Bangkok island residents want to see F1 race plan

By Lerpong Amsa-ngiam | Source: The Nation
Communities around the Rattanakosin Island area have demanded to see the proposal regarding a Formula One car race, as they prepared to launch a huge campaign this Saturday to prevent such an event being staged in their locality in 2015.

Parntip Likkachai, leader of Youth Banglamphu Community, said Rattanakosin area residents deserved to read the Master Plan by the Sports Authority of Thailand, acting on behalf of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, to host the country’s first-ever F1 race. The plan proposed to stage the event around Rattanakosin Island.

Representatives from 20 communities convened on Saturday at Thammasat University’s Tha Prachan campus to discuss the protection of historical sites on Rattanakosin Island from the F1 event.

“So far we have heard about this project from the media and others, but we have yet to see what is in the plan of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports. We have to see the proposal in detail and study the impact on historical sites and our way of life,” said Parnthip, who added that the communities’ priority now is to create public awareness about the F1 race through a campaign this Saturday.

“Each community will make its own ‘No F1’ banners and gather at Democracy Monument at 4pm on Saturday to form a bicycle parade around Rattanakosin Island. We will distribute leaflets to residents in the area to inform them about the impact from the F1 race to the environment and their lives,” said Parntip, who explained that her community was not opposed to the F1 race in Thailand, but wanted concerned authorities to find other routes that would be more appropriate.

In the next step, the communities would take the signatures of residents and submit a letter against hosting the F1 on Rattanakosin to Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

Sports Authority of Thailand Governor Kanokphand Chulakasem insisted he would pursue the F1 race proposal with contingency routes at the Government Complex in Chaeng Wattana and at Muang Thong Thani. The SAT chief also said public hearings on whether Thailand should host the F1 race could be conducted but the final decision would be left to the Cabinet.