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Phuket's Paiboon Upatising in trademark pink tie at Friday's meeting

Phuket President Survives Major Operation and Says: 'I'm Still Keen to Do The Job'

Monday, September 24, 2012
PHUKET: Paiboon Upatising, the President of the Phuket Provincial Administrative Organisation, has had a major operation for cancer and is now recovering.

Khun Paiboon had the operation on August 26 - the day of the council elections. Khun Paiboon was earlier reelected president on April 7 with a substantial majority.

He told Phuketwan today that he wanted to thank everybody for their support during the past difficult month.

''I can walk again and do everything by myself,'' said Khun Paiboon, who celebrates his 56th birthday on October 1.

''But I will need to throttle back and delegate more to others.''

The illness was discovered in a regular checkup. ''I had trouble eatlng,'' Khun Paiboon said. ''It turned out to be something quite serious and an operation was scheduled immediately.''

Recuperation will take six months and involve regular visits to the Bangkok hospital where the surgery was performed, he said.

Khun Paiboon's illness has been known to a small circle of friends and family until now.

When Phuketwan spoke by telephone today to Khun Paiboon in Bangkok, he said he was in the capital for a regular post-operative checkup.

Part of Khun Paiboon's intestines were removed in the operation.

''It won't affect my capacity to do the job but it will slow me down,'' Khun Paiboon said.

On Phuket on Friday, he briefed other members of the council of the administrative organisation and members of its staff on the budget and policy for 2013.

The president is the most senior elected official on Phuket, with a budget of many millions coming from Phuket-based taxes.

Now in his second four-year term, Khun Paiboon has introduced a number of successful projects on Phuket, including the low-cost ''pinkie'' bus network across Phuket City and the newly reopened Phuket Provincial Hospital.

Khun Paiboon and his team have won national awards for being transparent and anti-corruption. Improving Phuket's public parks remains high on the agenda.

The organisation pays for Phuket's beach lifeguards and for a time, the council also supported the FC Phuket football club.

Khun Paiboon, whose signature color is pink, has a large extended family and his family also has several businesses and franchises on Phuket.


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