinces still in the running, as the assessors were told: ''Petchaburi doesn't have quite the same ring to it as Phuket.''

Chiang Mai is probably the pick of the other challengers. But the city's smoke haze and lack of space is likely to suffocate its chances.

Resorts galore along the Andaman holiday coast, the wide open spaces of the north of Phuket and the natural beauty of Phang Nga and Krabi, seem to offer an unbeatable combination.

Governor Wichai Praisa-ngob led the presentation to the assessment committee from Bangkok last week, and he was joined by representatives from Phang Nga, Krabi and Ranong.

Expo committee chairwoman Dr Piyanuch Wootisorn said that the investment in Shanghai for the present World Expo was more than 14 billion baht. There were going to be as many as 90 million visitors. ''It's an event that rivals an Olympics or a football World Cup,'' she said.

Phuket's reception committee was not overwhelmed. The governor told the committee that Phuket, with Phang Nga, had a total of 2500 rai available for the event. Coincidentally, the area includes 900 rai controlled by the Thai railway authorities.

With airports at Krabi and Phuket, and a four-lane route already in place from Krabi in the direction of the island, handling a large intake of visitors would not necessarily be beyond the bidders.

''We have a combination of different types of accommodation amounting to about 70,000 rooms on Phuket,'' the governor said. ''In the other provinces, who will build this kind of accommodation from scratch? Who will come after the expo is over?''

''Phuket is already a well known brand that does not need to be marketted the way that Petchaburi or Chonburi would have to be.''

Phuket had ''the best marinas in Asia'' and even one top-of-the-range resort with a 400,000 baht a night suite. ''We have everything, accommodation through the whole range,'' the governor said.

Milan has already been selected for World Expo 2015. The chances of the event bouncing back to Asia for 2020, which is seen as the most promising part of the globe for development, seem good.

A decision on Thailand's candidate will be made in 2011. The country for World Expo 2020 will be chosen in 2013.

The assessors asked: ''What about Phuket's garbage?'' [Phuket creates more waste than it can destroy.]

Sarayuth Mallam of the Phuket Tourist Association said: ''We will be able to cope, probably better than any of the other candidates. Between now and 2020, this issue will be resolved.''

Water supply for Phuket would also not be a problem come 2020 because Phuket was building a number of new reservoirs, the governor said.

Local people throughout Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi would be 100 percent behind a World Expo 2020, the assessors were told.

Phuketwan was the only media organisation with a representative at the World Expo 2020 meeting.

Phuketwan OPINION

IF PHUKET wins the Thailand part of the World Expo 2020 contest, the Thai Government can be expected to throw promises of vast resources behind the international bid. A fast-rail link from Bangkok to Phuket and a lightrail public transport system for the island are two benefits likely to be promised.

The strategy for the Andaman of continuing to build on Phuket while protecting Phang Nga and Krabi from overdevelopment would come into sharp focus.

However, there would be no point in putting resources behind the Phuket, Phang Nga and Krabi bid unless the entire process is corruption-free.

This is one of the reasons why Phuketwan believes the time has come for the Thai Government to act on corruption, rather than merely talk about it. Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya agreed on Phuket at the weekend that corruption is the biggest problem facing Phuket, and one of the biggest for Thailand, too.

The way to make a start is to wipe out corruption on Phuket, then use Phuket as a role model to wipe out the ''cancer'' in Phang Nga and Krabi before moving on to Thailand's other provinces.

Significantly, the 14th International Anti-Corruption Conference is to be held in Bangkok from November 10-13 this year. Delegates will be coming to Thailand from all over the world. What will they find here?

If Thailand is to present itself as a worthy host, a willingness to break the long cycle of corruption in Thailand needs to be demonstrated.

Making a start on Phuket would be a sign to the world that Thailand is ready to be serious about beating corruption - and that ''Greater Phuket'' would be a suitable home for World Expo 2020.

There will probably never be a better chance for corruption on Phuket to be tackled than in association with the international anti-corruption conference and the World Expo 2020 bid.

The time for action is now.
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Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

gravatar

CAN PHUKET HANDLE THE TRASH?

Posted by VFaye on August 6, 2010 00:35

Editor Comment:

If enough resources were ''at its disposal,'' yes.

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So true from the band Supertramp, but change the words " Put your hands in your head to, Put your head in your hands".

" Dreamer, you know you are a dreamer
Well can you put your hands in your head, oh no!
I said dreamer, you're nothing but a dreamer,
Well can you put your hands in your head, oh no!
I said "Far out, - What a day, a year, a life it is!"
You know, - Well you know you had it comin' to you,
Now there's not a lot I can do."

Posted by Robin on August 6, 2010 13:11

Editor Comment:

Do hope you're feeling ok, Robin

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Well we have enough taxis. Would be nice not to see them sitting around..like the ones in Kata throwing the cigarette butts in the drain that go to the sea and rubbish all around their sala.

Do we have enough water?
Enough Police?
Enough immigration counters?

Please!

Posted by VFaye on August 6, 2010 17:16


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