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international news _ Jonty Skrufff _ 14th July 2005

Oil Crisis Threatens Thailand's Club Scene

Thai authorities are considering forcing all bars and clubs to close on Mondays, in response to economic problems caused by the high price of oil.

The energy saving tactic could also be accompanied by 10pm curfews on petrol stations with lights on advertising billboards shutting down at 9pm, the Nation newspaper reported this week.

"Oil prices will continue to keep their upward trend and will rise even further when the winter comes, therefore we must save now," said Energy Minister Viset Choopiban, "During this period of economic difficulty, it is the duty of everybody to help save energy."

The Minister's comments came as cops continued raiding nightspots and drug testing everybody inside, this time in Pattay. Just one person was busted out of the 800 patrons split between the Star Dice Bar and Lucifer Discoteque, though as Skrufff's new Thai contributor Simon Napier-Bell pointed out, the raid's impact is considerably wider.

"The problem with these drug raids is they piss off so many people who are not doing drugs and just want a good night out," said Simon, "Though on the other hand, there aren't really very many of them. Thailand is a good place to live, but it's certainly better not to do drugs if you're going to a big high-profile club."

The legendary music business mogul and hedonist also suggested the raids are unlikely to deter tourists declaring "the whole point of being in the Far East is to look for a little danger, and there's plenty more than drug raids to worry about."

"People are regularly killed and shot for doing nothing more than accidentally standing on someone's toe in a disco. The most important thing is, never lose your temper and keep smiling and this goes for all confrontations with the police too. A big smile and 1000 baht (fifteen pounds) will get you anywhere," he advised.

"Anyway - stuff the drugs - most people come here for sunshine, good food, lovely people and easy sex," he pointed out, "Drugs are what you have to take in London or New York because the atmosphere and climate are so shitty," said Simon.(Jonty Skrufff / Skrufff.com)

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