Chanyuth Hengtrakul vows to do his best for Pattaya
Voted into office by a huge majority
Last Sunday’s national elections reported an unheralded
voter turnout. In the Pattaya and Banglamung electorate (Chonburi Region 6)
that was equally so, with 67.44 percent or 98,700 out of a total of 146,334
people chose to use their rights to vote.
The good turnout created long lines at the ballot boxes and
officials were overwhelmed by the number of voters and spent much of Sunday
night and Monday counting the ballots.
check to see if your name is on the list.
At the close of voting all ballot boxes from electorate 6
voting stations were transferred to a single station for counting. Delays in
the voting process, a myriad of problems starting with voters having to sign in
three times before casting their ballot.
Confusion over which venue to vote was also predominant, as
well as the inability to find the venue. This effectively trickled down through
the system with some voters and officials becoming upset over the slow process
as long lines were still seen at the close of the ballot boxes.
name when you receive your ballots – 2 of them
Amorn Suepar, a volunteer official voiced his dismay to
Chawalit Saengutai, Region 6 election monitoring committee chairman as Amorn
waited to handover the ballot boxes. He also said that there were not enough
people on duty to handle such a big voter turnout. On top of this, many had not
eaten as was promised, and this caused for even more strife among volunteer
Niran casts his vote.
Chawalit said, “We’ve seen a tremendous number of voter
turn up today and because of this everything has been delayed from closing off
the ballot boxes to transporting them to the counting station from around the
electorate. The excessive wait has seen some officials become upset and number
of problems have arisen because of this. Despite this, everyone is willing to
carry out the duty to the fullest.”
This year’s election has also seen the election monitoring
committee implement tight controls and regulation throughout the election and
counting period, and causing further delays.
it into the two boxes for the two types of votes.
“We now realize that there hasn’t been enough people on
duty to handle the load. This issue needs to be reviewed and corrected in the
future,” said Chawalalit, who expected counting to conclude by 2 a.m. the
At around 8 p.m. Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn arrived at
the counting station to look in on the progress and upon hearing about the
problems quickly arranged food for officials and encouraged them to continue
Later on Sunday night Chawalit Saenutai announced a
preliminary count as Chanyuth Hengtrakul, Thai Rak Thai (TRT) candidate visited
to check on the progress. It was announced the TRT received over 50,000 votes
in Region 6.
Stand in a
queue to receive your ballots.
At midday on Monday, February 7, the slow process of
counting votes was still going. Counting was finally concluded at around 4 p.m.
and the initial results were announced.
to the booth and vote the one of your choice.
Chanyuth Hengratkul, Thai Rak Thai parliamentary candidate
was recorded as having 62,224 votes, Su-ainee Pierdee, Democratic candidate was
next with 19,482; Wichien Tunthamsatit, Chart Thai party with 6,834; and
Somchai Chaonar, New Aspiration party with 430 votes. There were also 4,303
ballots unable to be used and 5,427 ballots with no preferences written on
Electorate - About 44.8 million of Thailand’s population
of 63 million are eligible to vote. Voting is mandatory under sanction of the
loss of some political rights, including running for major political offices
and opposing the election of public officials. Voter turnout was 69.7 percent
in the last election.
Candidates -The candidates are vying for 500 seats in the House of
Representatives. In a two-tier system of voting, 400 legislators will be
elected directly by voters in 400 constituencies nationwide, while 100
“party-list” candidates chosen by the parties will be elected according to
the proportion of votes each party receives nationwide on a separate ballot.
Official results are expected to be announced in 30 days after voting.
boxes are sealed, labeled and delivered to the counting stations.
posted on these huge boards.
celebrate with their families and thank their supporters.
Chinese New Year celebrations in full
swing on Walking Street
Year of the Rooster celebrations include giant dragons and lion dances
Decorated as a mini Chinatown, Walking Street kicked off
this year’s Chinese New year celebrations last Wednesday night in grand
activities are being held including a giant golden dragon parade and lion dances
by disciples of Luang Poo Tim from Rayong. Other Thai and Chinese cultural shows
are also performed daily not to mention Chinese and international food and
products on sale along the popular walking zone. Traditional Chinese
firecrackers and fireworks displays and eating competitions are all part of the
celebrations to welcome in the year of the rooster.
The festivities last until Sunday 13, February.
for sea disaster prevention
Tourist centers should have a sea safety center and ongoing training
Preecha Kamolbutr vice-governor of Chonburi Province,
presided over a meeting at the Pattaya City on January 31, to plan and
implement marine safety for the Chonburi area, especially at all tourist
Several departments associated with sea safety attended
this meeting including the Banglamung district chief, Sriracha Municipality
councillors, Water Police, members of the Chonburi Public Protection and
Prevention Department, Commander of the Naval Operations Department,
Banglamung and Pattaya police officers, and meteorology station employees.
Vice-governor for Chonburi Province Preecha Kamolbutr, the meeting president
and Somsak Yonokphan, Deputy Chonburi Governor (right)
The vice governor said that in the aftermath of the boat
accident that caused a speed boat to capsize off Phang-nga Island in
Surat-thani Province on January 25, in which many tourists were killed and
injured it was thought best to revamp safety at sea in Chonburi. ‘Chonburi
Province has had no major sea disasters in the last 10 years. Up until now
we haven’t had any major accidents. However the province must prepare in
advance to avoid these incidents,’ said Preecha.
The meeting discussed the present laws in place for
transport boats which state that the boat should have enough lifesaving
equipment according to the number of passengers, but agreed that the law
doesn’t force the passengers to wear it. It is only recommended that the
passengers wear the safety devices. Some passengers refuse to wear the life
vests because some boats use old lifesaving equipment and also because of
the heat and humidity; passengers often decline to don the equipment.
Attendees of the meeting agreed that a solution to this
problem must be found and regulations should be enforced for the safety of
Preecha recommended that the Sea Safety Center adapt some
ideas that are put into practice for road safety and implement them into the
department’s regulations. He said Chonburi Province should have a safety
center because the area includes many tourist islands and top priority must
be given for the safety of tourists.
“Setting up a safety center provides advanced
protection, training on safety at sea should be held annually..
The vice governor spoke of the tsunami disaster in the south, ‘The
tsunami disaster caught us off guard and we need to me more vigilant in the
future. I have unconfirmed information that there were over 6,000 deaths and
over 4,000 missing in the disaster, totaling well over 10,000 casualties.
Most of them ran to escape but didn’t have anything to hold on to. The
waves tossed them and dragged them out to sea. The lucky survivors were able
to shield themselves behind sturdy structures or grab onto something. We
should consider building some sort of protection shield, so that in case of
an emergency the people can hide behind them. Perhaps the concerned
departments should present a questionnaire to the survivors and apply their
experiences to the safety plan, so the coastal provinces can adequetly
Pattaya International Music Festival 2005
Security and traffic issues addressed
On February 1 at city hall, Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn,
and Pong-Anan Sanpanich, Tourism Authority of Thailand Tactical Advertising and
Public Relations Department director presided over a meeting to discuss and
summarize plans relating to information, security, and traffic problems for the
upcoming Pattaya International Music Festival. Departments associated with the
festival and organizations including TAT Central Region 3, Pattaya City
administrators and police officers attended the meeting.
Niran Wattansartsathorn (left) and Pong-Anan Sanpanich, Tourism Authority of
Thailand Tactical Advertising and Public Relations Department summarized plans
relating to information, security, and traffic for the upcoming Pattaya
International Music Festival in a meeting at Pattaya City Hall.
Represenatives of the Tourism Authority of Thailand said that
no organizer has been nominated for this year’s event as yet, but assured that
it would have a more international flavour. The music festival will be held from
18-20 March 2005.
Three stages will be set up for the event.
The first stage will be setup beside the Pattaya Bazaar, the
second stage will be near Soi 4 on Beach Road, and the third stage will be at
the Bali Hai pier. However critics of this plan pointed out that the stage areas
are too far apart and those who wished to attend all performances will not be
able to walk the distance. Travelling between venues would create the same
traffic problems as before.
Thanes Supornsaharungsi Pattaya Business and Tourism
Association (PBTA) president, pointed out the unfinished digging on Beach Road
for the laying of underground cables could bring enormous traffic jams, and
parking problems that would force Beach Road to be close during the festival.
This would create traffic jams on Second Road. Therefore it’s necessary to
give information to the public so they can make plans not to bring their
vehicles as in previous years.”
It was decided that the festival organizers must accumulate
more information from every department concerned so that a comprehensive PR plan
can be implemented.
Youth problems need to be addressed by new government
A Thai academic has urged the new government to pay
particular attention to problems facing Thai children and youths in the next
four years. “Child and youth problems in Thailand urgently need to be tackled
because they involve the safety and order of the whole society,” the
education expert at Chulalongkorn University Sompong Jitradab stated. The new
government should focus on such issues as violence, sex addiction, drug abuse
and low morale among Thai children and teenagers, he said.
Government campaigns should project role models for Thai
youths to follow, especially in the face of modern society’s stress on
“Up to 70 percent of Thai children have poorly developed
intellectual abilities, as their schooling and rote learning means they lack
the skills to analyze,” Sompong said. The new government should help provide
a learning environment that stimulates children’s intellectual development,
Illegal drugs and the publication of violent and sexual
texts and pictures should be banned all together because they have contributed
to creating serious social problems, including rape, improper sexual
relationships, and illegal abortions, he said. The government should introduce
educational reform, a safe society and learning-based activities to provide
greater opportunities for Thai children to live a better life and enjoy a
better future, he added. (TNA)
Pattaya nightspot owners voice further concerns over opening and closing times
Official association formed
to bring about changes
Over 200 of Pattaya’s beer bar operators converged on city
hall last Friday to discuss the detrimental affects limited operating hours had
on both their business and general tourism in the city. Mayor Niran
Wattanasartsathorn and Tawit Chaisawangwong, city council chairman met with the
The focus of discussions centered on the Interior
Ministry’s (MOI) amended entertainment laws which forces operators to close at
midnight and 1 a.m. under the zoning project.
The mayor said he was aware the MOI laws had created problems
for the venues in popular tourist destinations such as Pattaya. “Pattaya
generates 50 billion baht annually from over 4 million visitors. In the past the
city and concerned parties have tried to push for changes in the law but to this
date we have not had any response,” said the mayor.
Niran added that the provincial tourism office was open to
the idea of changing operating times and that officials would push for the
changes at the right levels of government.
“However, the most important thing is cooperation; all
night spot owners must join together for their cause. You must show the
government and provide facts on the damage the change has created in the
business. The forming of an association or society is necessary in order to
start the process. The city will support the association and meet with business
owners from pubs, karaoke bars and discos to join in and make the case, as well
as make the association more tangible and credible,” said the mayor.
As the meeting concluded the Pattaya Beer Bar Owners Association was formed.
Chatree Sithisak was elected as president and will preside over further meetings
in an effort to change the operating regulations and provide the relevant
information required by the government.
Hungry elephant destroys house in search of food
A hungry elephant broke loose from its binds in search
for food. The animal achieved its goal eventually finding banana trees
nearby but damaged a house in the process.
Police were called to a residence next to the North
Pattaya bus depot at around 4.30 a.m. on January 30. The house owner,
Boonsong Jansri, 57, told police that the pachyderm broke through his fence
to get to the bananas. The voracious pachyderm destroyed not only a fence
but also part of the roof in its quest for food.
her quest for food a voracious Pang Wasana, breaking free from restraints,
destroyed a fence and also part of the roof belonging to Boonsong Jansri.
Police arrived to find the seventy-year old Pang Wasana
still eating. Officers went in search of the mahout to come and calm down
the hungry beast.
The mahout, Nui Salangarm, 53, arrived and managed to
pull the animal away from the garden. Nui told police that this was the
first time the animal had broken loose after spending almost every night in
the brushwood near the Kochata or Stuntman show in North Pattaya.
Nui was taken to the police station for questioning and
agreed to pay for the damages caused by his charge but would have to speak
to his boss in the morning before paying. Both parties agreed and the
incident was settled in an amicable manner in front of police.
City Scope: Mayor concerned about environment and traffic problems
Pattaya mayor, Niran Wattanasartsathorn announced the
city’s upcoming projects under the 2005 budget. The press conference held at
city hall on January 31 is part of the administration’s policy to regularly
inform residents on the city’s actions.
The mayor informed the media and Pattaya residents on the
intended budget allocations for 2005 under city hall’s development strategy
and pointed out that the environment is a major concern.
Niran Wattanasartsathorn announces city development plans.
“We have presented the budget to the central government
and the plans include the purchase of a vehicle to clean Pattaya and Jomtien
beaches. The machine will also ensure that water resources are put to good
use, especially for the city’s landscaping. We have decided to purchase the
Kingmo brand of vehicle to perform the task and it will be used along various
routes throughout the city,” said the mayor.
The mayor went on to say that the purchases of noise and
air pollution meters are being considered. The meters would provide an
accurate measurement of noise and air pollution in the city, particularly
noise from entertainment venues. “The equipment will be important tools in
the near future,” said Niran.
The mayor added that planning for further environmental
development includes a better drainage system into the Naklua klong area as
well as development of the community to reduce the level of poverty and ease
the psychological burdens of the community itself. Other projects include
increased activities within Pattaya’s schools as well as resolving traffic
“We are going to build a new road alongside the railway
line. We have the budget ands it is due to begin soon. The new two lane road
will begin from route 36 on through to the Huay Yai sub-district,” said the
mayor, who also announced that the design was complete and it was just a
matter of finding a contractor to carry out the work. In addition to the
railway line project a new road is being planned from South Pattaya’s
overhead bridge down to Jomtien past the Machanu (Hanuman/fish) statue and
along to the Banglamung revenue department. The budget is still under
consideration,” said the mayor.
The final point raised was the widening of certain routes and Sukhumvit
Road’s new computer controlled traffic light system. “This project is
approximately 60 percent complete and it is now a matter of placing the
control stations and under ground wiring. Once completed the city is confident
that it will solve long term traffic problems for the city,” concluded
Electricity authority calls for calm
The state-run Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT)
has urged Thais not to be panic by recent earthquake shocks which have caused
several cracks in the country’s western province of Kanchanaburi near two
People are understandably concerned about the cracks in the
ground in the province’s Sri Sawat district, following the earthquakes near
the Indonesian Sumatra Island, which may have affected the major Sri Nakarin and
Vajiralongkorn Dams. In order to allay public fears, experts have been hired to
conduct a study of the cracks and determine whether they will affect the dams.
The safety assessment of the dams will be completed from
February 16-18. EGAT regularly inspects the safety of the dams under its
German national arrested for pedophilia
Starred in child porn movies for sale
Senior tourist police officers, led by Pol. Maj. Gen.
Panya Mamen, Tourist police superintendent concluded their extensive
investigation into a child pornographer last Friday morning. Police, armed
with a search warrant knocked on the door of German national Hans Ulrich
Schmuttermayr’s room in the Thaifun apartments in Soi Korpai.
Ulrich Schmuttermayr (right) being questioned by Pol. Maj. Gen. Panya Mamen,
Tourist police superintendent after police discovered numerous child porn
movies in his apartment.
Officers entered the room to find a number of CDs’s and
equipment used to make the movies. They also found numerous photos of
Schmuttermayr 60,with young girls and boys under the age of 15 involved in
various sexual acts.
The German was immediately arrested and informed that he
was charged with child molestation of children under 15 and producing
pornographic material for sale involving children less than 15 years of age.
The foreigner was then taken to the police station for further questioning.
Schmuttermayr confessed that he had spent 4 years in jail
in Germany on similar charges and that he fled probation, coming to Thailand
to continue his activities. During the questioning it was also determined
that Schmuttermayr sold the movies both in Thailand and abroad to other
pedophiles for 500 to 1,000 baht per CD.
Pol. Maj. Gen. Panya Mamen, Tourist police superintendent
later told reporters that the arrest of Schmuttermayr was the result of an
investigation beginning in Bangkok, and that he had received orders from the
Tourist police commissioner and the National Police Bureau Deputy
commissioner, in charge of the Human Trafficking Center at the National
Police Bureau office to crackdown those who exploit such people.
Thief nicks motorbike
as stunned owner watches
A criminal made off with a motorbike before the owner’s
very eyes at a bar in South Pattaya. The incident took place at 5:45 a.m. when
a man, later identified as Somchai Buathong, 22 from Chainat, Province, stole
the motorcycle from Beach Road, Soi 11. Police cars were radioed that the
culprit was wearing a yellow T-shirt and was seen speeding away in the
direction of Sukhumvit Road. Officers were ordered to set up a roadblock in the
Buathong wasn’t so bold in custody, the bike owner positively identified
Somchai as stealing her motorcycle.
Spying the culprit, officers signed for him to stop for
inspection, but Somchai sped on past, forcing police to pursue to Soi Khao Noi
before continuing to the road along the railway between Soi Khao Noi and Soi
Wat Thammsamakee. Police blockaded the road, and caught the thief after he had
lost control of the motorbike. Somchai was arrested and charged with theft.
Hungry thief arrested after robbing tourist
Stricken with hunger pangs, an Ubonratchathani man
grabbed and snapped a gold chain belonging to a Dutch tourist. The incident
occurred at around midnight near Pattaya Second Road Soi 10.
Henrik Ferdinand immediately reported the theft to
passing police patrol which radioed for back up to locate the thief who fled
into bushES near the soi.
Insar won’t have wonder where his next meal is coming from, the government
corrections department will take care of that while he spends some time in
Teams of police closed off the area while they searched
the scrub eventually locating 19 year old Chainarong Insar. Chainarong was
discovered hiding in the undergrowth and still holding the gold chain.
Police detained the man for questioning.
Chainarong confessed to the crime saying that he had come
to Pattaya in search of work but as he had limited education was unable to
find any. He told police that he decided to try stealing something of value
because he hadn’t eaten in two days.
Henrik Ferdinand told police that he had recently bought
the 40,000 baht gold chain and 1,500 baht Buddhist amulet. He said he was
walking along the roadside when a Thai approached him asking for something.
Because Henrik did not Understand the man he dismissed him but not before
the man grabbed and broke the chain and ran away. Police charged Chainarong
with theft and now faces legal proceedings with free prison meals.
X-rated CD vendor arrested
Following a string of complaints by visitors, Pattaya
police sprang into action to hunt down and detain vendors who are flaunting
the law by selling lewd materials.
The latest operations took crime prevention police to a
mobile vendor in the Soi Bua Khao markets at around 1 a.m. on February 2.
Potesoongnern hangs his head after police arrested him for selling x-rated
magazines and movies.
The vendor, later identified as Chaiyakoon Potesoongnern,
25, was arrested for selling inappropriate materials such as X-rated
magazines and VCDs. Taken in for questioning, Chaiyakoon confessed to buying
and selling the lewd materials, stating that he purchased the goods from
Bangkok. He said that over the past 7 months he had made a lucrative profit
from his explicit venture, selling mostly to foreigners.
Chaiyakoon was charged with selling pornographic
materials and awaits legal proceedings, during which his ill-gotten gains
will certainly dwindle.
Irishman charged with murder says god told him to kill
Police still trying to get clear answers but say case is solid
Patrick Oliver Farrell, 61, from Derry Ireland still sits
in the Pattaya’s jailhouse following the murder of Ernest Gregory Brennan,
45 in the early hours of January 31. Farrell stabbed Brennan in cold blood
at Brennan’s bar, Jimmy’s P