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Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, now in charge of the Tourism Ministry

New Tourism Minister Has Phuket Links

Saturday, August 30, 2014
PHUKET: Thailand's new Tourism and Sport Minister is a highly-regarded businesswoman who knows the island - her husband was the police commander a couple of years ago.

Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, who was appointed yesterday and will join the Cabinet of Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha, heads Toshiba Thailand.

She is active in business, education, arts and culture, according to a brief biography online, and known to be anti-corruption.

A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, she and former Phuket Police Commander Major General Chonsit Wadhnawarangkun have two children.

Major General Chonsit's tenure on Phuket began in December 2011 and was was short but action-packed.

The murder of Australian Michelle Smith - followed by the sentencing to life in prison of her two attackers within seven weeks - the ''body in the bin'' case involving Norwegian Stein Dokset, the assassination in the street of investigative journalist Wisut ''Ae'' Tangwittayaporn and the hatchet attack on Phuket resort owner-manager Vorasit ''Wan'' Issara all took place in Commander Chonsit's eight-month term.

His lasting legacy is the Patong Safety Zone, which encouraged individual police and community leaders to work together to control crime and saw the wider use of security cameras. The safety zone concept has been more widely introduced.

Serious crimes against individuals on Phuket appear to occur less often these days, although the perpetrators of several murders have yet to be caught.

Thailand's last Tourism and Sport Minister, Somsak Pureesrisak, drove the process under which tourists' complaints to honorary consuls and ambassadors were investigated and acted upon. He and pop star Rihanna shared the Phuketwan Phuket Person of the Year Award for 2013.

In 2013, European Union ambassadors met Phuket Governor Maitree Intrusud on Phuket and sought dramatic improvements. Some of those changes have happened but Governor Maitree has yet to keep a promise to resume meeting regularly with Phuket's honorary consuls.

Comments

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Looks like she's taking a big bite into the sour phuket lemon

Posted by Simon on August 30, 2014 11:24

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"but Governor Maitree has yet to keep a promise to resume meeting regularly with Phuket's honorary consuls" - why would this be anyone know the reason please explain?

Posted by Fiesty Farang on August 30, 2014 13:30

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I have only one question: What is this?

Posted by Retired Roadworker on August 30, 2014 20:51

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Rihanna-2013 Phuket person of the year? It was a great picture of her in Phuketwan, as she showed off her sexy assets near the rear of the boat. She also exposed the slow Loris issue, and tweeted about her experience seeing various objects "return to earth" from the bowels, er..I mean groin of a female entertainment worker. It must have been the slow Loris that did it.. much to the chagrin of Somsak, who still came in a respectable second.

Posted by farang888 on August 30, 2014 21:38

Editor Comment:

The award was shared. Both of them helped Phuket, one without knowing it.

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When I hear

Husband - chef of Police department, Wife - businesswoman,
Wife - a judge, Husband - attorney-in-law
Farther - head of municipal council , Son - developer in the same area

and then hear that a spouse who is not on a state payroll, fighting corruption,
I need done extra evidence to take it at a face value,
especially in cultures which favor subjective approach, incl.face saving, to objective approach.

Fighting corruption in that context sometimes can mean just fending off other actors in a corruption theater.

Posted by Sue on September 3, 2014 07:23

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I would like minister to advise how elderly tourists can manage in Phuket with no sunbeds,no parasols, no access to drinks or food. I've been visiting Phuket for 10 years mainly for enjoyment of sun, sea and beach life. I am 72, suffering from arthritis and cannot lie on the sand. Lack of access to other amenities means that for people of my age group, Phuket has now become a no go area
What a terrible shame

Posted by Linda on November 7, 2014 19:59

Editor Comment:

Surely a sunbed by the pool is safer for someone with arthritis, Linda? There are many resorts with sunbeds by the pools.

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been coming more than 30 years... Im a healthy aged person and not one of those unhealthy ones. The place looks much better without all the beach clutter... You can actually get to the beach easily and walk along it somewhat... but why are those horrid jet skis still here and the parasailing. The beach is for everyone not a select few! Why not put the damn things at that horrible end of Patong beach... where the buses stop and they can run out 200 meters and do what they do...same with parasailing! Oh I forgot thats smart and they dont like smart things in Phuket... this karma thing is just stupid... what about safety and looking after the tourists that make money for Phuket!

Posted by abigmagilla on November 8, 2014 07:58


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