Moral Low Ground


Former Bangkok “Super Pimp” Chuwit Kamolvisit Running for Thai Parliament

At the height of his lascivious lifestyle, Chuwit Kamolvisit was running half a dozen Bangkok “massage” parlors, in which scantily-clad beauties with numbers pinned on them were rented for sex by horny men from around the world. Now he’s running for a seat in the Thai parliament.

Pimpin' ain't easy, but according to Chuwit it's cleaner than politics. (Photo:

According to the Associated Press, Chuwit, age 49, grew tired of the exorbitant bribes he once paid to police in order to operate his illicit skin trade. He claims to have forked over $300,000 a month, plus Rolex watches and “freebies” with his girls. And so it was that the one-time “super pimp” turned to politics as an anti-corruption crusader extraordinaire.

Politicians, Chuwit says, “are like diapers– you have to change them. Otherwise it’s too dirty.”

And what chance does a former pimp have at winning a seat in the country’s parliament? Well, he’s actually been elected to the national assembly already. But he was later disqualified over the short amount of time he’d been a member of his party. Undaunted, he ran for Bangkok governor not once, but twice, but finished third both times. It didn’t help that he assaulted a reporter for asking a question he didn’t like, punching him in the face and then kicking him after he hit the ground.

“Maybe I’m stupid for jumping into [the race],” he told the AP. “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].”

Chuwit, who spent much of his 20s in American colleges, says he won’t join any coalitions if elected. He would be a lone crusader against the endemic corruption that permeates so much of Thai society. Corruption, he says, is “eating this country.”

Thammasat University political science professor Chalidaporn Songsamphan told the AP that while Chuwit may “appear to be a clown, he’s very serious about politics. He’s been able to touch the hearts of people in Bangkok because he’s straightforward. He speaks the language of many in the middle class who are not happy with the Thai leadership, and they view him as a real alternative.”

How real remains to be seen. But with the election looking this Sunday, Chuwit was hitting the sleazy streets of Bangkok’s Patpong red-light district to drum up some late support. His Rak Thailand (Love Thailand) party has put up countless placards saying, simply, “AGAINST CORRUPTION.” It is a message Chuwit hopes will propel him onto the national political stage where he can make a difference.

But even now, Chuwit sometimes thinks he is in the wrong business. Being a pimp, he told the AP, “was better– cleaner than politics.”

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