Pattaya Mail turns 12

Vol. XIII No. 37
Friday September 16 - September 22, 2005

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Painting a tiger on the wall to scare away the cows

By Suchada Tupchai

At a recent seminar attended by all branches of the police force in Pattaya and Banglamung, which included the tourist police, marine police, highway police and other police forces covering Chonburi region 2, Pol. Lt. Gen. Wutthi Liptapallop, deputy commander of the Central Investigation Bureau, issued an order to ‘arrest all lawbreakers’. He stressed in no uncertain terms that if any department was found to have neglected their duties they would face an investigative committee followed by disciplinary action.

The AAL (arrest all lawbreakers) order became a matter of urgency because of the rapid growth of the economy in Pattaya in all avenues of business, more especially in the entertainment sector. The most prevalent growth can be seen along the Chalermprakiat Road, a.k.a. Thanon Sai Sarm or Third Road, where entertainment venues have sprung up like mushrooms.

The city ordinance has a policy to protect and maintain this thoroughfare as a showpiece for Pattaya, whereby buildings and types of businesses are controlled. But at present this main road has become the center of the entertainment business and no regard is given to the zoning laws, which restrict any entertainment venues to be at least 50 meters from the main road.

Because of the rapid growth of the entertainment business all over Pattaya, problems such as underage youth entering nightspots, drugs abuse, carrying firearms, street kids, sex related crimes, illegal foreign workers and of course influential figures have become quite rampant.

Even though the venues are under constant watch by city officials and the police, there are still blatant cases of operators who flaunt the law and only think of their own profits and not of the good of society as a whole.

This problem seems to be swirling round and round in a basin with no way out. The only solutions are usually made after the fact. People have begun to wonder whether there is no clear policy and that those responsible in the police force and the city administration are not sincere in their duties to solve these problems. They are asking why and how these offenses are allowed to continue without any hope of suppressing if not terminating them.

These challenges have always been on the agenda for discussions at meetings and seminars of the police force and at city hall. There is usually a lot of talk about their good intentions to solve these problems in the city, but sadly when it comes to actually doing it they fail miserably, as if there was no real intention of cleaning up anyway. Or worse only trying to fix it after it’s broken.

Its time that the powers that be in our city must accept the reality of the situation, look for solutions and take the bull by the horns and ‘arrest all lawbreakers’.

Pattaya is a special administrative city, therefore the solutions must also be special, which means arrest all lawbreakers and not ‘selective’ lawbreakers. What you’re doing is painting a tiger on the wall to scare away the cows but if it doesn’t work then everything will backfire on you and you’ll find yourself entangled in your own web of failure with no solution in sight.

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