Thursday, July 1, 2010

Special administrative area for Ko Samui?

An article in the newspaper Samui Express made me notice that the plans for special administrative areas is still in the discussion. Last time I heard about it was in December, when it was just a side-note that both Mae Sot and Ko Samui are set to become a special kind of municipality. Sadly the article this time does not give much more background either.
WHILE Koh Samui has been unsuccessful in its bid to become a city, it is on its way to becoming, at least, a special district, a status that could in turn lead to the attainment ofits ultimate goal of, well, cityhood. Recently Samui Mayor Ramnet Jaikwang welcomed to Samui members of a Special Development Subcommittee involved with the task of conducting public hearings to get people’s opinions on the establishment of Samui asa special district.
Koh Samui has been chosen as the pilot area for the administrationof special districts.
A little bit more could be found at the Thai local website, which not only had a report on this meeting, but much more interesting an article with some background on special administrative areas. I'll write up the details from that article in a separate post soon.


Camille said...

It will be great if Samui can get city status. It's really what Samui needs in the long term to, in order to keep and delegate all monies generated by it self rather than having to give it to the Surat Thani admin, who in turn will only give a marginal % back to Samui.

Andy said...

I can perfectly understand the dissatisfaction with the current situation - Samui generating lots of tax money, but not enough money comes back to finance necessary infrastructure works. On the other hand, a country with such big differences in development like Thailand needs transfer of money from rich parts to poor one, or to say for Surat Thani, some of the tax money collected on Samui should go to the less-developed districts like Vibhavadi or Chai Buri. However I have to admit I don't know anything about all those various budgets involved, so I cannot give any opinion on which status for Samui would be best.

As far as I know, there are three possible changes:

* Make Samui a province - hardly imaginable, would be way to small then.

* Give it city municipality status - that could have been done two years ago when the municipality was upgraded, I still don't know why it was changed last minute from city down to town status.

* A special status, maybe copying the one of Pattaya, or even create yet another different special administration system. Seems like one of this two is what they are targeting.

If you hear anything new about this process, don't hesitate to tell me, I usually only catch it when it shows up in Samui Express, or in one of the two English national newspapers.

Harry said...

City status was always a non-starter as Koh Samui does not have the population density required and some other form of administration had to be used which is why they are looking at a special administrative district.

Andy said...

No, the population density requirement - which was for both city and town municipality - was dropped in 2000 already. I had blogged about this earlier. So Samui is qualified for city municipality status as well, in fact it was originally scheduled to become one but changed last minute down to town municipality.