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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,"



farang69 on February 24, 2013:

Thailand is like a planet in a far away cosmos. It's like an episode of Star Trek. It's such an odd place.

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Sushmita from Kolkata, India on April 02, 2012:

Very well written and voted up. Thanks TravelinAsia for directing me to this Hub. I am now to stay and read more. I must say Chuwit sounds every bit the 'make it big' business man! Your story, with the video makes for very interesting read. I also loved to read the input by Prisana.

Stephanie Das from Miami, US on October 24, 2011:

You really make Thailand sound like such a fascinating country! I could read about it for hours.

MG Singh from UAE on September 10, 2011:

I think its an excellent expose. In India also we have similar type of politicians, but they are not honest on owning up like Chuwit. All credit to him and I wish him success. Another thing I have been to Bangkok so often, I love the place.

Prisana Nuechterlein from Thailand and Colorado on September 09, 2011:

Extremely well written report! I think Khun Big Pimp will be in politics 'long time' and that he will do his best to give us all a 'happy ending'!

Seriously, where else but Thailand will you find a political candidate who prefers to be called a pimp rather than a politician? Where else but in Thailand, do you explain the political situation by first saying: "So then the red t-shirts.....which made the yellow t-shirts angry...."

As the daughter of a Thai mother and a farang father, I have some insight into the Thai way of thinking and although I first resisted the "mai pen rai" attitude, I now realize the only way to stay sane in a country where an extremely intoxicated director of a government organization once told me:

"Pritzana, no one gives a damn about your bloody tigers!"

He said this during our interview regarding Thailand's endangered tigers. Sorry for such a long run-on sentence, but my point is that; for the sake of my sanity, I have learned to accept that This is Thailand. In a way this makes me sad. I love Thailand and can't even write about what is on the minds of so many Thais and foreigners alike. I have so many unanswerable questions. Just like Thailand's tigers have faded away, so has the driving force of our country.

Thanks for the write-up! Voted up and interesting.

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