A tale of two newspapers: Bhokin and the new parliament building

A tale of two newspapers: Bhokin and the new parliament building - May 13, 2005
Compare and contrast the articles about the parliament building location in the English-language and Thai-language press. Note that Wisarut has also preserved the way these articles are written in Thai, beginning with a summation and then the summation expanded upon with many details.

Bhokin land row - The Nation, May 13, 2005
House Speaker Bhokin Bhalakula was slammed yesterday for taking it upon himself to decide where the new Parliament building should be without waiting for the committee responsible to reach its conclusions.
He said the best place for the Parliament building was the site of a bankrupt textile factory in Pathum Thani province. The land belonged to Thai Melon Textile Co on Rangsit Road, in Klong Luang district.
Democrat Party deputy leader Jurin Laksanawisit, a committee adviser, said Bhokin should not have voiced his opinion before the panel came up with its conclusion.
He said that land was no more suitable than the plot in Kiak Kai in Dusit district or Ordnance Department land in Nonthaburi.
"Why would we buy that land and build the new Parliament there? It has no dignity. The land was seized by a bank because the business created non-performing loans,’’ he said.
Bhokin said he asked Transport Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit about extending the Skytrain to that location, and linking with the Chiang Rak expressway. The land would cost Bt3 billion and construction another Bt5 billion.


Bhokin insisting that the new parliament building will be at Thai Melon land - translated and summarized by Wisarut Bholsithi from Manager Daily, May 12, 2005
Speaker Bhokin said he agrees with Premier Thaksin that the new National Assembly will be on land which is used to house the now-defunct Thai Melon Textile factory. The budget for the new National Assembly will be at 15 billion baht and completed in 3 1/2 years. The next step is to get approval from the Parliament Committee before bidding by the end of this year.
However, Democrat Deputy Head Jurin strongly opposes the proposal by both Bhokin and Premier Thaksin to relocate the National Assembly to the former Thai Melon Textile in Rangsit since it costs too much and it is within a factory area which is totally unfit for a National Assembly. Even the researchers from both Mahidol University and Chulalongkorn University prefer the Kiakkai area.
House Speaker Bhokin told the press that he agrees with Premier Thaksin's proposal to relocate the National Assembly to the land belonged to the defunct Thai Melon textile. It would take 10 billion baht for construction and 4-5 billion baht for landscaping on 600 rai of land He will wait for the final decision from the Parliament committee about this issue so they can call a new bid by the end of 2005 and construction can start in 2006--after the laying corner stone in early 2006--an auspicious year of the Diamond Jubilee [the 60th anniversary of The King's ascension to the throne].
After opening the new parliament, they will return the former Parliament building to the Royal Household Agency. House Speaker Bhokin also discussed with MOTC about the extension of the red line commuter to the new national assembly and the new ramp linking the National Assembly to Chaing Rak Expressway. They will set up new offices for 500 MPs and 200 senators at the same complex while inviting the Supreme Court and Constitution Court to work in the same place as the National Assembly.
However, Deputy Head of the Democrat Party (MP Jurin) strongly opposes this plan since they found that it costs too much--3.4-3.5 billion baht land purchase is just the tip of the iceberg. Furthermore, the Thai Melon Textile land has a very bad history. It is the land of bankrupt firm and a flood-prone area.
Democrat Deputy said that while Kiakkai has only 120 rai of land and the Pakkret ordinance has only 265 rai of land, they are much superior to the Thai Melon textile land. The land expropriation at Pakkret ordinance is nearly complete. Chula Researchers also said Kiakkai land is the best while Mahidol said Kiakkai area and Pakkret Ordinance area are second only to Pasak Jolasit Dam (proposed by former speaker Uthai). Even MP Jurin has to agree with the results from Chula and Mahidol.


Also: 'A tale of two newspapers' archives
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