MOI says New Year’s revelers can party all night
Closing hours extended until 6 a.m. on Dec. 31
Deputy Minister of Interior Pracha Maleenont announced
that the authorities have given the green light for entertainment venues to
stay open until 6 a.m. on New Year’s Eve.
The move came in response to a barrage of requests from
entertainment operators to give them a break.
However, operators must strictly follow the other rules
or face 30 days immediate closure as penalty, Deputy Pracha said. The deputy
MOI said he demands cooperation from operators in regard to not allowing
juveniles on the premises, no drugs or firearms, and no prostitution or lewd
Any operators caught flaunting these basic laws will face
a 30-day shutdown without appeal.
Pracha also urged business and entertainment operators to
carefully monitor mischievous or criminal acts on their own premises during
these dates since police are going to be spread thin and may not be able to
monitor all places in the city at all times during the 5-day long national
Pracha said during the time of former interior minister
Purachai Piumsomboon’s administration, tough laws imposed on night
entertainment establishments were only meant to create social order in the
country. These laws have produced positive results because of the severity
of the punishment.
Pracha added that those five basic laws will continue to
be enforced due to great support from children’s parents and teachers.
He said a flood of appeals for extended operating hours
would not have any effect on the law previously posed during Purachai’s
administration because if the operators are still breaching the social
order, the law cannot be reconsidered. He said it is the duty of the private
sector to get together and find ways to control and weed out the black sheep
TAT and City Hall to host New Year celebrations on Walking Street
Manit Boonchim, director of the Tourism Authority of
Thailand Region 3 revealed that Pattaya’s New Year Countdown Celebration
2003 will be organized at Walking Street, South Pattaya between December
27th and 31st, 2002 to ring in the New Year.
He said Pattaya is a well-known international tourist
city and during the event a great number of tourists will flock into the
city to look for some fun and celebration.
During the 3-day event, traditional Thai dancing and
musical shows will promote Thailand’s heritage. International cuisine and
Thai-made products will be on sale.
On the night of December 31st, a fabulous fireworks
display will light up the sky while proceeding for toward the traditional
countdown. All are warmly invited to Pattaya’s Walking Street for the
Health Ministry rep meets with business operators to clarify no-smoking ban
Dr. Charan Trinwuthipong, director of disease control
department, Ministry of Health chaired a meeting on the clarification of the
enforcement of the new no-smoking laws to promote understanding in the
Held at Town In Town Hotel, over 500 members of the local
press and restaurant business operators in the eastern and central region
attended the seminar and the question and answer session.
Dr. Charan said the smoking ban policy or the
Non-smokers’ Health Protection Act B.E. 2535 (1992) enforced since
November 9, 2002, has created misunderstanding and affected some businesses
such as hotels, restaurants, entertainments venues and shopping malls.
The director stressed that members of the press must give
accurate information and the police need to be clear on the new restrictions
so they can enforce the laws.
Dr. Charan explained that the 2,000 baht fine for smokers
who smoke in restricted areas, and 20,000 baht fine for owners of the
premises who do not enforce the rule, will be imposed only to protect the
health of the public and not disrupt anyone’s business.
The Ministry of Health says that smoking bans are
effectively enforced in many other countries and do not negatively affect
business operators. There are some exceptions for particular types of rooms
such as a hotel rooms or private rooms.
After the meeting Dr. Charan took a walk through the
Central Festival Center Pattaya to check to see if operators and customers
were adhering to the law and concluded that they were.
Local precinct bids farewell to Police Chief Pol. Col. Padungsak Ubekkanon
Former police chief to begin new assignment in Chantaburi
A party was in order as officers from Pattaya police
station bade fond farewells to their commanding officer of 2 years, Pol.
Col. Padungsak Ubekkanon. Held on December 16 at the function room of the
Gulf Siam Hotel in North Pattaya, the party was attended by local
dignitaries including the mayor and local businessmen. All turned out to
wish Pol. Col. Padungsak well at his new post in the Calung Precinct in
Chantaburi Province starting January 2, 2003.
Chief Pol. Col. Padungsak Ubekkanon (2nd from left) enjoyed a singing
sendoff from friends and colleagues
The transfer is in accordance with the regulations set
down by the National Police Bureau whereby all government officials serve in
one post for a period of 2 years.
New police chief Pol. Col. Kamolchai Tienrungroj will take command of
Pattaya Police Station.
Pattaya welcomes a new police chief
New chief says he will enforce the law
Pattaya now has a new police chief. On December 19, local
police officers from all departments threw a welcoming party at the Grand
Sole Hotel for Pol. Col. Kamolchai Tienrungroj, who has replaced Padungsak
Ubekkanon as the new Pattaya chief of police.
December 19, local police officers from all departments threw a welcoming
party at the Grand Sole Hotel for Pol. Col. Kamolchai Tienrungroj (center),
who has replaced Padungsak Ubekkanon as the new Pattaya chief of police.
Pol. Col. Kamolchai was previously stationed as the
police chief of Calung Precinct in Chantaburi where Padungsak Ubekkanon has
now taken over as chief of the station.
The transfer orders came from director general of the
National Police Bureau, Pol. Gen. Santh Srutharnont in accordance with the
national policy which decrees a 2-year posting.
Over 30 tables of police, local business operators and
city official joined in for a Chinese-style luncheon to welcome the new
Pol. Col. Kamolchai said that as the new chief he has his own policy
regarding safety and service to tourists and crime and drug prevention are
top priorities. He said he aims to enforce the law and protect the lives and
property of residents and tourists. He went on to say that their safety is
an important factor and that the city wants tourists from around the world
to enjoy their stay in Pattaya.
Pattaya residents pay chanting tribute to Chao Phor Ket Ngam - guardian spirit of the city
According to Thai beliefs, a guardian spirit protects
Pattaya City and resides in a special spirit house. A chanting tribute was
paid to this spirit on December 13. Mayor Pairat Suttithamrongsawat and his
crew from city hall, together with the Sawang Boriboon foundation organized
the Chao Phor Ket Ngam chant ceremony at Pattaya Beach.
merchants, and the general public regularly pay their respects to the Chao
Phor Ket Ngam spirit house, but on December 13, TAT and city hall got
together for a much larger ceremony to entertain the city’s guardian
In the morning, religious ceremonies were performed and 9
displays of fireworks were set off to observe King Taksin the Great and
Admiral Chumporn Khetudomsak.
Thai traditional dancing, music, Thai boxing shows, and
movies provided some entertainment for the spirit Chao Phor Ket Ngam.
During the tribute students from Pattaya schools were
presented with school funds. Sawang Boriboon foundation received 6 sacks of
50-kilogram rice. Pattaya City Hall and local clubs including the Rotary
Club of Pattaya donated 210,880 baht which will be used for further
renovation of Pattaya City’s guardian spirit’s residence.
Chao Phor Ket Ngam spirit house was built in 1957 and received a major
renovation in 1994, a period when the Tourism Authority of Thailand was
injecting millions of baht into Pattaya roads and beach beautification.
Fishermen, merchants, and the general public regularly pay their respect to
the Chao Phor Ket Ngam spirit house.
Overheated computer causes fire in South Pattaya
An overheated computer was apparently the cause of a shop
house fire opposite Welcome Plaza in South Pattaya last week. The shop is
owned by Narinder Kaur Korana.
Four fire engines and two crane trucks were dispatched to
the scene and were quickly able to extinguish the blaze.
The fire was reported to have started from a computer and
spread throughout the bedroom, also damaging one color TV and one mobile
phone. Estimate of the damage was about 50,000 baht.
Misak Meedan, Narinder’s son, told police that before
the incident he was working on his computer and left the machine for a
moment to go to the rest room. When he returned, he found the computer was
already on fire, so he believed that the cause could have been a short
Odds of Pattaya getting a casino beginning to grow
Ambassador City Jomtien Hotel currently seen as best choice
It appears that national lawmakers are seriously
considering passing legislation that would lead toward allowing a casino to
be built in Pattaya.
R) Saensuk Mayor Somchai Khunpluem, casino proposal scrutiny panel chairman
Yuwarat Kamolvej, Royal Bangkok Sports Club director Anothai Uthensut, and
panel moderator Sunya Mungkorn hold a public discussion on the merits of
Pattaya getting a casino.
On December 18, a panel of distinguished guest speakers
was formed during the monthly Pattaya Business and Tourism Association
meeting at the Dusit Resort to publicly debate the issue. The panel was made
up of casino proposal scrutiny panel chairman, Yuwarat Kamolvej, Royal
Bangkok Sports Club director, Anothai Uthensut, and Saensuk Mayor Somchai
Khunpluem Somchai Khunpluem. Local business operators and politicians,
Pattaya press and member of the general public were invited to sit in on the
Anothai Uthensut told the assembly, “We are still
waiting for policymakers at Government House to announce legalization of
casinos in the Kingdom.” He said in Las Vegas gambling was legal and did
not ruin the city’s reputation because there are strict rules for the
gamblers there. “If we apply the same rules here in Thailand, gambling
would not be an addiction or create a negative image for the country.”
The issue of legalized gambling in Thailand has been
debated for 20 years, while illegal gambling has continued to spread.
The argument for legalizing casinos in Thailand rests on
the premise that people are going to gamble anyway, and if legitimate
casinos are built, properly managed and monitored, restrictions and rules
can be applied for citizens’ protection and screening methods could
minimize harm done to those who cannot afford to play on the gaming tables.
Economics also come into play since legal casinos can be a source of immense
revenue to the state.
Yuwarat Kamolvej, ex-governor of Chonburi, said a renewed
push for legalizing casinos in Thailand arose in 1998. Data collected from
casinos in the USA, Australia, Britain, and Russia was presented and showed
that governments of these countries created barriers to prevent government
officials from being involved in the gambling by legalizing only a number of
Yuwarat explained that presently in Thailand there is a
different objective, namely to stop billions of baht from seeping out the
Yuwarat agreed that Pattaya is not like other tourist
places in Thailand, as it has something different to offer. He added that if
the Ambassador Hotel agreed to provide part of its premises for a casino,
the government would suddenly respond to the demand.
Somchai Khunpluem, Saensuk municipality mayor said there
is a big possibility for Pattaya City to welcome national and international
gamblers. He said that Pattaya is a logical place to have a legal
international standard casino because of its existing facilities, such as
accommodation, transportation and accessibility. Mayor Somchai estimated
that with a legal casino in the area, money pouring into the province could
be as high as 600 million baht a day.
A proposal has been made to the Ambassador City Jomtien Hotel that would
replace half of its regular clientele with casino gamblers. The hotel would
be offered one million baht as a daily renting fee for the next 3 to 5
500 baht buses rally to provide transportation during World Scout Jamboree
Drivers will be trained in good service and polite behavior
Somsak Yonokphan, Banglamung district chief, and Manit
Boonchim, Director of Tourism Authority of Thailand Region 3 announced that
a campaign has begun to improve Pattaya’s baht bus service in time for the
World Scout Jamboree.
Speaking on December 19 at the Tiffany Theater in Pattaya,
the Banglamung district chief said the government is planning to recruit and
train baht bus drivers to provide good service for visitors to the area
during the upcoming event, which will be held at Had Yao, Samae Sarn
district in Sattahip.
During the Scout Jamboree over 30,000 participants from
all over the world will need transportation throughout the event, and
‘song taew’ or baht buses will play a key role. Authorities have
acknowledged the need to train 500 baht bus drivers to address this issue.
The campaign is well supported by TAT Region 3, Pattaya City Hall, the
Pattaya Baht Bus Union, Chonburi Transportation Department, Pattaya police,
and Pattaya traffic police.
Somsak said TAT Region 3 recently discussed the campaign
with the Baht Bus Union of Pattaya and asked for its cooperation.
Somsak stressed that Pattaya now has another chance to
prove that it is still one of the top tourist destinations in the world and
urged the drivers to behave well and charge fair prices. During the event
fair price lists will be placed in the passengers’ space in order to avoid
cheating and arguments.
Kamnan Poh offers more than 600 rai of land to Royal Turf Club
New horse racing track could generate billions
of baht for Chonburi Province
Speaking at the Dusit Resort Pattaya, Saensuk Mayor
Somchai Khunpluem revealed that he was willing to give 626 rai of land along
Highway No. 331 in Huay Yai District, Banglamung to the Royal Turf Club for
a new horseracing track. He said that Bangkok’s governor Samak Sundaravej
recently admitted that Bangkok is no longer suitable for any big event due
to limited roads and severe traffic congestion which is already a severe
hardship for Bangkokians.
The governor conceded that the current track, Nang Lerng,
which is under the supervision of the Royal Turf Club, is over 85 years old.
It no longer provides enough thrills for racing fans due to the limited
distance of the track.
Bangkok’s governor wants to turn the old track in
Bangkok into a public park to commemorate the longest reign of His Majesty
the King Bhumibol Adulyadej and provide people with greenery.
Kamnan Poh said he would be happy to donate the patch of
land to the Royal Turf Club and thinks that it could bring lots of money
into Chonburi Province, with an estimated 30,000 horse racing fans on each
day of competition.
Approximately 2 billion baht would be injected by the
Royal Turf Club and the government intends to hire a Japanese company which
has the technology to build to international standards.
Kamnan Poh indicated that Huay Yai District would also
get the benefit of collecting 4-5% income tax from the new track.
Oil washes up onto Pattaya’s beaches damaging the environment and businesses
Authorities have yet to respond to the situation
Associated Press and
Pattaya Mail Staff Reporters
Oil has begun washing up on Pattaya’s shores after a
collision between a tanker and cargo ship two nautical miles east of Bamboo
Island (Koh Pai) that left the tanker leaking tons of diesel and crude oil
into the water last Tuesday December 17. Officials from the port authority
in Laem Chabang have called in the pollution cleanup team to begin
go to the beach within the next few days don’t wear your good shoes.
Those operations, however, seem to have missed a part of
the slick, as black globules of oil began washing up on Pattaya’s shores
between North and Central Pattaya on Monday morning, causing concern and
outrage from local beach operators.
One of the area’s most affected is the beach at the end
of Soi 6, where the oil is very visible making the beachfront and waters
filthy. Beach chair and umbrella vendors said the oil began washing ashore
early Monday morning from about 3 a.m. and it has already caused problems
for their business as it mixes with the sand. The slick couldn’t have
happened at a worst time as the ‘tourist season’ has arrived and with a
dirty beach they fear losing business revenue.
At press time, there was no apparent action from local
officials acting on the spill with only local residents and businesses left
trying to remove the oil from the beaches in their area. More is more
washing ashore. “This will destroy the tourist business,” said one
The Kota Wijaya, a 16,731-ton Singaporean-registered
container ship, collided with the 5,342-ton Panamanian-registered Sky Ace
due to poor visibility in the pre-dawn darkness, said Lt. Commander Pisal
Salee of Laem Chabang Port last Tuesday December 17.
The Sky Ace suffered major structural damage and is
leaking fuel, but there were no reports of casualties.
Esso Singapore, a division of the U.S. oil company Exxon,
dispatched an emergency team to control the oil slick, which continues to
spread from the collision site, said Pisal.
Both ships headed to the port after the accident.
According to public records, Kota Wijaya is Danish owned,
while the Sky Ace is Japanese owned.
Reporters contacted city officials on Monday to get their
response to the dilemma. Deputy Mayor Wuttisak Rermkijikarn said, “We
(city hall) have already informed the responsible departments to begin clean
up operations. They are closely monitoring the situation from morning till
night while they clear the beaches of oil residue.”
“I would like to say to both residents and tourists not to be alarmed
at the situation. We have enough resources to effectively clear up the
situation. The amount of oil that leaked from the tanker was small enough
not to be overly concerned about. However, while we are in the process of
cleaning, it is recommended that people don’t swim in affected areas as
the oil may cause some skin irritation. The same goes for consuming local
seafood, especially all types of mussels and oysters, which, if eaten could
be potentially dangerous,” added Wuttisak.
Belgian arrested for child porno
and employing underage boys at go-go bar in South Pattaya
Belgian embassy official tipped off police
After receiving information from Belgian embassy
officials, Pattaya crime suppression officers set up a sting operation on
December 11 to catch a Belgian national suspected of involvement in child
pornography and pimping young Thai boys in Pattaya.
Jose Rosoor and Anucha Sarlika were arrested and charged with promoting
prostitution and illegally operating an entertainment business without a
license. Anucha Sarlika was charged with procuring under-aged staff for
Embassy officials told local authorities that 52-year-old
Belgian Michel Jose Rosoor was possibly exporting pornographic video CDs to
clients abroad which contained footage of foreign nationals engaging in
sexual activities with young Thai males.
Rosoor was also thought to be engaged in business
activities that offered sexual services to customers from underage boys in
the Jolly Boys Studio in Soi Day Night, South Pattaya.
Police set a trap with the aid of two embassy officials
to arrest the perpetrators. Marked money was used in the operation and once
the bait was taken, police sprang into action arresting the 27-year-old
manager from Pichit and the foreign owner.
After the raid, officers ordered the lights turned on and
found 40 young men between the ages of 16-18 dancing on stage at the go-go
bar. Manager Anucha Sarlika had unwittingly enticed undercover police into
an upstairs room before officers made their identities known.
Customers were told to leave the premises and then the 40
boys were told to get dressed so they could be interviewed by police.
Personal details were taken down for the record.
Police arrested Michel Jose Rosoor and Anucha Sarlika and charged both
with promoting prostitution and illegally operating an entertainment
business without a license. Anucha Sarlika was charged with procuring
under-aged staff for illegal purposes. The 40 dancers were fined 400 baht
each and released with a warning.