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Thai guides mass outside Chalong Police Station in a protest today

UPDATE Phuket Guides Protest at Police Support for Illegal Chinese Guides

Monday, June 2, 2014
PHUKET: About 100 Thai guides were staging a protest at Chalong Police Station in southern Phuket today in a dispute over what they say is police preferential treatment for foreign guides.

Officers from the station rounded up 23 Thai guides early this afternoon at Cape Promthep viewpoint, a popular stop for busloads of Chinese tourists.

Another 100 Thai guides descended on the police station in protest this afternoon.

The guides, all Mandarin speakers, say that police were investigating accusations that a Thai guide struck a Chinese guide.

''The Thai guides involved say there was a verbal argument but no physical violence,'' said the President of the Phuket Professional Guides Association, Panomphol ''Pete'' Thummachartniyom.

''In any event, the Thai guides are working legally while the Chinese guides are working illegally. The police turn a blind eye to that illegality.''

The protest began at 1pm and was still going at the police station close to 5pm. A senior officer said there may have been a misunderstanding. The guides were ''invited'' to the station, not arrested.

A spokesperson for the Phuket Labor Office said that only Thais could be guides but many Chinese who lived on Phuket were registered as managerial staff of travel companies, sometimes even as managing directors.

''If they are caught acting as guides they should be arrested,'' the spokesperson said. The issue of illegal guides has often been raised with no solution found yet.

Khun Pete said the numbers of Chinese tourists visiting Phuket was down but more because of the advent of the change in seasons than the coup.

Comments

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Although China is not in Asean Thailand really has to wake up to in less than 18 months people from nine other Asean countries will be able to come to Thailand and work. Some would call the protection of jobs for Thais racist, but most G20 countries have an excellent record of allowing foreigners to work in their country. Instead of arguing about foreigners working illegally better to promote yourselves as Thais and train your job skills to match the competition which is coming soon. Imagine this type of behavior in London, New York, Munich, Sydney......

Posted by Fiesty Farang on June 2, 2014 15:19

Editor Comment:

You would find ''foreigners'' restricted in what they can do in Sydney and New York, FF. And there would be hoops to jump through in Europe, too. The same kinds of restrictions are imposed on all except the lowest paying jobs.

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I agree Ed, but at least you have a chance in developed countries. Here foreigners are banned from most job. Example, how many non Thai Doctors do you see in Phuket? Does this mean the people are getting the best service. how many non British doctors would you see in London, many. So Thais expect to go to our countries and work if they are educated but we cannot work in Thailand, apart from a few jobs. Europe all countries, nearly 30 of them have freedom of movement to work, Aus and NZ can work in each country etc. It is the way forward, or are Western countries crazy. Thailand is living 50 years in the past when it come to work regulations for non Thais. Glad I am retired as I would not be able to make a living here.

Posted by Fiesty Farang on June 2, 2014 16:18

Editor Comment:

I know of overseas doctors on Phuket but the appeal of western destinations is greater. All direct comparisons between developed and developing countries are unfair, FF. Yes, Thailand is behind the West. Don't be so surprised - nobody else is.

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Clearly an illegal gathering of more than 5 for a protest.

Protesting about police actually believing a foreigner was a victim of a crime committed by a Thai ?

Keep behaving like this and there will be not one Chinese tourist left for anyone to "guide".

Posted by ThaiMike on June 2, 2014 16:20

Editor Comment:

You seem to have missed the sub-plot, ThaiMike. This is Chalong.

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I thought the investigation last month into intimidation of the dive industry too care of the naughty cops in Chalong. I guess some more must have slipped into the back room whilst the boss wasn't looking.

Not sure what you mean by this statement though- 'A spokesperson for the Phuket Labor Office said that only guides could be guides'.

Posted by Mister Ree on June 2, 2014 16:38

Editor Comment:

'only Thais could be guides.' It's our editor's day off.

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@Fiesty Farang
Thai administration is reinforcing all laws about visas, work-permits and registered companies with foreign shareholders in order to protect Thai jobs and businesses.
Foreigners from non-ASEAN countries such as Europeans will get much more difficult to work in Thailand.
Even Singapore has set up new immigration and labour laws to make more difficult to work in Singapore because of complaint from Singaporeans.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on June 2, 2014 17:01

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Maybe the guides need to learn the necessary languages for the more recent influx of Chinese & Russian tourists ??

Foreign languages has never been a strong point in Thailand & surprisingly deficient in the main tourist areas.

Posted by Logic on June 2, 2014 17:24

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I utterly and completely refuse to believe these guides are "mandarin speakers". You can't even find guides that are english speakers here, at least not what a native speaker would consider good enough for guide work. Unfortunately thai guides are more or less useless when it come to actually guiding anybody. And I speak from experience after working in the tourism industry for close to 15 years, both in Thailand and in other asian countries. The thai guides are far and away the worst of all, including in comparison to "lesser" neighbours like Cambodia, Burma and Laos. Not to mention Malaysia or China for example, where local guides make thai guides look uneducated.

Posted by christian on June 2, 2014 23:32


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