PHUKET: Phuket and its problems are being presented to Thailand's Cabinet today as tuk-tuks and the stolen passport scandal continue to menace the future of the international holiday island.
Today's revelation that the two passports stolen on Phuket and used by Iranians to board the lost flight MH370 in Kuala Lumpur had been previously used in a China visa application will alarm security chiefs everywhere.
Employment contracts had been signed last year for Christian Kozel, an Austrian, and Luigi Maraldi, an Italian, to work as dancers in Ningxia, northern China, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Those are the two men whose passports were stolen while they holidayed on Phuket.
The LA Times link to China poses the first clear pointer to stolen Phuket passports being used by a ring rather than an individual shyster.
And it means more unwanted international attention for Phuket, where the island's police commander, Major General Ong-Art Phiwruangnont, yesterday conceded that enforcers were losing their fight against lawlessness and skulduggery.
Today Tourism and Sport Minister Somsak Pureesrisak is likely to tell Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Cabinet that Phuket needs more intervention and radical solutions for its problems.
Khun Somsak's battle to make Phuket a better place earned him a share of the Phuketwan Phuket Person of the Year 2013 Award, and he appears to be determined to get the job done.
Yesterday at a media conference at Phuket Police headquarters in Phuket City he floated the idea that Phuket was such a special case, it needed ''independence'' to resolve the big issues.
''Phuket people have to reset everything for themselves,'' he said. ''Law enforcement brings street blockades and officials are unable to fix the problems,'' he said.
Whether the Cabinet goes so far as to embrace Phuketwan's suggested solution - to make Phuket a role model for the rest of Thailand by wiping out corruption on the holiday island - remains to be seen.
On the hot issue of passports, Khun Somsak said there were 500 motorcycle renting shops in Pattaya and only eight people to check them so police on Phuket probably needed to outsource that part of their duty.
The Superintendent of Karon Police Station and the chief of Phuket's Marine Office 5, Phuripat Theerakulpisut, both gave indications that Phuket is some way from changing to the international Thai destination it must become to survive.
The superintendent said that in the past, tourists were ''Gods who looked on Thai people as slaves,'' and that some continued to make trouble for locals.
Khun Phuripat said that in jet-ski disputes, Phuket's team of honorary consuls ''always'' supported their own people, even in cases where the jet-ski hirers were in the right.
What all of Phuket's honorary consuls have actually said repeatedly is that they want the laws of Thailand enforced fairly for all, with expats and tourists deserving to be punished if they commit crimes.
The comments of the superintendent and Khun Phuripat make it plain that Phuket's Governor Maitree Intrusud needs to restore the full honorary consuls' meetings as soon as possible so that local authorities fully understand the international community and its needs.
The breakdown in communication and the disappearance of the regular exchange of views that the open consuls' forums provided has put Phuket back into a dark age.
There can be no solving Phuket's problems behind closed doors.
More international scandals of the kind generated by the stolen passports are bound to occur, along with local tuk-tuk blockades, if the mindset of some local authorities is not overruled speedily and replaced with a Thai-international perspective.
The first opportunity comes at today's Cabinet meeting.