Patong Nightlife 4am Closing Request Shrouded In Silence
Provincial officials and leading nightlife operators in Patong have reported that they have no idea on how the formal request by former Governor Chockchai Dejamornthan to allow entertainment venues along Bangla Rd to stay open until 4am is progressing. Ex-Governor Chockchai dispatched the initial request to Bangkok before Feb 16.
He later requested to extend the later trading times to venues in the entertainment zone in Karon as well. Phuket Provincial Chief Administrative Officer Thawornwat Kongkaew said yesterday that Ministry of Tourism & Sports officials made enquiries related to the request just before the Songkran holidays.
“They just asked some details about Patong from the Phuket Provincial Office before Songkran,” he said. Asked will the Phuket Provincial Office, which is headed by the new Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong, will follow up, Mr Thawornwat replied, “We have done our job.”
Asked, how long processing the request – whether approved or denied – was expected to take, Mr Thawornwat said, “I have no idea. They just asked for information from us. They need time to work on the official process.”
Asked specifically what the ministry officials enquired about, Mr Thawornwat said, “They just asked for numbers of tourists and expats in Phuket, and feedback from public hearings about entertainment zones. There’s no need for you to ask so many questions.”
Meanwhile, Weerawit Kuresombat, President of the Patong Entertainment Business Association (PEBA), has said that he has received no updates at all about the request. The PEBA instigated the late-trading request from Governor Chockchai after a crackdown on bar and nightclubs along Bangla Rd saw hordes of revellers evicted onto the streets at 1am in late January.
“I have not heard any updates about the 4am closing,” he said in a recent interview with The Phuket News. “Also, now that former Phuket Governor Chockchai has been transferred, he is no longer in Phuket – and he was the main man taking care of this issue,” Mr Weerawit said.
“We have done everything we can. I have tried many ways to follow up on this, and now there is nothing but silence,” he explained. “This conflicts with some people’s interest, even at the national level, I am honest to say out loud, but hopefully the 4am closing will be considered soon,” Mr Weerawit said.
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