PHUKET: The recently formed Kla Party (âBrave Partyâ) has made Phuket more self-reliant, with the people of Phuket able to elect their own official governor’s party policy.
The news was announced by key party member Korn Chatikavanij in Phuket on Saturday, October 9. Mr Korn, a former Democratic Party member who served as finance minister under Abhisit Vejjajiva’s government, was in Phuket to confirm Thames Kraitat as the Kla Party candidate in Phuket in the upcoming general election.
In a special interview conducted by Sasinkarn Rungruangroj on behalf of Phuket news *Mr. Korn explained, âKla is a new party, it was formed last year. mainly by a variety of people with a common goal, to improve Thai politics, make Thailand a better place, create good economic opportunities for all Thais, bring wealth and increase income for all and that’s something which we believe Thais lack in political arena and we want to give the people a better choice.
Acknowledging that the two current Phuket MPs, both being representatives of the ruling Palang Pracharat Party, led by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, asked what attributes the Kla Party specifically sought among candidates in Phuket, Mr. Korn replied, âI think the main issue in the minds of the people of Phuket is the livelihood and quality of life in general.
âI think the past two years have been very tough for Phuket, so the candidates who understand these issues, the candidates who have something to say and a clear plan on how to alleviate the economic hardship of the citizens of Phuket are the ones that we want to represent the Kla La fÃªte and I am sure these are the qualities that the people of Phuket are looking for in the next general election.
With the financial hardships faced by the people of Phuket over the past two years clearly on the agenda, Mr Korn explained that the Kla Party is focused on alleviating such suffering. âI think in the short term, Phuket clearly lives and thrives on tourism. We have to get that back, and that’s basically the development of the current program, the sandbox, into a full reopening of Phuket.
The sooner we can do this, the faster the livelihoods will improve for the people of Phuket, âhe said.
âAnd the trigger for the reopening is clearly health and safety concerns, so the fact that residents of Phuket are getting a third shot of the vaccine is a good thing. I believe that in the middle of this month, I estimate that 50% of the residents of Phuket would have received their third injection. So we are heading to a level where I think it would be safe for Phuket to reopen and return to normalcy. “
Looking at Phuket’s long-term development, Mr. Korn noted, âIn all aspects, we want to take the opportunity to look at what is good for Phuket in the long term, the type of tourists that Phuket has. In my opinion, Phuket is an upscale, world-class destination. Everything Phuket has should be world class, the beaches and the people are already world class.
“I think we have to face the fact that the infrastructure in general is still of inferior quality, concern for the environment is probably not yet as good as we would like to preserve what we have for future generations “, also noted Mr. Korn.
âI think there is still a lot of work to be done to make Phuket a truly upscale destination. There are also, in my opinion, other potentials for Phuket, especially for the younger generation, âhe said.
âI see Phuket in the future to take full advantage of the current home work, or work outside the home and develop Phuket into a technology hub, to develop Phuket into a hub for digital nomads around the world to developing startups here, so I think there are a lot of opportunities.
âPeople have also told me about the opportunities for Phuket when it comes to even high-end agriculture,â he added.
“The fact that Phuket suffered during COVID from the lack of food security, the fact that it needs to import virtually everything Phuket eats … I think this has rekindled some thinking in developing Phuket IN [investment] in high-end agriculture to support Phuket businesses and residents of Phuket, âhe said.
A critical question asked concerned the Kla Party’s stance on many Phuket residents who have long called for granting Phuket more autonomy in its own administration.
Key to this sentiment uplift has been the sentiment among many local residents who witnessed for years what appeared to be Bangkok-based decisions rejecting the island’s critical needs.
When asked if he thinks the people of Phuket should have more of a say in the political decisions that affect their lives and have an elected governor, like they did in Pattaya, instead of one an official appointed by the Home Office, Mr Korn replied: â100% I totally agree with this sentiment.
âIn fact, two days ago, we already announced that as an official position, our official policy for Phuket, Phuket is more ready than any other province in Thailand for decentralization,â Korn noted.
âHe should be able to elect at least his own governor. The governor should have power over the budget to ensure that everything we have just discussed regarding improving the quality of infrastructure is done for Phuket by the people of Phuket. So like I said I totally agree with this and this will be the official Pak Kla [Kla Party] political, âhe added.
In conclusion, Mr. Korn was asked, in terms of improving the national economy, his thoughts on the volume of trade already done with China, especially Chinese companies and the Chinese government.
When asked if he anticipates increased trade with China, Korn replied, âI think this is an inevitable trend as the Chinese economy grows. Its proximity to Thailand and the fact that the Chinese people appreciate Thai products and services means that trade with China is going to expand, which is a good thing.
“Of course we have to make sure that trade with China is fair and that Thais benefit fully from it, not only with China, but [also] with everyone – that we get a good deal, âhe said.
“I think it is of concern, not only in Phuket but elsewhere in Thailand as well, that a number of companies are in Chinese hands, so we need to make sure when the Chinese do business with Thai companies that these companies offer as much as possible to Thais. [the type of trade deals] so Thais can fully and fairly benefit from this trade, âKorn noted.
“So [Thailand will] continue to develop trade ties with China, but make sure this is the type of trade Thais enjoy, âhe said.
* The Phuket News would like to warmly thank Sasinkarn Rungruangroj for conducting the interview on our behalf.