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Mayor Pian Keesin survived being No. 2 on the ballot

Patong Mayor Pian Wins Despite Poll Challenge

Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Wednesday TRENDS UPDATE

PIAN Keesin is officially mayor of Patong again. He and his party, Rak Patong, have seen off a challenge mounted to the result of the July 27 election.

Khun Pian is now free to pursue his advocacy of the Patong Tunnel project, which formed the background on many of his electoral billboards.

He also wants to lift the standard of education in Patong schools. Khun Pian said in his final speech before polling day: ''The sky belongs to the birds, but the mayorship of Patong belongs to Pian.''

Noted for his evening meet-and-greet strolls around Patong, the resort-owning businessman defeated Somkiet Kuru of the Patong Gao Na ( Patong Progress) party by 3826 votes to 3249 in the poll for mayor.

Just as importantly, Khun Pian's party, in opposition before the poll, took 11 of the 18 seats on Patong's decision-making tessaban council.

The Patong Tunnel project was stymied earlier this year when the tessaban voted against a feasibility study.

Khun Pian is also expected to champion the idea of a cable car from Patong to the Big Buddha.

Phuketwan understands that several companies have spoken to the Governor of Phuket about Big Buddha cable car projects.

Phuket Mourns Five in Van Explosion

MOURNERS WILL gather in Chalong this evening to share the grief for Phuket reporter Tauntong Sukmeaug, who was one of Phuket's most respected journalists.

His body was returned to Phuket on August 27 to commence seven days of prayers.

Khun Tuantong, a reporter with Thai Rath newspaper, had the misfortune to be in a rented mini-bus van on August 26 in Narathiwat when it overturned, exploded and caught fire.

Five people died and five escaped with burns and injuries.

With so much violent death taking place on an almost daily basis in the southern provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat, it seems additionally sad that five people should lose their lives in a road incident.

The fact that they were all in Narathiwat to mourn a friend who died in a bomb explosion on August 21 only makes the grief more intense.

Police said a van carrying the 10 in Narathiwat lost control, probably because of a burst tyre, slammed into a tree and overturned before catching fire.

Early indications are that the LPG cylinders in the gas-powered van exploded. The group rented the van in Had Yai then drove south.

More people are already questioning the safety of LPG-powered vehicles, which have become increasingly popular as fuel costs have risen.

Conversions to gas have dropped throughout Thailand from 3000 a day to less than 500.

The other four killed were Sumonrat Wiriyakul, a deputy news chief of Thai Rath, Nattapong Saengkaew, a Thai Rath reporter in Trang, Sukjai Jittakarn, a reporter for Thai Rath in Songkhla, and Thepnarong Wiriyakul, a director of the Thai Laemthong daily newspaper.

A few days earlier, Thai Rath reporter Chalee Boonsawat and a rescue worker were killed in bomb blasts at a restaurant.

Khun Tuantong, about 50, was president of the Phuket Reporters' Club, an organisation consisting of local journalists from all press, tv and radio outlets.

He lived in Chalong and leaves a wife and a young girl that the couple were caring for as their own.

PAD Protest Precautions

THE GOVERNOR of Phuket has asked police to provide additional protection at the island's government offices.

But it's simply a precaution. He does not expect trouble on the island.

Other businesses, including some run by farang, have made their concerns known as well.

However, protests on Phuket are unlikely. Everyone on the island understands that violence would frighten tourists, and that even a noisy demonstration at this stage of proceedings would be a big turn-off.

Most of the local leaders of the People's Alliance for Democracy have joined the protests in Bangkok, where the future of the national government is being determined.

Occupancy rates are running at about 55 percent this month and forward bookings have so far only been slightly affected by a reduction in flights between Bangkok and Phuket.

Thai Air Offers Redundancies

THAI Airways continues to lose money and has offered redundancy to more than 1000 workers in an effort to sharpen its approach to the flying business.

People who have been at the airline for more than 15 years are eligible for payouts in the region of four million baht, with free domestic and international air travel for the rest of their lives.

Those who have been at the airline for less than 15 years don't get the free travel.

Look for
TRENDS
every day, Monday to Friday, at Phuketwan. It's essential reading. To tell us your news, email bigislandmedia@gmail.com or telephone 081 6513489.

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Look for
TRENDS
every day, Monday to Friday, at Phuketwan. It's essential reading. To tell us your news, email bigislandmedia@gmail.com or telephone 081 6513489.

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Wednesday October 27, 2021
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa

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