I find it amusing that the Straits Times actually ran this article titled:
“Billionaires’ island may be built off Phuket – Minister backs idea for mega-yacht marina reportedly inspired by Bill Gates”
Excerpt from the article on May 24, 2007:
“Mr Gates and his wife Melinda were said to have visited Phuket last month on a 54m-long yacht, and they said they would gladly return every year if they had somewhere private to dock their ‘mega yacht’.
Phuket Governor Niran Kallayanamitr, who denied media reports of his support for the man-made island project, said he would be ‘ready for a talk’ if the world’s richest man was serious about investing in a mega project off the island province.
Reuters had quoted cordless telephone tycoon Gulu Lalvani as saying that Mr Gates told him that Phuket was one of ‘the best holidays he’d had’, and he would come back every year if he could find somewhere to moor his yacht.
‘The governor is a close friend,’ Mr Lalvani was quoted as saying. ‘We’ve discussed it before, but after Bill Gates’ visit, he sanctioned the project,’ he said.”
I highly doubt that Bill Gates has any interest in building a “Billionaires’ island,” and I am surprised that government officials would get over-excited at a passing comment.