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Chuwit Kamolvisit, From Bangkok's Biggest Pimp, To Thailand's Most Controversial Politician
Who is Chuwit Kamolvisit?
He is the son of a Hong Kong father and a Thai mother, with an overseas education in America. After Chuwit earned a Master of Business Administration degree at a university in San Diego, he set out to make his fortune in his home of Thailand. In the early 1990s, he went into the massage business, he reminisces: “I wanted to make big bucks. One day, I learned that massage parlors make a lot of money. But one thing you need in Thailand is a license. A massage license, which will tell you how many rooms you can operate. The first license I bought was for 106 rooms. That was Victoria’s Secrets. I started paying the police from the first month I operated.”
By 2003, Chuwit was the biggest pimp in Bangkok, owning several giant massage parlors that are well known to be houses of prostitution. He was paying off the police, and they would turn a blind eye to his shady business practices. The authorities didn't mind seeing him make a fortune from prostitution, but when he was accused of being involved in a violent incident in the Sukhumvit district, that ended up in hundreds of businesses being bulldozed, and several people brutally beaten, they had seen enough. Chuwit would deny any involvement in the incident, however he was the landlord of the property where the violence took place.
Chuwit would spend a short time in jail in connection with the land dispute, however he would be released shortly after. Then in 2004 he would spend more time in jail when it was alleged that he had employed under aged girls to work in his massage parlors. Apparently in a show of disgust that the very same police that he had been bribing for years had dared to arrest him, he let the cat out of the bag, and spilled the beans about all the previous payoffs to corrupt police officers.
Chuwit now claims to have been reformed or "born again", and he is now one of Thailand's most popular politicians. He represents himself as an anti corruption watchdog, although in 2008, when a reporter asked him a question that he didn't like, he punched and then kicked him while he was on the ground. There is no word on what the punishment is for physical assault, I mean .. if you are a billionaire super pimp, it would appear that it's just all in a day's work.
Chuwit The Corruption Watchdog?
After winning 4 seats in Thailand's last national election, Mr. Chuwit has been touting himself as an anti corruption crusader, a watchdog that is focused on ridding Thailand of corruption. I suppose not the sort of corruption that would allow a former pimp to run for office in the first place, but much darker, nastier types of corruption. No, not the kind of corruption that would allow him to brutally physically abuse a reporter without any repercussions, because we all know that this is the good kind of corruption.
His most recent campaign against corruption resulted in uncovering an underground casino and football gambling ring, well done! There is no word on whether Mr. Chuwit was a player at the casino, or if he owed any debts for any losing bets. I wonder what it feels like to be a bookie, and get exposed by a pimp? This seems a little strange, kind of like "the pot calling the kettle black".
The good news is, if Mr. Chuwit wants to dedicate himself to fighting corruption, he won't have to look very far, there is no shortage of corruption in Thailand, and if he doesn't see it, he can always just look in the mirror.
Chuwit Kamolvisit Quotes
"The dog is a symbol of loyalty – every country needs loyalty from politicians, but we never get it. We only get it from dogs,"
"We all make mistakes, but I accept I did massage parlours. None of the politicians accept they made mistakes,"
"Politics is no different from my former business – except that it is more dirty."
"And my angry face – people say, Mr Chuwit, why is your face so angry? I say, politicians become actors, and my campaign is about opposition."
"Politicians are like diapers: you have to change them often or they are too dirty,"
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