Monday, December 15, 2008

Samui Express mixing up local and central government

When I wrote about misconceptions on the Thai administrative structures shortly ago, this was done by a foreigner who did not research enough and fell into some traps I fell myself at first as well, like the confusion of "tambon" vs. "thesaban tambon". But - I just discovered that the newspaper Samui Express made it even worse when they reported about municipal upgrade.

The article was published on October 20, just four month after the upgrade actually happened. Just to quote the worst parts
Up until June 2008, the island was an amphoe (district) of Suratthani province, then subdivided into seven sub- districts (tambon) with the complete island being one municipality, or sub district. Now, the sub-district has been changed to “town municipality.”
The island still is a Amphoe (district) and is still subdivided into 7 subdistricts now. The only small truth hidden in it is the fact that the subdistrict headmen (kamnan) lost their position, together with the village headmen (phu yai ban), but still the subdistrict and villages are kept.
In the past, Koh Samui reported as a “sub-district” to Suratthani, rather than Bangkok. While still operating as a “sub-district,” one of 19 in the province of Suratthani, Samui submitted the request be made a “city.”. However, that request was revoked and instead, the “town” municipality status was granted.
Completely mixing up the structures here. 19 is the number of district within Surat Thani province, of which Samui was and still is one. The number of subdistrict municipalities however was 21 (there are now 22, since 2 were newly created in July), together with 2 towns and one city. I made a very complete post about the local government in Surat Thani in May. While mixing up the facts, the article mentions the fact that at first city status was planned, but it was changed to town status - but it fails to state interesting part, the reasons for this change. I am quite disappointed to read such a nonsense in a Thai newspaper, the only excuse I can find is the fact that the article was written by an expat and not by a Thai, but even an expat should research more before writing an article and spreading such wrong information.

No comments: