Pattaya Daily News

19 March 2008 :: 09:03:47 am 28775

Alisa Represents a Breath of Fresh Air And Brings Hope to The People of Pattaya.

Aliisa Phanthusak ,the new independent candidate for the office of Pattaya's mayor, is the owner of Tiffany's and comes from a managerial background. As an independent candidate, she has the chance to radically change the face of local politics in this town, without being overly influenced by previous pressure groups.
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According to her manifesto, she has the people’s interests at heart and genuinely wishes to improve their lot and life chances.

She told PDN that she intends to give the people more of a say in the running of Pattaya, introducing surveys and educating them in their political and human rights, environmental awareness and attempting to solve the burgeoning traffic problem. While acknowledging the continuing reliance of the city on the service industry, she wishes to control it by more rigid zoning and also wishes to improve the lot and life chances of the sex workers themselves, offering them alternative employment opportunities if they so wish.

She brings the enthusiasm and determination of youth to Pattaya and as a new broom, hopes to sweep clean by offering more transparency and accountability and, significantly, to allow the media to represent the true voice of the citizenry, without fear of repression. As such, if she is elected and puts her radical proposals into practice, she will be a major force in improving the image of the city, both nationally and internationally, which will have a considerable impact on the tourist industry. Although foreign residents, especially Westerners, have no overt political influence in so far as they can’t vote, they can exert pressure through their significant others  their largely female partners – as Alisa’s policies will have a direct impact upon them. We wish her every success and support her campaign to bring a metamorphosis ” a sea change ” to the Fun City of Variety,

What’s the reason that you have decided to join local politics ?
I was in business for quite a long time, then I was selected to be a member of parliament, working here, I have learned that the majority of Thai people don’t realize that they have the right to create their own laws, rather than waiting for the politicians to do it for us. From that realization, I decided to provide another choice for local people in Pattaya to select their new mayor. I don’t worry much about whether I will win or lose, but am only concerned to help educate people about human rights and how to claim tax benefits.

Do you think Pattaya people have been treated properly ?
I think they have missed a lot of chances. They can have a better quality of living than they presently have. Pattaya is an independently administered city, in Thai we call it a ” Special Administration”, but we have never been treated as such. Nobody cares about the local people here. The local government seems to care about the city’s physical growth, not the people. I work for parliament, I have seen that there are far more women becoming involved in politics because women tend to take care of details better than men.

 

 

Do you think Pattaya politics has been separated into two quite strong parties ?
Yes, I think so. We always hear the administration refer to ” Our group” ” our friends” “Our team” etc. I think if you volunteer to be a politician, you must work for the good of the people, for the society as a whole, not be partisan and work for self-interest, merely for your group or your friends.

Pattaya Mayor , Khun Niran Wattanasatsatorn used to say ” Pattaya is a city for putting the SIANs (specialists, experts or professional) in their places.” They might be ultra-good in their own fields, or elsewhere and expect to be able to handle anything, but when they come here they find they are not so special. What do you think of that ?
To be a specialist or not, it’s only a word. We should focus on the system as a whole, on what kind of system we have, and not bow down before these individuals who represent themselves as being so great. I think if people aren’t treated properly, that will create only more SIAN or more prestige for certain individuals and not benefit the public as a whole.

SIAN can also have a positive meaning as in the sense of “SIAN” in the image of the Buddha, like an immortal. Do you think are you one of them ?
No, definitely not, (laughing) I would prefer to do anything to stop creating false SIAN. I like to see people treated properly and equally.

How much is the annual administrative budget for Pattaya ?
It receives about 3,000 million from the government, and also receipts from local taxes; in total, about 5,000 million.
Suppose you were the next mayor of Pattaya city, what is the first problem you want to solve ?
I think the first problem I’d like to solve is the traffic problem because it relates to so many other problems, like traffic accidents, transport, strains on the medical services, quality of lives etc. As a long term project, I would like to improve the education of the younger generation. Pattaya can generate over a Bt.100,000 million easily, if people are treated and served properly. We have inadequate security, we live in constant danger, there are not enough hospitals, insufficient medical care, bad public utilities and public heath, no one seems to care much about the local residents.

What about the people from other parts of Thailand who work here, not the original Pattaya people? Do you think they are treated as a different class of people, an under-class ?
No, I think everyone who lives here are Pattaya people, Pattaya citizens. They should be all be treated the same and equally, but many people from upcountry don’t know they have missed out on a lot of opportunities to receive free public services in Pattaya. For example, their kids can go to school for free, in the future they will be able to get free health care. We have to inform them that if they move here and register in Pattaya as a local citizen, they will be better off. They have to love Pattaya as their hometown, as well, because everyone comes here to work, to earn money and have opportunities to improve their income to help their families. Why not educate people in environmental awareness and help each other to clean up the environment of Pattaya? If we all work together to create a strong community, we will elevate Pattaya to be a beautiful city as it’s supposed to be.

 

 

  

 

  

  

Pattaya is also a sex town and is sometimes even called “the biggest whorehouse in the world” and it is also a hiding place for world criminals, what do you think of that ?
I think we have to accept the reality, the truth, but it’s also necessary to publicize the good name of Pattaya too. Every town has both good and bad sides, but we allow the bad side to be broadcast around the world.

I am a vice-president of the Thai Hotel Association. I have been around the world joining campaigns and exhibitions, always promoting Pattaya City, on behalf of Pattaya City, not just for the hotel industry itself. But our association is just a tiny association, we are supported by the Chonburi Province budget, we cannot continue our promotion all year long.

Public relations or promotion has to be done all the time. Pattaya City website has to be improved and updated. It is the best and fastest way to promote Pattaya. We are talking about how we can show all the many good things about the city.

We have to separate the red light zones from the residential areas, public schools and offices. We have to inform the tourists about our laws. Pattaya has laws like every other city, if anyone breaks the law, they will be punished exactly the same, no matter whether theyare a local or a visitor. If we don’t keep the laws strong and enforce them, criminals will keep coming here eternally.

As new mayor, you will have to work with the permanent officers. How will you prepare yourself? Do you think it will be difficult ?

I don’t think it ‘s a problem because we are managing the organization itself, managing the system. If we can inform them correctly, motivate them and show them how it will be of benefit to everyone, I think they should be willing to co-operate well. After all, we work for the people.  

 

What do you plan for businesses? How can we create more opportunities? How can we get more investors to invest in Pattaya ?
We have to improve our public utilities, safety measures, water, electric, and local government services. If we are ready to serve (properly) they will come, no need to broadcast it out loud.

What do you think about the law of getting permission to build skyscrapers ?
Just follow the rules and stick with them, because we already have good rules. We have to follow them and not do so only for your own benefit or for that of your friends.

How do you that, not just catering to your own or your friends’ needs ?

I can’t really say how, but the fact is if we have rules and make sure everyone understands the rules and abides by them, the benefits will return to everyone, anyway. Instead of thinking just about yourself, think about the greater whole, all the Pattaya citizenry. 

 

hat is the image or model of the Pattaya City mayor that you have in your own mind ? What do you think you will have to change if you are elected to be the mayor ? Many people comment that you are and look too young, and have no experience. How are you going to overcome those negative descriptions ?
I won’t work alone, we have a great team. We have to create a better team, to have many specialists in every department of life. Team work is the most important single thing, and they are all volunteers and sacrifice themselves by working hard. Pattaya is a small city with a fantastic opportunity to become a truly international tourist resort. Our team has the vision. Pattaya can create it’s own rules or laws, it’s very unique. But so far we haven’t used the opportunities we’ve been given to change Pattaya for the better – to be better in every way. No one can run Pattaya alone, it’s impossible, we need good team work.

What is the population of Pattaya ? 

The Registration Records show about 100,000 people, but in actuality, we have between 7-800,000 people.

 Do you think we have to create a brand new image for Pattaya?
Absolutely, we have to. We have to create a proper character for Pattaya, not just to say “Pattaya is the city of variety ” – variety means so many different things and ways. We have so many beautiful things: beaches, temples, gardens, water sports, spas, resorts, islands and many activities and are very close to the airport, harbour and great tourist attractions. We have to upgrade Pattaya to be top class to attract more visitors and investors. 

Talk about crime cases in Pattaya again, could you just give us two things that you think will reduce the crime rate in Pattaya ? 
I always say that we have to educate our younger generation, to take care of them properly. You can see most crime cases involve convictions of young people, drugs, child sex etc. If they have useful activities to do, most will never be convicted of crimes. We can’t just depend on the police. The police are for solving problems, not to stop people creating problems.

All the people have to help each other, we have to keep our eyes on our children, love them and take care of them. Get together to build up a strong society. We must have local voluntary officers who are mature and respectful to form a citizens’ watch, after all, not everyone can be a volunteer.

  

  

 Are we talking about police volunteers ?
Yes, we have some good ones, and some bad ones, of course. We still have to have police volunteers, but I think we should concentrate on the mature ones, we have to select them properly, investigate their backgrounds, give them proper training, to stop them abusing their power or connections, taking advantage of people. We should give them some authority, but not as much as the actual police.

As you know we can’t avoid talking about service girls or bar girls. We might not be able to clean everything up, but what do you plan to do to help or handle the sex industry ?

We know they come from different parts of Thailand because of the poverty. Those girls are working for a living like everybody does. They take care of their families. But why not look at it this way? Focus on Pattaya, we are talking about bad things in Pattaya. Why not ask ourselves why there are so many opportunities for everyone to earn money in Pattaya? Why is everyone heading to Pattaya? It means Pattaya has what people want. I think we have to provide more education for service girls, at least they should not be cheated or taken advantage of by the bar owners or even their customers (sometimes). They don’t have to do more than what they already have to. They have to know their own rights, human rights. I also think that we should provide more alternative opportunities for them to earn money.

 Actually, we don’t have enough services for the tourists, like family tourists. We need more tourist guides, more qualified waitresses and waiters, even more restaurants, and more good services in general.

Speaking of the quality of driving. They don’t follow the road traffic rules, most of the accidents are caused by drivers or motorcyclists ?
We need adequate training and strict enforcement of the road traffic laws.

 

 What happened to the beach bus project? Is it still working ?
Yes, but the number of buses is not enough to service local people who travel to work in Pattaya. Take the hotel staff, they have to be at work on time. They tried the beach buses from the beginning, but they weren’t on time and there weren’t sufficient buses, or enough routes during the day. Everyone prefers to have their own motorbikes.

What about traffic lights ?
So many people complain that we have too many traffic lights, which are unnecessary. There was no information, a survey or a vote before they installed the traffic lights. I think we are back to talking about the system again.

Maybe too high a budget. Do they have to spend it all each year ?
Quite right. This is the way of budgetary operations in Thailand. If you don’t spend all your budget this year, next year you can’t have the same amount again. The traffic system has to be studied carefully and planned in advance, together with all the road works all year long.
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A Four-year timetable to run the city on over 10,000 baht, it’s not that we don’t care about the quality, but transparency is the most difficult part to talk about. We must have a good system of bidding and examine our contracts closely. If the road construction companies go over the time-limits, we have to fine them according to the contract. How can they take two years to finish a section of road work ? If we really have to wait that long, why can’t we have a temporary road ? I think the management system needs to be updated, it’s very old fashioned. 

 

What do you think about locating casinos in Pattaya ? 
It depends on the decision of the government, it’s not a Pattaya City decision. We still have to follow the governmental rules. In my opinion, I think Pattaya has so much to offer the visitors. So many natural attractions, and we still can’t market them properly. But as I said, sometimes the same rules don’t work in all the locations in the country.Talking about rules, give us some idea of what you will do about the long holiday or the Buddhist festivals when we are not allow to sell drinks, will you do something about that ?

Obviously, it affects the tourist industry, especially in Pattaya. Tourists like to enjoy themselves drinking with friends and in the company of others, not just drinking by themselves at home. Stopping drinking is not the way to solve the problem. Closing bars at 2.00 am, for example, we follow the rules which were created for the whole country. But Pattaya is different, it’s a tourist’s place, it’s exceptional. We could even open until 6.00 in the morning if we have good system.

 

Could you share your ideas about how to live in Pattaya decently as a non-bar girl ?
I know what you mean, it’s quite difficult to avoid rude looks or insulting questions as we see frequently in the news. I think we have to inform tourists better and create zones, as I said earlier. Now we tend to have bars everywhere, spread all over. We have no local surveys, and never ask the people what they think.   

 

What do you think about the media in Pattaya ?
 It must help by giving useful, informative articles or reports to the readers. The media must be neutral. It must be proud of its profession. It should not be bought. They should be a balancing power between the bad people and the good people. Now, we can’t tell who is good and who is bad anymore because of bad reporting. People say ” There is a grey area, which is where the majority people prefer to stay” I don’t believe in that saying. We should be able to tell the difference between black and white. Good is good, bad is bad. You can’t say ” I have done something which is a little bit bad..” It’s not right. The media has to be clear.

 What would you like to say finally, in your own words ?

I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me and stood by me. I will do my best. Don’t judge me by the way I look. I am probably too young at 34, but I have quite a lot of experience in management. I can even say I might have more experience than many people.

 You might have to make yourself look older to get more respect.
Well, don’t you think it’s better to have the younger generation who volunteer to work in this unique job? Pattaya has so many thing to offer us, we should all live well, but why have we been working so desperately for such a long time? I talk to many people, different people, local people who were born here, they say nothing has changed in their daily life. They still live in poor conditions. We have a diamond in our hand, but we don’t even know it.

A rough diamond..
Yes, we have to clean it up, polish it, let it shine beautifully as a beautiful diamond should, to show the world. I would like to invite the younger generation to step up, to work together and walk together as the Pattaya New Sky concept says ” Step out for a better quality of life”

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : PDN staff   Category : Politics News

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