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The beginnings of Phuket's bid for the World Expo 2020

Phuket's Bid for World Expo Can Kill Corruption

Tuesday, June 22, 2010
News Analysis

THE GOVERNOR will be back at work today with Phuket's ambitious plan to host the World Expo 2020 on his large desk. The bid, in tandem with the Greater Phuket provinces of Phang Nga and Krabi, needs to be formalised fast.

In a happy accident of timing, it could be just what's needed to break the cycle of corruption on Phuket.

No doubt Governor Wichai Praisa-ngob will circulate memories of a week in Spain, perhaps even including European standards of public transport as well as fiery flamencos, as he is briefed at Provincial Hall in Phuket City on what's been happening during his absence.

You can bet he will be showing much interest in the US reaction to the third blockade by taxi and tuk-tuk drivers of the vans being used to ferry American military personnel from Phuket's deep sea port to Patong and back: it would be an absolute nightmare for the island and for Thailand if mafia greed forced the US fleet to take R&R in some other country.

As it so happens, an efficient, low-cost public transport system will be crucial to Greater Phuket's bid for the World Expo 2020, and a key to cracking the graft that greases the wheels of Phuket's present shoddy, shamefully inadequate system.

The crookedness does not stop with transport. It handicaps virtually every aspect of honest governance and justice, leaving Phuket's hopes of even competing with other international destinations permanently crippled.

Rip-offs also abound. As fast as the beautiful beaches and coral reefs turn on the tourists, the extortionate prices and everyday deceits turn them off.

This is not a purely Thai problem: the expats who exploit the graft are even more evil, perhaps, because they know there are workable alternatives.

How long has it been since someone on Phuket was charged with corruption? We don't know the answer, but we doubt that there has been a memorable instance this century.

The point that needs to be addressed, though, is not who to blame, but how to move forward.

The World Expo 2020 presents a wonderful opportunity to bring about an earth-moving change for the better.

Greater Phuket is perfectly placed to become the key to Thailand's bid for a World Expo 2020. There is the space, there is the beautiful natural setting, there are the resorts, there is the timely expansion for Phuket International Airport.

But a World Expo 2020 in Greater Phuket will not work without creating a new public transport network to move hundreds of thousands around the region, efficiently and inexpensively. It will not work without an implementation process and an administration that is graft-free.

It will not work unless the Thai government puts an an end to corruption on Phuket now.

A first small, haltering step could be taken quickly by creating an orderly process for the taxis and tuk-tuks that seek to pick up American crew members and take them from the deep sea port to Patong.

Design a legitimate taxi rank, perhaps with a ballot in advance to establish the order for vehicles. Let the next group of warships know in advance that there are competitive low prices on offer to carry three or four crew at once to Patong by taxi or tuk-tuk.

Show Phuket's welcoming hospitality and willingness to work at its best, rather than at its greedy, selfish worst. Put the dark days behind Phuket.

Start the clean wheels spinning. There will probably never be a better chance. Roll on, World Expo 2020.
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Comments

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[quote]
Let the next group of warships know in advance that there are competitive low prices on offer to carry three or four crew at once to Patong by taxi or tuk-tuk
[/quote]

There is more chance of me becoming Prime Minister of Upper Volta than there is of the tuk-tuks and taxis offering 'competitive low prices'

The fact is that these people have absolutely no interest in offering a decent service at a fair price. They are controlled by the mafia.

The mafia is not widely known for providing value-for-money services with a smile.

The situation in Phuket will never change unless someone who is more powerful than these mafia thugs puts a stop to it.

And I doubt that this person exists...

Editor: What's 'Summer' like in Upper Volta?

Posted by Simon Luttrell on June 22, 2010 21:42

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The fact that Thai people are not featured prominently on the marketing material is intellectually dishonest, ridiculous, and borderline fraudulent. It looks like a European person is featured on the cover of the flyer in the article. Is this a bad joke or pathetic marketing? Especially given the rising economies in Asian countries. If this continues, then the World Expo 2020 should be held elsewhere.

Editor: I suspect it's a simple ''dummy'' just to give a general idea, rather than a guide to what the real thing might look like.

Posted by John on June 23, 2010 03:45

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Editor, Did you forward this to the Governor as well?

Posted by David on June 23, 2010 04:37

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fight them with their own arms; make a deal that will change the tuk-tuk system in such a way that the leaders take advantage, even so it's a huge disadvantaged to the individual tuk-tuk driver, then the m**** leaders will enforce those rules ... because it's in their own personal advantage to do so ... they will do it!

don't fight the greed, use it!

this while at the same time there's also a good margin to work with; the system now prevents tuk-tuk drivers to pick up new clients there were they dropped the last one, they need to go back to their own spot first ... that's a big loss; any system that changes that loss into a profit should have a good chance to be accepted

Posted by Me on June 23, 2010 18:30


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