Cabinet meeting to kick off in Koh Samui

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SURAT THANI, Oct 20 – The cabinet meeting will begin on the resort island of Koh Samui in the southern province of Surat Thani on Oct 22 amid tight security.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra arrived at Samui International Airport Saturday afternoon ahead of the cabinet meeting on Monday at Surat Thani Rajabhat University’s International School of Tourism.

Then, Ms Yingluck and her team travelled by helicopter to Koh Tao island in Koh Pha-ngan district in order to visit a site where Koh Tao subdistrict health promotion hospital was planned to be built.

Upon arrival, Public Health Minister Witthaya Buranasiri reported to the premier of a need for the hospital construction. He said that a small-scale hospital with 10 beds was needed in order to provide medical services and meet the demands of increasing numbers of local and foreign patients.

The hospital construction project, valued at some Bt50 million, will be proposed by the ministry to the cabinet on Monday in order to seek approval.

Koh Tao Island is one of the world’s most well-known tourism and scuba diving destinations and attracts some 500,000 tourists and scuba divers each year.

Ms Yingluck then travelled to Koh Pha-ngan Island and Than Sadet National Park before visiting Than Prapas water resource and inspecting the location where a reservoir was planned to be constructed.

During the visit, the prime minister was greeted by the residents and pledged to develop and improve Koh Pha-ngan Island before travelling back to Koh Samui Island by ferry boat.

Regarding concerns over security and a mass gathering of Democrat Party supporters during the cabinet meeting, Democrat Party and Opposition leader Abhisit Vejjajiva assured that party supporters will not obstruct and will not hold rallies against the approaching meeting, adding that he was affirmed by ex-Democrat party leader Suthep Thaugsuban, as Surat Thani is his political stronghold.