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Can Bangkok’s former “Brothel King" bring political tension to a happy ending?
I’ve never regretted that. I was happy to do it. Why? Because I don't like to keep things inside me. I did it suddenly. It would be like if I saw my wife with some guy. I just did it.
What made you so angry?
He insulted me in front of the camera! After that, he dropped the microphone and walked away. I said, “Good, he's walking away. It's better that way.” Then he suddenly turned around, pointed his finger and insulted me. I had to do something.
So if I said something insulting to you, you'd do it again?
[Laughs] Hey, I said I was sorry. I never said I did something good. You ever do something wrong and it feels good?
Do you think you'd play better to an American audience?
I think people in the United States could understand me better than Thais. When I would take my kid to school in the U.S., I’d see the teacher say, “Anyone want to ask a question?” The students would raise their hand. Here, in Thailand, the teacher asks the same question and they’re all quiet. Me, I raise my hand. I'm talking. But nobody's listening.
Thai people are always talking so nice, even when they’re lying. It’s difficult to see inside them. When I ran my campaign, people would come up and say, "Oh, Mr. Chuvit, I chose you!" I know they’re lying. Why? Because I never win. Keeping harmony in Thai society is all about “greng jai” [showing deep consideration, especially to elders and authority figures]. If you’re in the U.S., you don’t have to “greng jai” politicians. You’re a taxpayer!
Mr. Chuvit, you're also a Christian. Are you serious about your religion? How does that affect your life or political views?
I always say that to be a good Christian, someone slaps your face, you show another face.
To turn the other cheek.
Yes. This is what it says in the Bible.
How is your hotel business going? Have you lost visitors because of the Red Shirts’ anti-government protests?
Most of my guests are foreigners or expats. Absolutely, we've all lost opportunity because people are fighting for power and forgetting about business. Every hotel has low occupancy. No one wants to come to the land of terrorists with M-79 [grenade launcher] attacks everyday.
What else do you want people to know? No one really knows you're about running for office again.
My political policy is very short. It's love. If the Red Shirts love the [rival-political faction] Yellow Shirts, if the Yellow Shirts love Red Shirts, do you know how much this country would move forward? You just have to love your country, love your king, love your society. All we need is love.
The original story was changed to correct a spelling.