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A birthday gift to the PM: how to start a war on corruption in Thailand

Dear PM, Please Make Phuket Corruption-Free

Monday, August 3, 2009
Phuketwan Birthday Letter to the PM

DEAR Prime Minister,

Here's hoping you had a cheerful birthday. Being PM is obviously not easy.

Clearly, if you wish to have a few more birthdays in that role, there are some problems that need to be sorted out.

I am merely one Phuket expat resident, still struggling after several years to come to terms with some of the decision-making processes in Thailand.

This is a blessed country, in all kinds of ways. But as you said the other day, there is one problem that needs to be solved.

One problem that stops Thailand becoming a better place to grow up, a better place to live, and to visit.

That scourge is corruption.

You are the first Prime Minister I can recall to say that your intention is to stamp out corruption. For that alone, I wish you many happy returns in your present role.

Beating corruption is Thailand will not be easy. People who should know better accept it as being a part of life.

That, to me, is almost as bad as being corrupt. If the corruption of even one individual is tolerated by the many, then corruption in Thailand is here to stay.

As you and I both know, corruption occurs in different ways, at different levels. It permeates some of the highest offices in the land, which is why it is tolerated and imitated in some of the lowest.

I am with you in wanting to see it driven out of Thailand. Ridding the country of such a longtime curse will not be easy. Many other countries are still trying . . . but at least they are trying.

May I be so bold as to make a suggestion?

Attempt first to obliterate corruption in a small part of Thailand. Then if that works, you will have a role model for the rest of Thailand to follow.

So . . . why don't you end corruption on Phuket, a very small, self-contained province, then make the island the role model for the entire nation?

The logic is plain.

If you can destroy corruption on Phuket then, because it has an international reputation, that will be a sign to the whole world that Thailand is taking the right path.

Make it an experiment in goodness, a bold plan to benefit the whole country.

Several years ago, during my early days on Phuket, friends took me to a local restaurant. We had a fine lunch, a meal so good that I left a five baht tip on the table.

A few minutes later, as I crossed the road outside the restaurant, the owner came after me with the five baht, calling out loudly, imagining that I had left it behind by mistake, wanting to return it.

From that moment, given the many kindnesses that followed, I recognised that for every corrupt person on Phuket, there are probably 999 who are honest in every way.

As you are Prime Minster, and you want to get rid of corruption, why not start with Phuket?

It's among the smallest provinces, yet it has every kind of problem you can imagine.

A wise island leader said recently that there were only 200 corrupt people on the island, 200 who ruin Phuket for all the rest.

Please do whatever you have to do to make the place completely honest . . .

Given that Phuket is going to continue to be in the international spotlight, what better place to start a serious campaign to change the whole of Thailand to being corruption-free?

It's just an idea. But I give it to you, gladly, on your birthday.

And I wish you many happy returns.
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Comments have been disabled for this article.


In the case they want to crackdown the corruption in Phuket, first, they will have to build a new and very large jail as the old one in Phuket is already overcrowded.

Unfortunately corruption is anchored too deep in the Thai administration at all levels and successive amnesties that protects these corrupted officials and parliamentarians will encourage more those rogue servants to persevere and protect the statu quo.

Corruption in Thailand is the main causes of social inequality and popular discontent; and then we hit the bottom of the problem in Thailand and the end is not in sight.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on August 4, 2009 11:58


I post this news report without comment other than to note that Philip Field is the first ever member of the NZ Parliament to face - let alone be convicted - of charges such as this.

As a 'friend of Thailand' and as a former Member of Parliament in New Zealand, I am sorry that some of your people were exploited by Field's schemes.

I commend Mr. Morison's article. Good Wishes

I admire your people for 'speaking up'.

Here is the news report:

Former MP Taito Phillip Field has been found guilty of 26 of 35 criminal charges.

The jury of six women and four men reached their verdicts just before 4pm after deliberating since 12.35pm on July 30.

The verdicts came following a trial at the High Court in Auckland which lasted more than 14 weeks.

Field, former Mangere MP, was found guilty of 11 of 12 charges of bribery and corruption as an MP over having Thai nationals carry out work on his properties in return for immigration assistance between November 2002 and October 2005.

He was also found guilty of 15 of 23 charges of wilfully attempting to obstruct or pervert the course of justice, alleging he tried to derail investigations into the work on his homes.

Field was remanded on bail to be sentenced on October 6.

In short, we will not tolerate corruption in New Zealand.

Posted by rfdunedin on August 4, 2009 13:24


I hope really deep in my heart that these extremely corrupt people will be sorted out. I thought we passed the Dark Ages a long time ago.

I wish the PM and the Governor of Phuket good luck in the fight against the darkness.

Posted by happychris on August 5, 2009 16:00


Good advice, like you say, He is the only one who can do it. start with Phuket its an ideal example, CORRUPTION IS INGRAINED HERE..make them follow Rule of law, bring the new style police in to enforce it. Make it happen, PRIME MINISTER.

Posted by johndev on April 3, 2011 06:12


Well said, you hit the nail on the head. I just hope the nail reads it.

Posted by Scunner on May 29, 2011 18:54


What is abundantly clear from related news articles is the growing frustration among the expat (and local) community, at the lack of positive action by the Phuket authorities to crack down on the problems and issues that drag this island from 5 star status to 1 star cesspool.

The honorary consuls have also expressed frustration at the slow response by those who have responsibility for correcting these issues.

Could it be that they have some reason not to want to correct these problems?

If the local authorities can not or will not take action, then that action has to come from an outside force - such as central government in Bangkok.

I never really believe in petitions, but perhaps a petition requesting action, and directed to the Prime Minister, signed by both local Thais and expats living in Phuket, and by visiting tourists, might help to raise awareness of the frustration that we all feel about these problems which are destroying the island.

Posted by Simon Luttrell on May 30, 2011 06:56



Posted by poppop on June 9, 2011 17:54

Editor Comment:

No need for you to cringe, poppop.

The first step would be to start using your own name instead of a series of silly names to hide behind.

Friday June 21, 2024
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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