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The 20 Miss Belgium candidates enjoy a loy kratong visiting Phuket

MediaWATCH: Phuket Award a Blow to Corruption

Monday, November 23, 2009
Phuketwan MediaWATCH: Photo Album Above

A daily wrap of Thailand news, with a Phuket perspective, plus relevant reports from national and international media.

CORRUPTION is not necessarily the way of the future for Phuket. The island's Orborjor administration has just won a 300,000 award from the Office of the National Anti-Corruption Commission for its efforts.
Among its activities, the Orborjor has increased tax collection by 28 percent between 2007 and 2009 to more than 876 million baht.
''Every country has corruption,'' elected Orborjor CEO Paiboon Upatising. ''The answer lies in honest management.'' We hope others are listening.

Phuketwan Update Phuket Sunshine Village orphanage has benefitted from the generosity of a tourist from Vienna, K.R Hannes Raul, who has donated 500,000 baht. The 53-year-old Austrian tourist enjoys golf on Phuket about six times a year, and has developed a great affection for the island and Khao Lak. Sunshine Village in Koh Sireh, close to Phuket City, cares for about 120 children. It was established for victims of the 2004 tsunami.

bangkokpost.com The government will put more pressure on The Times of London to hand over the recording of ousted PM Thaksin Shinawatra's controversial interview after the news outlet rejected the first request. The request for the audio recording with Thaksin, the transcript of which appeared on The Times' website on November 9, had been rejected with the newspaper citing press freedom, PM's Office Minister Sathit Wongnongtoey said.

thestar.com Rescuers saved more than 240 people aboard a crowded Indonesian passenger ferry that sank in rough waters off Sumatra, but 29 people have died and at least 17 others are missing. A second ferry ran aground nearby, but all its passengers were said to be safe.

thanhniennews.com Vietnam Airlines said its daily Ho Chi Minh City-Bangkok service will become twice daily starting December 1 as the carrier plans for more passengers from Thailand next year. The airline wants to prepare for more Thai tourists next year, when Vietnam celebrates Hanoi's 1000th anniversary and the 2010 Hue Festival, he said.

latimes Christie D'Zurilla writes: Michael Jackson's glove, the ''Holy Grail of Michael Jackson memorabilia,'' sold for $350,000 at auction in New York. It was expected to bring $50,000. Heck, the commission wound up being more than that. Wouldn't want to be around when the winning bidder, Fossman Ma of Hong Kong, finds out he can't buy a right-hand version to match.

timesonline.co.uk Nestle, the Swiss food group, has emerged as the latest contender in the 9.8 billion pound battle for control of Cadbury, the British chocolate maker. The manufacturer of Kit Kat and Aero is believed to be considering its options, including a rival bid for Cadbury that would challenge the hostile approach from Kraft Foods, of the US.

cnn.com A teenager and three elderly people in Saudi Arabia for the hajj pilgrimage have died of the H1N1 flu virus, the Saudi Health Ministry said. The victims of the virus were a 17-year-old Nigerian female and a Sudanese man, an Indian man and a Moroccan woman who each were 75 years old.

nytimes.com For many years, European soccer has looked east toward China, Hong Kong and Singapore hoping that the day would never dawn when its own sports were contaminated by match fixing on anything like the levels of Asia. On Friday law enforcement officials announced that 15 suspects in Germany and two in Switzerland were under arrest. The police claim they have evidence implicating the corrupting of some 200 professional matches across nine central European countries during 2009 alone.

scmp.com Greg Torode writes: Piracy off Somalia is proving a great business, and not just for the pirates. Shipping industry officials in Hong Kong and London describe a business for lawyers, insurers and negotiators worth as much as four times the $80 million paid out in ransoms over the past year. ''Paying ransoms is a bit like paying a hooker for sex,'' one industry official said. ''Everyone knows it is going on, but no one wants to talk about it.''

scmp.com More by Greg Torode: Ransom cash is routed through neighboring Djibouti or Dubai, stashed into sacks and delivered to the ship via a parachute drop by helicopter or small plane, or by a speedboat or tug. Gunfights have broken out as pirates divide the booty. In January the body of a drowned pirate washed ashore with $153,000 stuffed in his pockets.

afp A year has passed since the deadly Mumbai militant attack, but experts call for more to be done to improve security in the city and elsewhere in India to prevent another strike. ''Can 26/11 happen again? Yes, any time,'' warned retired major general V.K. Datta, India's most decorated army officer, referring to the November 26 attacks that killed 166 people and injured more than 300.

worldgolf.com There were moments during my recent Thailand golf trip that I had to remind myself that it's the US that is supposed to be the developed, happy, first world nation. The Thai way of life puts things in perspective. I understand why so many westerners ditch the rat race and relocate here at least part time.

pcworld.com Mobile devices are the preferred tools by social network site users over PCs in at least four Asian countries, according to a recent survey, ''Examining Usage, Perceptions, and Monetization: The Coming of Age for Social Network Sites in Asia/Pacific.'' In China and Thailand, 62 percent and 65 percent of respondents use mobile phones for news alerts and messages, and to upload photos. Australia and Singapore registered the lowest percentage of users who access mobile social network sites.

sail-world.com Fast, exciting, competitive racing is expected in the Firefly 850s with the class returning for a third year to contest the Phuket King's Cup next weekend. Winner of the division in 2009, SEA Property, will be under the control of a new helm, 38-year-old Australian Tornado class sailor Damien Ford.

dawn.com About Pakistan: Corruption has eaten into the vitals of this country to the extent that it lies crippled. It is nowhere near take-off point. Our cities are among the most polluted and most environmentally degraded in the world, merely because our governments and administrations are adept at making money by ensuring that measures to prevent pollution and degradation are never undertaken.
Indian Marriage Made in Heaven for Banyan Tree
Photo Album A wealthy Indian family has booked the entire five-star Banyan Tree Phuket for three days for a wedding. The rest of the tourism industry is hoping a little love comes their way, too.
Indian Marriage Made in Heaven for Banyan Tree

V Runs from Brisbane Plus Visa Runs to Hong Kong
Latest Flights boom as the Phuket high season approaches. New direct links from Hong Kong and Brisbane are an indication that more tourists will come if it's easy to fly here.
V Runs from Brisbane Plus Visa Runs to Hong Kong

Phuket Jet-Ski 'Regatta' to Watch Governor Ride
Photo Album Phuket's governor is calling it D Day. November 26 marks the occasion when all jet skis on the island should be insured, and the governor plans to choose one to ride.
Phuket Jet-Ski 'Regatta' to Watch Governor Ride

Bangkok Horror at YouTube 'Threat to Tourism'
Latest Members of an important Senate tourism committee express horror at the impression tourists are givent by lack of skills and training among jet ski operators and others on Phuket.
Bangkok Horror at YouTube 'Threat to Tourism'

Phuket Scam Purge: Police Impound 'Black' Jet-Ski
Latest Phuket police and an important tourism committee from Bangkok go into action as the first 'black' jet ski operator is arrested. His confiscated vehicle may mark a fresh, clean start for tourism.
Phuket Scam Purge: Police Impound 'Black' Jet-Ski

MediaWATCH: 'Phuket Hub' Airline Chases India
Latest Air Asia opens up India; divorce tours; New TAT governor; Google's operating system; EU answer for Kissinger; Ecstasy bust in Cambodia; Singapore's HIV secret.
MediaWATCH: 'Phuket Hub' Airline Chases India

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