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Phuket Opinion: Corruption And The Duality Of Man


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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.

It's strange how about a week ago you were quite vocal on the naming and shaming of a farang scammer, nick-named "The Penguin" - yet you will not have a bad word said on TV of the everyday, smaller, but more broader reaching scams carried out by Thai's on tourist.

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

I'll research that and let you know. Wonder why many beaches now have buoyed off swimming areas, Maybe because of jet ski or speed boat accidents.

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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, and gets his arm broken by an irate tuk tuk driver with a crow bar. No charges were ever made.

I agree LIK, and I remember the incident involving the French guy.

I'll be very specific and very recent. Last night, bars showed the football, as they have done for the last 10 years you have been here HKP. They were raided, arrested and fined 25,000 baht. Did that happen 10 years ago???? Why were certain bars targeted and not others?

You can go on about how they shouldn't have done it in the first place as it's illegal, but so is prostitution, and isn't that what you like about this place, the freedom, the lack of bureaurcacy.

So, it's a new scam, or new selective enforcement of the law etc etc but I don't remember it happening years ago when I first started coming here. So, we have all the old scams, plus now this new one. Just one example of things getting worse, not better.

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

I'll research that and let you know. Wonder why many beaches now have buoyed off swimming areas, Maybe because of jet ski or speed boat accidents.

There was a guy killed after being hit, I think by his friend, a couple of years ago.

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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, and gets his arm broken by an irate tuk tuk driver with a crow bar. No charges were ever made.

You are happy to accept that it hasn't really affected you, so I think we should always talk about tourists and expats separately. I believe 'NKM' blurs that line confusingly at times.

As for the tourists, it is obviously atrocious what happened to the French bloke and completely wrong, although not at all surprising, that he didn't get convicted.

The main point though for me is this. The example you gave, I could have told you before you even posted it that it was the one you were going to use. Why? Becasue I'm telepathic? No, because it's one of only about 5 or 6 big incidents in the last 12 years. Yes there would have been several other more minor ones but the anti tuk tuk hatred is fuelled by only a few bad incidents.

I don't believe that corruption has changed the tuk tuk experience, for the average tourist, one bit in the last 10 years.

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

I'll research that and let you know. Wonder why many beaches now have buoyed off swimming areas, Maybe because of jet ski or speed boat accidents.

There was a guy killed after being hit, I think by his friend, a couple of years ago.

That was 2 jet skis crashing. So far I have not found a published example of a jet ski killing a swimmer. Couple examples of speed boats killing swimmers.

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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.

The "cultural history" point will be interesting in 2015 when the ASEAN Economic Community starts up. I have not done much research on this, but corruption, especially in relation to business, will have to be addressed. I'm happy to hear from anyone who knows more about this, and it's possible impact on foreigners, visas, working, land ownership (I believe there will be changes to this) etc etc.

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

I'll research that and let you know. Wonder why many beaches now have buoyed off swimming areas, Maybe because of jet ski or speed boat accidents.

There was a guy killed after being hit, I think by his friend, a couple of years ago.

That was 2 jet skis crashing. So far I have not found an published example of a jet ski killing a swimmer. Couple examples of speed boats killing swimmers.

Well, many have died on the speed boats from Samui to The Full Moon Party - but that's off topic, supposedly.

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I don't believe that corruption has changed the tuk tuk experience, for the average tourist, one bit in the last 10 years.

It's gotten a lot more expensive, and not in line with inflation or gas prices. It's my opinion that much of the tuk tuk problems have been caused by the issuing of far too many licences (that's the official corruption factor again). I mean, how many tuk tuks does a place like Patong need. I suggest that Patong could get by just fine with 10% of the current fleet of tuk tuks and the drivers would make a good living. But no, they all have to squabble over the slim pickings. And the pax bears that cost.

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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, and gets his arm broken by an irate tuk tuk driver with a crow bar. No charges were ever made.

You are happy to accept that it hasn't really affected you, so I think we should always talk about tourists and expats separately. I believe 'NKM' blurs that line confusingly at times.

As for the tourists, it is obviously atrocious what happened to the French bloke and completely wrong, although not at all surprising, that he didn't get convicted.

The main point though for me is this. The example you gave, I could have told you before you even posted it that it was the one you were going to use. Why? Becasue I'm telepathic? No, because it's one of only about 5 or 6 big incidents in the last 12 years. Yes there would have been several other more minor ones but the anti tuk tuk hatred is fuelled by only a few bad incidents.

I don't believe that corruption has changed the tuk tuk experience, for the average tourist, one bit in the last 10 years.

The two young Scandi guys put in hospital. The German guy beaten to within an inch of his life. He spent something like 2 weeks in ICU. There are many, but yes, not as many as those who have made it home in one peice, however, their monopoly on transport here is a national disgrace.

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

I'll research that and let you know. Wonder why many beaches now have buoyed off swimming areas, Maybe because of jet ski or speed boat accidents.

To me, having a roped off area is just common sense and should always be the case. That's for the long tails and speed boats as much for the jets skis. Would be interesting to know an official amount (or as official as you get in these parts) I certainly don't remember any high profile incidents.

I agree LIK, and I remember the incident involving the French guy.

I'll be very specific and very recent. Last night, bars showed the football, as they have done for the last 10 years you have been here HKP. They were raided, arrested and fined 25,000 baht. Did that happen 10 years ago???? Why were certain bars targeted and not others?

You can go on about how they shouldn't have done it in the first place as it's illegal, but so is prostitution, and isn't that what you like about this place, the freedom, the lack of bureaurcacy.

So, it's a new scam, or new selective enforcement of the law etc etc but I don't remember it happening years ago when I first started coming here. So, we have all the old scams, plus now this new one. Just one example of things getting worse, not better.

I would imagine the same kind of thing happened ten years ago yes. Not the exact same thing but that's hardly the point. It most certainly isn't a new scam is it. It's a good old fashioned shake down of people who are breaking the law, that's how it goes.

Can't you be more specific than that. That's one example of a slightly different variation of a good old fashioned shake down, and I notice you didn't tell me how it affected you or any tourists.

Give me a brief list of the kind of things you are talking about please. We can all be vague and exagerative.

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You are happy to accept that it hasn't really affected you, so I think we should always talk about tourists and expats separately. I believe 'NKM' blurs that line confusingly at times.

As for the tourists, it is obviously atrocious what happened to the French bloke and completely wrong, although not at all surprising, that he didn't get convicted.

The main point though for me is this. The example you gave, I could have told you before you even posted it that it was the one you were going to use. Why? Becasue I'm telepathic? No, because it's one of only about 5 or 6 big incidents in the last 12 years. Yes there would have been several other more minor ones but the anti tuk tuk hatred is fuelled by only a few bad incidents.

I don't believe that corruption has changed the tuk tuk experience, for the average tourist, one bit in the last 10 years.

The two young Scandi guys put in hospital. The German guy beaten to within an inch of his life. He spent something like 2 weeks in ICU. There are many, but yes, not as many as those who have made it home in one peice, however, their monopoly on transport here is a national disgrace.

And so many more that I could relate, both published and from first hand conversations with injured parties. HKP don't make a fool of yourself by stating "No, because it's one of only about 5 or 6 big incidents in the last 12 years. Yes there would have been several other more minor ones but the anti tuk tuk hatred is fuelled by only a few bad incidents." This is just not the factual case.

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I don't believe that corruption has changed the tuk tuk experience, for the average tourist, one bit in the last 10 years.

It's gotten a lot more expensive, and not in line with inflation or gas prices. It's my opinion that much of the tuk tuk problems have been caused by the issuing of far too many licences (that's the official corruption factor again). I mean, how many tuk tuks does a place like Patong need. I suggest that Patong could get by just fine with 10% of the current fleet of tuk tuks and the drivers would make a good living. But no, they all have to squabble over the slim pickings. And the pax bears that cost.

That's a fair comment. Obviously they have got more expensive. I was going to say, when was the last time you bought a plate of fried rice with a fried egg on top for 30 baht as it was 10 years ago, but that doesn't address the increase above and beyond inflation.

The two young Scandi guys put in hospital. The German guy beaten to within an inch of his life. He spent something like 2 weeks in ICU. There are many, but yes, not as many as those who have made it home in one peice, however, their monopoly on transport here is a national disgrace.

laugh.png All you have done there is list two of the other well known incidents, strengthening my point. I'm not talking about 'LivinLOS' and his mates arguing over the price at 3am because the driver didn't want to go up a big <deleted> off hill. I'm talking about major incidents that people talk about as if they happen daily when they simply don't.

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

I'll research that and let you know. Wonder why many beaches now have buoyed off swimming areas, Maybe because of jet ski or speed boat accidents.

I know of one dive instructor that was hit by one off Kata. I have had quite a few close calls with them while teaching off Kata and Karon Beaches.

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You are happy to accept that it hasn't really affected you, so I think we should always talk about tourists and expats separately. I believe 'NKM' blurs that line confusingly at times.

As for the tourists, it is obviously atrocious what happened to the French bloke and completely wrong, although not at all surprising, that he didn't get convicted.

The main point though for me is this. The example you gave, I could have told you before you even posted it that it was the one you were going to use. Why? Becasue I'm telepathic? No, because it's one of only about 5 or 6 big incidents in the last 12 years. Yes there would have been several other more minor ones but the anti tuk tuk hatred is fuelled by only a few bad incidents.

I don't believe that corruption has changed the tuk tuk experience, for the average tourist, one bit in the last 10 years.

The two young Scandi guys put in hospital. The German guy beaten to within an inch of his life. He spent something like 2 weeks in ICU. There are many, but yes, not as many as those who have made it home in one peice, however, their monopoly on transport here is a national disgrace.

And so many more that I could relate, both published and from first hand conversations with injured parties. HKP don't make a fool of yourself by stating "No, because it's one of only about 5 or 6 big incidents in the last 12 years. Yes there would have been several other more minor ones but the anti tuk tuk hatred is fuelled by only a few bad incidents." This is just not the factual case.

And for each of the dozens of cases we know of, there are dozens more we don't hear about.

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