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THAILAND SEX TYCOON WANTS TO BECAME MP


BANGKOK, Thailand - In his quest to win a parliament seat in elections yesterday, the 49-year-old one-time massage parlour king is betting a public tired of divisive, hypocritical leaders will agree. If elected, Chuvit has vowed not to join any ruling coalition. Instead, he would stand alone as an independent outsider regardless of the outcome — a one-man, anti-corruption reality check on government. With the air and swagger of a don, the stocky, mustachioed Chuvit plays the part of former sex boss well.
  • As the super-pimp who once ran Thailand's biggest brothel empire and then exposed the police kickbacks he had to pay for it to flourish, Chuvit Kamolvisit feels uniquely qualified to lead the country's fight against corruption.
  • Politicians "are like diapers, you have to change them," Chuvit said in an interview, referring to a campaign poster that features him cradling a toddler. "Otherwise, it's too dirty."
  • Chuvit's bid to become a lawmaker is no joke. He first won a national assembly seat back in 2005, only to be disqualified the following year because he had not been a member of his party long enough before the poll.
  • "When I got into politics, I didn't know that it's too dirty for me — even me," Chuvit said ruefully.
  • "Maybe I'm stupid for jumping into it," he added. "I pray someday I can stop. It's like you are gambling ... you know you're gonna lose all the money but you keep playing anyway".
  • Divested of his brothel interests, he is a pimp-turned-Robin Hood and his own sordid past is precisely what makes his crusade against graft so believable. It all began in 2003, when he asked police to help evict scores of illegal shops and bars from a downtown Bangkok block he wanted to develop.
  • The police did so for a fee by brutally demolishing them all in a pre-dawn raid that snowballed into a major public scandal.
When the accusations started flying, the fingers pointed his way. And when the police failed to protect him, Chuvit fought back by exposing it all including the behemoth bribes he had to pay to keep his mighty empire of flesh running. Confirming that open secret transformed him into a folk hero in Bangkok overnight.
Source: Agency
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