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Patong Mayor Pian Keesin defends himself against allegations

Uproar As Patong's Leaders Feud Over 'Cronyism'

Sunday, November 15, 2009
THE MAYOR of Patong, Pian Keesin, has defended himself against claims of cronyism connected with tuk-tuk parking and other issues along the beach road.

Khun Pian's defence came after a Patong engineer resigned in reaction to a tessaban opposition member naming three projects he said were questionable.

Members of the opposition in the local tessaban council on Friday said that firetrucks could not even enter Patong's small sois in case of a fire because the mayor had approved construction projects in the narrow streets.

Mayor Keesin controls final approval of these projects, members said.

Tessaban member Mana Panchalad said some owners of the buldings had been given permission to park on public land. Provision should have been made for private parking in the new construction, he said.

Another member, Prasert Patko, said parking, particularly by tuk-tuks, and the growth of small vendor kiosks was out of control in Patong.

''The public toilets are filthy and not good enough for the high season next month,'' he said. Someone was benefitting from the public money that was supposed to be spent keeping Patong clean, he said.

Vendors were pestering tourists on beach loungers on Patong beach in larger numbers, Khun Prasert said.

Another opposition member, Sahut Jarungkin, said he had evidence of the mayor choosing contractors for tessaban projects with which he had strong connections.

He said the questionable projects were: a road-cleaning contract for more than one million baht for 11 months covering seven roads; a five-month school cleaning contract for 495,000 baht and a klong-widening project for 706,240 baht.

The contractors had used tessaban staff and equipment to perform these tasks, he said.

''If the mayor doesn't do anything, we will keep raising this issue at every tessaban meeting,'' Khun Sahut said.

Patong engineer Supanat Mirin, a member of the committee in charge of checking the three projects, announced his resignation at the tessaban meeting.

Rowdy debate on the topic broke out among tessaban members but ended abruptly when tessaban head Tanin Audthasub declared the meeting over.

Khun Pian, who stayed in the room with media representatives and Khun Sahut, told him: ''We do everything by the law. These accusations are baseless.''

Khun Sahut told Khun Pian that he needed to defend himself in a proper setting, at the next tessaban meeting. A date has yet to be set.
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Comments

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"Someone was benefitting (sic) from the public money. . ." I find it absolutely impossible to believe that this could be true in such a warm-spirited and harmonious Buddhist country.

Where I come from, if anyone made such an outrageous accusation they would be sued, or worse. But I know that this could never happen here in a society so rich in tolerance and integrity.

I would write more, but I need to get down to the bank and transfer an additional 80,000 baht upcountry to my girlfriend for her dear mother who has again taken ill.

Posted by Tree Lover on November 15, 2009 09:35

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please just come and spend your money and go home as fast as possible and dont complain . who cares about the annoying tuk tuks the dirty roads , the touts from Nepal . Money money money is the name of the game on this island now .

Posted by Peter J Notley on November 15, 2009 18:31


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