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Krabi Governor Siwa Sirisoawaluk: introduced walking street for tourists

Krabi Governor to Go Amid 'Monsoon' Changes

Monday, September 28, 2009
ONE Andaman Governor is moving on, and so will be many officials around the region as regular twice-yearly ''monsoons'' sweep through the corridors of power this week.

But this particular season, the winds of change are likely to be much more intense because of the unhappiness of Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban over jet-ski scams and other tourist rip-offs.

More significant than whether some Phuket jet-ski operators regularly rob tourists of large sums of money is the reaction to the bad publicity in Bangkok.

Beyond damning footage on British television and the Internet, diplomats from Australia, Britain and other countries have made cheating tourists at Suvarnabhumi airport and on Phuket a hot issue.

Each October and May brings these ''monsoon'' winds of change. This October on Phuket, though, a few extra officials are likely to be blown away.

In one sense, dishonest behavior is bad enough. Getting caught is possibly worse than the crime. Evidence of corrupt practices not only reduces tourism income, it taints Thailand's image abroad.

And so this time, some extra spice is likely to be added among the regulation adjustments that come like clockwork, twice a year.

Almost every administrator in Thailand expects to move every three years or so, so a change will come as no surprise to Krabi Governor Siwa Sirisoawaluk.

He has overseen the implementation of new roads and begun a plan for a marina at Krabi Town. The death of a young Swedish tourist from a box jellyfish sting was among the unusual events Khun Siwa has had to handle.

Phuket's Governor is staying on, along with the Governors of Phang Nga and Ranong.

But other faces will change, with senior officials and officers among the police and tourist police still awaiting news.
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