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Phuket Opinion: Corruption And The Duality Of Man


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So what does all of this ranting have to do with corruption ?

It's the way things are and always have been. People accept it or they moan about it. That's ranting about corruption on a forum in a nutshell.

The amount of corruption here 10 years ago was nothing on the amount that is here now and I'm sure will be nothing on what it will be in 10 years time here.

Phuket has already lost a lost of expats and tourist because of "what it has become." How many more will it lose as it keeps heading in the direction it is?

Personally, I have several friends who were die hard Phuket expats that have moved away. As the 80's retiree expats pass away, and the new retirees chose to live elsewhere in SE Asia or Thailand, and they keep building more and more apartments, houses and condos here - you do the math - how is that sustainable business in the property sector here, just to name one industry?

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When you put customers on a seangteaw to go diving you suffer at the hands of corrupt police which charge a fee for dive trucks that pass though Chalong circle and the "extras" the people running the pier charge the shops for access.

Simply not true. Unless you're using a songteaw with white/green plates of course, which nearly none of them have. All legal transport is allowed to pass Chalong circle uninterrupted. Do things legally and you have nothing to worry about. But as soon as you start acting illegally you're on a very slippery slope. And at the pier all fees are known and completely legal.

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Oh, and Iceman, I presume you are responding to me, because you do that all the time. Don't bother though, you're on my ignorelist so I can't see your posts anymore. And I must say, ever since you're on that list I am a much happier poster here tongue.png .

Please point me to this feature. lol

Click on your name at the top, go to 'manage ignore prefs'.

Oh, HKP, sorry, you did not make it to my ignore list, which consist of only one poster at the moment. I presume he is honored by that :)

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" brings a positive experience for local people, tourism companies and the tourists themselves" - name one "positive" thing that has been done for tourist and tourism here in recent time????

I asked you this question a while ago and you did not reply.

A tourist who arrives on Phuket, for the first time, is introduced to corruption the moment they walk out the airport door and is hounded by the taxi cartel and their ridiculous prices. Amazing how a flight from Kuala Lumpur or Singapore can be cheaper than an airport taxi to Patong. It's a disgrace.

TAT would like to think they are targeting "high end tourist" here - what they really mean is "easily ripped off tourist." How long do you think that target market will last????

Coming to Phuket, having the holiday of your life, then going home and start saving to come back again next year. That's a pretty positive experience for tourists if you ask me. The vast majority of tourists have a blast on holiday here, corruption and scams never enter their minds once, and they love the attitude of the locals, they love that it's still as cheap as chips, they love the laid back attitude, the food, the jet skis, banana boat rides, the whole shebang.

The question I asked way back which caused 'LIK' to wrongly insinuate that I was denying that corruption existed, 'Nomad Joe' that I was twisting the argument to my agenda, when clearly he hadn't even read the OP because the OP was saying the same as me so I hadn't twisted anything, and then accuse me of not knowing what the word sustainable meant 34 times was this: What evidence is there to show that tourism is going to suffer in the near future? Are the numbers coming through the airport down? Are a record number of businesses going tits up? Or is everything plodding along exactly as it was 5 years ago when umpteen people used to come on this forum and say that tourism would be dead in a couple of years.

Things sort themselves out. If tourism was to reduce by 50% in the next 5 years then Phuket would have to change. Prices would have to come down, businesses would have to close, local workers would move on and Phuket would be different.

Whatever Thai people, corrupt ones and other wise, do to Phuket is their business and they are going to do it no matter how many deluded people think they can make a difference. Phuket is on a journey from the sleepy little fishing village with no road connecting Patong to Phuket Town only a track through the mountain to where it is today. It will continue on that journey until it is swallowed by the sea. Maybe part of that journey is for tourists to stop coming and Thais having to learn to do things differently and start again. Who knows, who cares, I enjoyed it 100% how it was 10 years ago and I enjoy it 100% how it is now, my experiences on Phuket haven't changed one bit and I believe the average tourist feels the same.

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When you put customers on a seangteaw to go diving you suffer at the hands of corrupt police which charge a fee for dive trucks that pass though Chalong circle and the "extras" the people running the pier charge the shops for access.

Simply not true. Unless you're using a songteaw with white/green plates of course, which nearly none of them have. All legal transport is allowed to pass Chalong circle uninterrupted. Do things legally and you have nothing to worry about. But as soon as you start acting illegally you're on a very slippery slope. And at the pier all fees are known and completely legal.

@ stevenl I seem to remember a few years ago one of the Safari companies had a problem with Chalong police and all their land rovers were stopped/fines demanded. Local rumour was that the (then) new police chief was not getting enough kick-back. i wondering if you know whether these vehicles were legal or not ?.

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Remember the example I gave of buying a beer in a bar - some of the cost of that beer is for "tea money" every month. The owner has to pay it and passes this cost onto customers through the cost of the beer in his bar. That makes us ALL victims of corruption here.

Tourists NEVER think like that. They see 50 baht for a beer that would cost 300 back home and think "Happy Days".

Speak for yourself. I'm not a victim of anything on Phuket. I'm happy to pay that price for a beer no matter how the cost has been factored. You can say that corruption affects the price of a beer but you don't get the right to decide whether I'm a victim or not. Do you really think a beer would be a lot cheaper if things were done differently? It's just like the 10% service charge argument. The cost is the cost, It's either good value or it's not, how they got to it, and who lined whose pocket is irrelevant.

I AM NOT A VICTIM OF CORRUPTION!! and nor are any of the millions of tourists that flood through the airport.

@ HKP

My post on the BIS was sarcastic. I was taking the piss. I stated this in a later post. Of course I knew there were several International Schools here, including the BIS - but fully admit that is as far as my knowledge on them goes, their location, that's it. In fact, I wouldn't know where they all are located, but I do know where the BIS is.

Anybody who reads that post and reads the context of the thread knows 100% there wasn't a hint of sarcasm. You made a simple statement and then wished you hadn't. If you can't admit that then fine, the two quotes are there for people to read and decide whether you tell fibs or not.

As it turns out, due to tourists, basically, boycotting the hotel, it became unprofitable and I believe it has since been demolished.

An example for Phuket is, if we can save one person for being scammed on a jet-ski, for example, that's one step closer to having them boycotted, thus ending their criminal enterprise.

Great, that's how it works. The hotel messed up and now it's gone. If Phuket is so bad then people will stop coming and people will go out of business or change the things that people aren't liking so they come back again. At the moment I don't see any signs of that happening, but when it does so be it. Things often need to get worse before they get better, all part of the journey, try to enjoy it and go with the flow.

The problem is, every day probably 200 people get on a jet ski in Phuket and get off with a big grin on their face. They don't want to be saved by 'NKM' the super hero, they don't want jet skis to be boycotted, they use them and they enjoy them. If you want to help people tell them the truth. If you use a jet ski there is a one in 5000 chance you will be a victim of a scam, and then let them decide if they want to take the chance or not.

TOURISTS DON'T WANT YOU TO GET RID OF JET SKIS, THEY LOVE THEM!

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When you put customers on a seangteaw to go diving you suffer at the hands of corrupt police which charge a fee for dive trucks that pass though Chalong circle and the "extras" the people running the pier charge the shops for access.

Simply not true. Unless you're using a songteaw with white/green plates of course, which nearly none of them have. All legal transport is allowed to pass Chalong circle uninterrupted. Do things legally and you have nothing to worry about. But as soon as you start acting illegally you're on a very slippery slope. And at the pier all fees are known and completely legal.

@ stevenl I seem to remember a few years ago one of the Safari companies had a problem with Chalong police and all their land rovers were stopped/fines demanded. Local rumour was that the (then) new police chief was not getting enough kick-back. i wondering if you know whether these vehicles were legal or not ?.

I can check their vehicles when I see one. That would however say little about how legal they were when this was happening.

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@ HKP

"Great, that's how it works. The hotel messed up and now it's gone." - are you forgetting about the 7 people who died and the subsequent cover up????

"If you use a jet ski there is a one in 5000 chance you will be a victim of a scam." - so you admit the scam exists. 1 in 5000 is laughable. :) :) :) :) Shorter odds that that. Do you think those victims went home happy with their holiday in Phuket????

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@ HKP

"Great, that's how it works. The hotel messed up and now it's gone." - are you forgetting about the 7 people who died and the subsequent cover up????

"If you use a jet ski there is a one in 5000 chance you will be a victim of a scam." - so you admit the scam exists. 1 in 5000 is laughable. smile.pngsmile.pngsmile.pngsmile.png Shorter odds that that. Do you think those victims went home happy with their holiday in Phuket????

You have no idea how many people use jet skis every day, and nor do I, but you have to accept that the amount incidents is tiny and have only been brought to light by two or 3 (mainly one) high profile cases. I would say 1 in 5000 over the years could be about right.

No those small handful of people probably didn't go home happy, so what? The bloke who died falling from a parasail in Turkey a while back didn't go home happy, the bloke who got murdered in Miami, the woman who got raped in Spain, the kid who got run over by a drunk driver while on holiday in France, none of them went home happy.

You can't sanitize life completely. You have to go with the numbers and IMO the numbers say the vast majority of people are happy and leave Thailand without being scammed and can't wait to come back. You are trying to save people that don't want or need to be saved.

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So what does all of this ranting have to do with corruption ?

It's the way things are and always have been. People accept it or they moan about it. That's ranting about corruption on a forum in a nutshell.

The amount of corruption here 10 years ago was nothing on the amount that is here now and I'm sure will be nothing on what it will be in 10 years time here.

Lets try to stop making very broad statements and look at the facts. What exactly has changed about corruption in the last 10 years. How has it got worse specifically and how has it affected you personally?

Like I said before, my experiences of Phuket as a long term tourist or short term resident, (which ever makes you happy) hasn't changed at all in the last 12 years. I can't think of one single thing that has changed in that time that has affected me. A bit more traffic perhaps but where in the world hasn't that happened.

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out off the many thousands of tourists who visit places like Phuket, only a tiny number ever use the jetskis.

For the owners however the returns are astronomical. Especially if they indulge in the much publicised scams.

In places like Australia the banning and restriction of jetskis has resulted in benefits for tourism. Some places have seen large increases in visitors when they find that the water (fresh or sea) is once again safe for swimmers.

Apart from safety, jetskis also pollute the water (in Thailand few are mechanically sound and leak fuel etc), they also create noise pollution and prevent many form going into the water.

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corruption exists in many countries. However its existence elsewhere doesn't mitigate the corruption in Thailand

Corruption in Thailand is also quite unusual (in not unique) as it stems from the country's cultural history.

It not only permeates the entire society form the top to the very bottom but it is accepted by many as the "only way" to get things done.

Checks and balances that exist in other countries simply don't exist in Thailand, so even if corruption is exposed there is very little chance of the matter being addressed successfully.

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^^ Most people come to Thailand to get away from the Bureaucracy of their own countries.

What are you basing your opinion that lots of people don't go in the water because of jet skis on?

How many incidents have there ever been in Phuket of swimmers being injured by jet skis?

Edited by HongKongPhooey
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corruption exists in many countries. However its existence elsewhere doesn't mitigate the corruption in Thailand

Corruption in Thailand is also quite unusual (in not unique) as it stems from the country's cultural history.

It not only permeates the entire society form the top to the very bottom but it is accepted by many as the "only way" to get things done.

Checks and balances that exist in other countries simply don't exist in Thailand, so even if corruption is exposed there is very little chance of the matter being addressed successfully.

Exactly. "Cultural history", you either embrace it or you move somewhere things are done differently and where they meet your moral and social requirements.

Also agree that things won't be changing any time soon. The only way it will change is when the Thais with power decide that it would benefit them for things to change. Not holding my breath.

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Lets try to stop making very broad statements and look at the facts. What exactly has changed about corruption in the last 10 years. How has it got worse specifically and how has it affected you personally?

Good point HKP. I would say it has 'got worse' in subtle ways, for example the jet ski & tuk tuk operators have become much bolder with their threatening behavior as they are confident that the 'authorities' will do nothing because of the corruption of kick-backs. Really does not affect me personally, other than the fact that I can't park down on the beach road because of all the vehicle hire street vendors taking over much of the public parking or the tuk tuks hijacking much of the rest of the street parking. No matter, I use the Jungceylon car park. So I can adapt to the situation, but what about the new tourist arriving, renting a vehicle, and come face to face with this problem. Take the Frenchman last year, tries to park his hire car in the public car park at Kata, and gets his arm broken by an irate tuk tuk driver with a crow bar. No charges were ever made.

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