Mr Mongkonkit, a party list MP, noted that it was his first visit to Phuket, and that it came at the request of local residents calling on him to investigate the construction project, which has found itself mired in controversy after Bangkok MP Sira Jenjaka went public to report alleged death threats over the project.
Manassanan Nararattanawee, the CEO of Kata Beach Co Ltd, as the owner of The Peak Residence development, held a press conference last Wednesday (Aug 21) to issue a public statement of assurance that the company was following the law, and will continue to abide by the law in any ensuing rulings. (See story here.)
“I want to meet the Karon Mayor and local residents, and also offer praise to the chief of the Karon Police,” Mr Mongkonkit said.
“I know about the (alleged) illegal land title deed and the construction permit of The Peaks,” he said.
“We have to check the meeting reports of the Phuket office of the Department of Land to see whether they reported to Environmental Impact Assessment in Thailand (EIA) committee.
“If they did, that means they did not ignore their duty,” he added.
“The Phuket Governor at that time was Norraphat Plodthong, but he has already retired, so we have to check the EIA’s process of approval,” Mr Mongkonkit said.
“From the information so far, The Peaks developer did ask for the permit legally, and Karon Municipality also proceed on this case in line with the law.
“The illegal step could be that they did not report (the project) to the EIA committee, because if the EIA committee did not approve the project, then the permit could not be issued and the developer could not start construction,” he explained.
Mr Mongkonkit pointed out that he was also looking into the allegation that the “Phuket Government ordered to change the land title deed of Katathani Phuket Beach Resort”.
The land deed for the resort overlaps with the Bang Rak Canal, which may cause flooding issues when the water level in the canal is high, he said.
“The Katathani resort may lose a part of their land, as per the Land Act 1954,” Mr Mongkonkit said.
“Today I came to collect information. The Karon Mayor and Deputy Mayor told me that most of the land in Karon has become hotels. Local residents do not have land to do any business for a living,” he said.
“I will meet with business owners from Patong to listen to their problems, so we can brainstorm and find solutions, based within the law.” he added.