Chuwit Kamolvisit is a colourful man. Unlike most Thais does he speak out when he thinks something is wrong. Born in Thailand to a Chinese father and educated in California, he has a Master of Business Administration and a Master of Political Science. Back in Thailand did he discover that massage parlours are good money, so he started his own business. He used his pseudonym Davis Kamol to form Davis Group, which controlled six massage parlours, employing more than 3,000 women.
In an interview in 2004 with Untamed Travel did Chuwit say: “Nobody wants to work in the sex industry and the girls don’t want to work in my places. Why are they coming to Bangkok, why are they coming to work for me? “Don’t call me pimp, call me super-pimp.”When people are hungry, they don’t think about anything. A girl who works here can send 60.000 – 80.000 a month back to her hometown. The government has to alleviate poverty. They can’t come here and say, ‘stop prostitution’. Prostitution exists everywhere, not just in Thailand. But the politicians don’t do anything about the sex industry. All they do is image.”
“We have many kind of massages in Thailand, even a 5 star like the Sheraton has massage. And I can say 100% they have something more than massage. Maybe it is better to say whorehouse but you can’t openly say that here. Because the Thais don’t accept the truth. The mouth and the heart are not the same thing in this country.”
This double standard has led the tycoon into absurd situations. “The court always asks me, ‘Oh, you do sex in your places?’ And I say, ‘I don’t know, I just charge for the massage and when they do something else beyond the massage, how could I know. I don’t sit in the room.”
Chuwit was arrested in January 2003 and spend jail time after low-rent tenants were removed from a land he owned in Sukhumvit 10. The police, whom he says he had bribed an average US$160,000 a month over 10 years, refused to protect him, so he went public, releasing the names of the top officers, the sums they were paid, and their frequent visits to his massage parlours. The land is now a park.
Chuwit sold his parlours five years later and went into politics. In 2005 he was elected into the Parliament as a member of Chart Thai Party. However, a year later was his MP status revoked because he had not been member of the party for 90 days prior to the election. In 2008 did he run for governor in Bangkok and became third. In 2011 Chuwit formed a new party, Rak Prathet Thai, which won four seats in the Parliament.
In September 2012, Bangkok Post published an audio recording of a lecture given by Chuwit at Hat Yai University in southern Thailand. Chuwit spoke to the students about how Thai police make money from the sex industry, and the Post noted that the topic is “a subject not normally taught in university courses.”
Chuwit fronts a nightly television show where he runs through the various demands for bribes that he says many Thai people endure. Roughly translated, the show is called “Chuwit will punch you straight in the face.”