Vol. XI No. 30
Friday 25 July -31 July 2003

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Updated every Friday
by Parisa Santithi







We have arrived at yet another milestone... 
Our 10th Anniversary

Message from MD Pratheep ‘Peter’ Malhotra

Pattaya Mail endures through trials and tribulations, thrives on helping others in need

After having seen all these messages flooding in from so many friends, congratulating the Pattaya Mail on our 10th anniversary, not to mention articles by our very own writers, I didn’t feel like I needed to say any thing at all. I said to Dan our executive editor the other day, “You guys are saying it all; I have nothing else to say.” The stories of the early days, with all the trials and tribulations throughout the years have been told over and over again, but they are really very fond memories indeed. Sometimes just reminiscing them, had us in fits of laughter and more than once, close to tears.

Each and every one of us has recollections of the time, or should I say of life at the Pattaya Mail. Some have been with us from the very beginning, like Dan Dorothy, who is now our fearless editor. Fearless in a sense that he has never ever let the company down. I remember Dan saying to me a long, long time ago, “Peter, you gave me a job as the editor and by golly I am going to do that job to the best of my ability. If we don’t see eye-to-eye sometimes we’ll talk about it and we’ll find a way to come to an understanding. If ever I am not able to fulfill my responsibilities, I’ll quit.” Those words have been embedded in my brain ever since and I have used those words with all my staff, old and new, instilling into them the ethics of responsibility and integrity. By the way, Dan is now also a major shareholder, President and Editor-in-Chief of the Chiangmai Mail.

I have so many close friends in the Pattaya Mail. Not even for one moment have I ever considered them other than being part of my family. We have worked closely together through thick and thin, helping each other along the way.

Many have told me that I talk too much. But I just can’t help myself. Life is so short and there is so much to teach, so much to do to help and so much to give. I am told that I’m living my life on the fast track. The reasons are the same here too.

I thank the good Lord that He has given me the opportunity, the courage, the strength and the energy to have been able to do so much in the last ten years with the Pattaya Mail.

Tony & Prince pay their respects to the Father of Thai Modern Medicine HRH Prince Mahidol of Songkla, son of H.M. King Chulalongkorn the Great (Rama V)

Born in Phitsanuloke, lived in Bangkok and have been living here in Pattaya for the past 28 years, I have become a part of this beautiful city which is my home. My children were born here, went to primary schools here and now two of my elder sons, Prince and Tony, have received their Bachelor of Arts degrees from Mahidol University majoring in Travel Industry Management. That was indeed a proud day for the Malhotras , never to be forgotten, when their names were called and they walked up smartly, bowed humbly and received their certificates from HRH Princess Sirindhorn. Tears burst from our eyes uncontrollably. They were tears of unbounded happiness. For me they were tears of gratefulness too. I felt a great sense of relief. I had held my breath for so long. There were times in my career, when I didn’t even know if I could afford to send my children to school, let alone to college. How I thanked God for helping me pull this one off. How I pray everyday that all the children of this world are given the same opportunity to get a decent education. One day it will surely happen. The youngest son, Dave, is still in India at St. George’s College, Mussoorie and has taken the school by storm, being elected as one of the captains of the institution. Is a computer genious too. I am told that even the principal gets a lot of advice from him. Good on you son.

What am I trying to say, you may ask. I am just trying to say that I have a passion for learning . I have a passion for information and I have a desire that others may learn too. The Pattaya Mail has given me just that. It has been my tool for self-learning and self-discipline. It has taught me to be tolerant, and I mean really tolerant. Not that I don’t blow my fuse once in awhile, but that is also because I want things to be done in a correct manner. It has taught me to strive for perfection, not letting up even if sometimes never being able to accomplish it. But it has also taught me to persevere and keep trying, again and again. The Pattaya Mail has given me the greatest opportunity to meet people and I don’t mean only people in high society. My job has taken me to many places where I experienced the pain of people suffering, anything from hunger to sickness to injustices caused by other human beings. Pattaya Mail has been my vehicle to reach out and give any assistance that we possibly could give. How would I have been able to do all that if it wasn’t for Pattaya Mail?

Pattaya Mail does business with the highest levels of integrity and honesty. We assist those that need our help in getting on their feet when they are starting up new businesses, throwing caution to the wind and not caring if we would ever be reimbursed. We believe in keeping the economy rolling. Let the people have an opportunity to trade their goods through the pages of our paper. This will in turn encourage others to do the same. The economy thrives.

The Pattaya Mail is always at the forefront when it comes to serving the community, in any way or form. Our newspaper is made available, to be of use, if it can help in any way, directly or indirectly to alleviate the hardships of others. This has been one of my greatest satisfactions. This is what keeps me going.

As I write this message, tears are bursting from my eyes uncontrollably. They are tears of unbounded happiness. For me they are tears of gratefulness too. I feel a great sense of relief. I have held my breath for so long. There were also times in my career, when I didn’t even know if I could afford to keep the newspaper going, let alone celebrate the 10th Anniversary. Pattaya Mail has finally graduated.

I couldn’t have done it without you, all of you. Our readers, our advertisers, our supporters, our critics and our friends. Most of all my family, and that includes all of us in the Pattaya Mail. I couldn’t begin to name everyone, but I love you all.

Thank you for giving all of us here at Pattaya Mail the opportunity to serve you. For us it’s a way of life. We have learned to endure it all. We’re dammed if we don’t and we’re damned if we do.

We’ll carry on doing our best, at least for the next ten years… this is only the beginning.

What does it feel like to be 10?

By Dr. Iain

I can remember being ten years old. We were living in Scotland and it was very, very cold. The country area where we lived did not have electricity and we used paraffin (kerosene) lamps at night. Keeping the fire in the hearth burning was one of the most important aspects of home life. Woe betide anyone who let the dying embers extinguish!

I can remember too that my life had changed irrevocably by the time I was 10. I was no longer an “only” child, but a baby sister had appeared in the family. The novelty value of having a junior sibling disappeared very quickly, and I had to accept the fact that I was no longer ‘top dog’ as far as children was concerned. However, in winter I would volunteer to take my little sister for walks in her pram. I had found that tobogganing down hill behind the pram was superior to just doing the run-up on my own.

Even at 10 years old it was possible to look back and log one’s achievements, such as learning to ride a trike and then graduating to a two wheeler. Mine cost 9 shillings and the cross-bar had been repaired. I fell off it constantly and my mother threatened to put it away for another 12 months when I might be old enough to ride it. I pleaded a lot and wobbled my way down the whole length of the street, but came home triumphantly saying, “I can ride! I can ride!”

And so it is for a newspaper to turn 10 years old. Another decade of momentous events both internally and externally, some disappointments and some slow maturation. The Pattaya Mail received a baby sister as well, the German language Pattaya Blatt. Since I cannot read German, the novelty value of this junior sibling has also worn off very quickly, but it is fun to see one’s own stories translated into German “Von Dr. Iain”.

And it is also possible for a newspaper to log its own achievements, because the Pattaya Mail is not a ‘thing’ - it has some sort of soul I suppose, nurtured by the people who guide its direction. One achievement was when it enlarged from 24 pages to slowly grow to its present mammoth 48 page weekly read. Colour front pages were another addition and then the achievement of inside pages in colour too. All of these steps were like riding a bicycle - you mastered one aspect and then it was on to the next. And the Pattaya Mail never fell off its designated pathway either!

The 10 year old Pattaya Mail is now much more than just 48 pages of newsprint, but is the result of a huge team all pulling in one direction (or even perhaps being ‘pushed’ in one direction)! To mention the team members by name would be about as useful as the list of ‘dark influences’ currently being ‘suppressed’ - a list of names and soon forgotten, but two people stand out from my little office desk viewpoint - Peter Malhotra and Dan Dorothy. Publisher and Editor who have been with the paper since day 1 and who have tugged, pulled, cajoled, kicked, dragged and even used devious tactics to get the paper, your Pattaya Mail, out on time every Friday. They both deserve a round of applause!

For me, it is fun being part of the team and seeing a new ‘baby’ come out every week. I still get a kick out of it, and the day I don’t, I’ll give up. Hopefully it won’t be in the next 10 years as I’d like to write about what it was like being twenty. That’s the real nitty-gritty stuff!

The “Press Gang” in Pattaya - or, How I started at the “Mail”

by Peter Cummins
(Of course, who else could write this nonsense?)

Press-ganging, prevalent in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, was a gross violation of human rights, as we now interpret them.

When sailing vessels of old reached homeport, there were mass desertions from the crew who had managed to survive the months of hardship, cruelty, poor food, the tribulations suffered and the punishments inflicted on a daily basis.

Away they would go, raping and pillaging around the port, drinking themselves insensible, passing out on the docks, in bars, on the roadway, in the brothels... in fact, anywhere there was enough space to collapse. The local constabulary rounded them up and took them to the lock-up. They were the lucky ones. Many of the rest were set upon by these press-gangs, beaten senseless - if they had recovered from their alcoholic stupor - hurled aboard another vessel ready to sail and desperate to find crews. The unfortunates regained consciousness to find that they were heading out to sea, to face up to a year or more of this inhuman existence.

Fast forward to 1996. There I was, walking along Beach Road, totally sober - well, it was 10.30 in the morning - and I felt a light tap on my shoulder. Dan Dorothy, Executive Editor of the Pattaya Mail (and now also president of the Chiang Mai Mail) had reached down to me and I turned to face him. Although twice my size, he was smiling, not the least bit menacing and he was not even brandishing a stick. “The boss wants to talk to you,” Dan drawled. “Is this a summons?” I asked Dan. “Call it whatever you wish,” he replied.

Over the previous months, I had seen Dan occasionally lurking around the Royal Varuna Yacht Club, seeking stories in his then role as Sports Editor of the Mail. Obviously this “mysterious boss” had clearly seen Dan’s potential and wanted to elevate him to higher callings and had figured out how to move him. “Why that little Tasmanian yachting writer will fill in” and Dan was dispatched forthwith to “recruit the little fellow”, to join the “press gang” at the Mail.

And that fateful meeting with “the Boss”, alias Peter Malhotra, started this Peter on the “Road to Perdition”, er, sorry, “Submission” - no, not a fawning type of blighter; rather, feigning hype as a writer, constantly racing against his deadlines to publish some of his ‘dead’ lines!

And so, as our beloved Pattaya Mail turns 10 this week - seven years, thousands of words, clichés and puns, hundreds of photographs and a bag-full of good memories later - this PM Special Correspondent is going out onto Beach Road, club in hand, to “recruit” an assistant to come and join our Pattaya Mail Press Gang!

Please, no calls on Tuesday!

Mike Franklin

Five hundred and twenty issues of Pattaya Mail is an awful lot of newsprint to have put to bed, week in week out.

Tuesday, I know, is Press (panic) Day and an inevitable rush to include the latest ‘stop press’ news items and last minute copy changes. The unique thing about a newspaper is that, whilst the ‘label on the can’ and the sections may look the same, the content changes every week so each issue is, in effect, the launch of a new product.

As a regular voluntary contributor of material to the golf and charity sections of the paper for about seven years, I have always been impressed by the ease of communication with the editorial department and the cool-headed cooperation received. I know this to be a fine quality, having worked for many years in the advertising industry dealing with local and national press media. Bedding newsprint is a fraught occupation that requires total dedication and commitment to ensure accuracy of copy and meeting production deadlines. Clearly achieved by virtue of Pattaya Mail’s 10th Anniversary issue.

A successful local newspaper? Of course, but hardly local anymore. The Internet has made Pattaya Mail available worldwide for those many regular visitors to keep in touch with all the news on the Eastern Seaboard, and for golfers the opportunity to access tournament fixture dates and plan flights accordingly. For contributors like myself, e-mail technology has simplified the communication of copy, graphics and (dare I say it?) last minute changes.

At Pattaya Mail there is, and always has been, the utmost cooperation and willingness to help, so I say a personal ‘Thank you’ to Dan Dorothy and Brendan Richards – the ‘front men’ I deal with, and congratulations to Peter Malhotra who has made it all happen.

A pleasure working with you gentlemen - long may it continue!

Social Commentary by Khai Khem

"Thank you" Pattaya Mail for 10 years of great reading

Newcomers to Pattaya may find it hard to envision the city without an English language newspaper. But those who’ve lived here a bit longer and saw the birth of the Pattaya Mail will tell you that it was hailed with much appreciation. A decade has seen the publication achieve much, grow and mature. From the very first issue that hit the streets to the one which celebrates its 10th birthday; those who have tirelessly worked to make the newspaper what it is today will admit the long uphill climb wasn’t easy. Print journalism isn’t for everyone.

Long hours, grueling schedules, pesky breakdowns of services and equipment, dreaded deadlines, a flood of daily of news items which pours in 24 hours a day and a mob of people all going in different directions speaking a multitude of languages all make for an atmosphere which can either be viewed as nerve-wracking chaos - OR - a workplace and a profession that is vibrant and exciting. It’s a hard, fast pace and you gotta love it to do it.

The Pattaya Mail is much more than a weekly newspaper. It has become a vehicle through which the community now has a voice. It serves as a connecting link in a highly diversified and fast-growing city populated by residents of different nationalities, languages, religions and interests who sometimes share very little except the English language and the news and information which is published in the Mail. That ties us together with a bond we lacked 10 years ago.

We now have a platform from which we can voice our opinions and complaints, advertise our goods and services, whine about our politicians, tease each other with a little good humor in the Mail Bag, track the progress of our city (or lack of it), and keep up with community events, charities and even some gossip on the social scene. Imagine what it must have been like 10 years before when all we had to rely on was the bamboo-telegraph and rumors.

If the Pattaya Mail makes mistakes, the paper takes its lumps and vows to do better. When some good comes out of what is printed, the outcome is its own reward. The main goal at the Mail is to keep setting its sights ever higher. There’s an old expression we all learned as children: “Good, better, best. Never let it rest. Make your good better, and make your better BEST.”

Congratulations to all at the Pattaya Mail! We readers are cheering for our favorite newspaper and hope to be reading it for another 10 years.

‘Never missed an issue’

A Slice of Pattaya History: The beginnings of Pattaya Mail

by someone who was there

Back in the spring of 1993, a handful of enterprising Pattayans decided that what this town needed was an English Language newspaper to show “our” side of the story. Pattaya was getting an increasingly bad rap in the international press – written by “reporters” who’d come here to enjoy the diverse lifestyle and entertainment on offer, take notes on the fun they were having, sensationalize it (because that’s what the publishers wanted to see), and then file their copy, basically receiving a paid holiday in a fun place, only to turn their back on it. The international press ate it up, and Pattaya became the world’s favorite “bad” holiday resort.

This handful of enterprising Pattayans knew well that Pattaya had a lot more to offer than what was being harped upon in the international rags, and set about to set the record straight. Freely admitting that Pattaya had its downside, they were quick to point out that it was no worse than many other cities and towns all over the world.

As the idea began to come into focus, an office was rented on Soi Diana next to the Cafe Kronborg and the first few members of a team were hired. An editor was brought aboard, who, unfortunately didn’t make it to the first issue, so another was brought in, who would shape and mold ideas and concepts into an actual newspaper. A small sales staff was assembled, a photographer brought in (one with BBC credentials), a sports reporter hired, a couple of Thai reporters brought in, and slowly the Pattaya Mail began to take shape.

Those first few months were anything but successful, and if it weren’t for the determination and downright stubbornness of the small but resourceful team, Pattaya Mail would not have made it to Christmas. The offices upstairs occasionally looked more like a barroom brawl than a business, as differing ideas and strong constitutions met head on. The most often question asked during the first couple of months was, “Will there be an issue next week?”

But the idea apparently was a good one, for once the first few issues were out, there was no turning back. Causes were fought for and boundaries pushed, sometimes too far, and the news began to get out. And even though none of us had a clue as to what we were doing or how to do it, we eventually, through trial and error, began to at least get it partly right.

Just slightly to our surprise, the reading public began to snap up our 7 baht, 16 color pages of local news, sports and features. Before long it even started to become fun to put our little newspaper together. It must’ve been, because trying to get paid in those early days was not the easiest of tasks.

Over the first few months, we changed from full color to spot color to all black & white and back to spot color. We were proud when we were able to produce 20 pages and keep it at that level. The “will there be an issue next week?” question died out. Advertising sales began to pick up, and we were on our way.

The staff began to get paid regularly and was even expanded – a small but efficient production department was put together to help the overworked editor, who in the early days gathered in the news, sports and features from the various contributors (including Thai news being translated into English by a German), assembled it, designed the newspaper and laid out the pages, plus designed most of the artwork for the advertising. He eventually burned out and left after a little over three years, but that’s another story for another time. (Just so you know, he is now happily living in the middle of nowhere in northern Thailand – well away from the things of man…)

This week the Pattaya Mail is celebrating our 10th Anniversary. How we made it this far is anyone’s guess, and the things we’ve seen and reported on over these first ten years would fill volumes, but again, another story for another time. This space is reserved for a quick look at how it all began. It wasn’t easy.

Back to the future

A quick look at 1993 & 2003

The back page of Vol. 1 No. 1 featured the “topping out” ceremony of the then brand new Royal Garden Plaza. Pattaya’s first McDonalds was the only business open at the time, and although the building itself hasn’t changed much, it is adorned with many more signs touting the shops and businesses inside. One other thing that seems to stand out is the difference in the amount of traffic, as well as the fleet of baht buses that have since taken up permanent residence out front.

Our sports pages in the first issue featured “Lew ‘Woody’ Underwood connecting for a second inning home run” during the Pattaya Sports Club’s 4th of July Softball Fireworks. The PSC played a doubleheader against a visiting varsity team from the US Naval Aircraft Carrier USS Nimitz. The visiting sailors managed to “just barely” eke out two wins, defeating the host PSC 18-2 and 14-1. 10 years later and Woody, with perhaps a few less follicles, has retired from softball and now devotes most of his spare time to the Jesters MC Club and raising money for the Jesters Care for Kids charity.

In the first issue of Pattaya Mail, we ran a story about then TAT chairman Dr. Savit Photivihok addressing the PBTA to announce that very soon, a new pier would be erected near the Siam Bayshore Hotel in South Pattaya. The story also described other projects that were sure to be coming soon - reclaiming land for a new beach in South Pattaya and a new road to extend Pattaya 3rd Road from City Hall to the new pier. 10 years on and the road has been built, the pier is almost ready for use, but the land reclamation debacle continues unabated.

Congratulations Pattaya Mail on your 10th Anniversary

Pairat Suthithamrongsawat, Pattaya City Mayor

Congratulations to Pattaya Mail Newspaper on the special occasion of your 10th anniversary this year. Through the means of publication, Pattaya Mail has been sharing a great deal of care and support, and most importantly creating right understanding amongst Pattayans and tourists. Pattaya Mail has been presenting news, both the good and bad sides of the city. By shedding some light on the bad side corrections and improvements were made. I personally thank you for helping our society with strong support and courtesy for the last 10 years. I wish Pattaya Mail success and prosperity. Pattaya Mail shall always bond relationships between locals and foreigners, promote tourism, and bring Pattaya City a fruitful future.

Chanyuth Hengtrakul, Advisor to the Minister of Tourism and Sports, MD of Sophon Cable TV

It seems like only yesterday when we saw the birth of the Pattaya Mail. In ten years I have seen the paper grow from strength to strength, Not only has the Pattaya Mail given the eastern seaboard community valuable news and information, but Pattaya Mail is one of the major supporters of community projects. This includes charity work and promotion of tourism. I wish all the staff at the Pattaya Mail, all the more success for the next ten years. I also wish all the staff good health. May you only get a slight cold, when you are 99 years old.

Wattana Jantarawaranont, Pattaya Deputy Mayor

Congratulations to Pattaya Mail, the English weekly newspaper, on your 10th anniversary. Pattaya Mail is the mirror that reflects happenings in every corner of society. I wish all of Pattaya Mail’s staff a happy life and a successful future in your work.

Chatchai Timkrachang, Sriracha Municipality Mayor

After you have been serving people with news and useful information for 10 years, I would like to convey my sincere support to all the staff of Pattaya Mail. You have worked for the society with real distinction. On this special occasion, I would like to beseech all the spiritual power on this earth to bestow upon you great success in your business.

Urit Nandhasurasak, Pattaya Deputy Mayor

I am glad to see that Pattaya Mail has grown up to be 10 years old. You have been giving people so much useful information. You let them know what has happened, what is going on, and what will be happening in the future. Pattaya Mail has built a strong relationship between Thais and foreigners because you create understandings among people. I wish your publication a successful future. Pattaya Mail Newspaper shall be a medium for the people forever.

Niran Wattanasartsathorn, Pattaya Deputy Mayor

Best wishes to the Pattaya Mail on its 10th anniversary. As a Pattaya City administrator, in my opinion, you are a newspaper with high standards, quality, and variety. I wish Pattaya Mail many long and prosperous years to come.

Wutthisak Rermkitchakarn, Pattaya Deputy Mayor

I would like to convey my best wishes to all at Pattaya Mail on your 10th anniversary. I wish the staff many successful years to come.

Itthiphol Khunpluem, Parliamentary Member of Chonburi Province

Pattaya Mail has is now 10 years old. Business-wise, the company has taken a very firm step. I see Pattaya Mail as the main source of information that provides info on business, tourism, and happenings for Thais and foreigners. On behalf of parliamentary members of Chonburi Province, I would like to express sincere congratulations for your newspaper on this propitious occasion. I wish the management team and all the staff great happiness and success in life and that all your wishes come true. And most of all may the Pattaya Mail stand side-by-side with Pattayans and Thailand forever.

Phichit Tantiprasut, General Manager of Town In Town Hotel, Pattaya

I am very honored to receive a chance to wish Pattaya Mail all the best on her 10th anniversary. I hope that Pattaya Mail will always counsel Thais and foreigners regarding Pattaya City, and always lend a hand in improving the city. I wish the owners and all the staff of Pattaya Mail happiness and great success in your life.

Sopin Thappajug, Managing Director of Diana Group

On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Pattaya Mail, I would like to put across my delight to all the staff of Pattaya Mail. The relationship of Diana Group and Pattaya Mail will never end as we are living in the same family. We grew up together. I wish Pattaya Mail Newspaper to stand on top and keep producing good work for people in the East.

Amorn Malhotra, M.D. of the W.H.S.-W.A.P-Thoss Co. Ltd., and The Raj

Pattaya Mail has always been on the side of the citizens of Pattaya as well as the tourists who have had difficulties living or being here in the city. She has always been on the right side. The journalists and the editorial department deserve praise from the city for being so aggressive and understanding when needed. I truly wish great success to all the staff and specially the managing director for all the hard work and support given to this beloved city.

Skal International