No pirate DVD sales during the Asean summit

No pirate DVD sales during the Asean summit – January 30, 2009
Police have informed DVD shops in Pantip and Fortune Town to cease selling pirated DVDs for the duration of the Asean summit. This is normal procedure during international events. Everything will be back to normal after the summit.

Posted in 2Bangkok News | Leave a comment

Ethnic anger on the rise in Malaysia

Ethnic anger on the rise in Malaysia - IHT, January 30, 2008

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Monitor lizards crawling around in abundance in Bangkok

Monitor lizards crawling around in abundance in Bangkok - Bangkok Post, January 30, 2008
For those who believe an old adage that a monitor lizard, or hia, brings bad luck, this might be bad news _ the hia population in the city has increased. Water monitors are still crawling around in abundance in Bangkok and in the provinces, according to Alongkorn Mahannop, a veterinarian at Chitralada Palace. Last year’s survey showed there were about 200 water monitors in each district of Bangkok, he said…

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Thai Media Project – January 2008


Minister – Made in Hong Kong – Arun, Krungtepturakit, January 27, 2008

It reads: Minister. Made in Hong Kong

[Meaning that Thai government ministers are now controlled by Thaksin from Hong Kong.]


Welcome home - Matichon Weekly, January 25-31, 2008

It reads: Welcome home – Thakino Pikku

"Pikku" is the title for a monk and "Thankino" is the supposed name for Thaksin as a monk. The head monk would give each new monk a new monk-like name based on their given name.

From King Mongkut, who spent 27 years in a monastery after being outmaneuvered for the throne, to dictator Thanom Kittikachorn, whose return as a monk sparked student protests and the massacre of left-wing students, Thais have used the monkhood as a source of protection.

 

At the bottom left of the cover it reads: Let’s run away.
[The sentence is a title of a recent Thai comedy movie. The speaker of the sentence should be a monk, considering the second person pronoun Yome]


Thaksin’s eel curry Nation Weekend, January 25, 2007

The illustration portrays PM Samak making a curry with eels (in a Salvador Dali pose). Eels represent the “slippery” party of Chat Thai led by "eel" Banharn Silaparcha who joined the government after pledging not to.

It is “Thaksin’s” curry because Thaksin is thought to be the real power behind the People Power Party.


The great problem of the people - Poojadkarn, January 26, 2008

The great problem of the people

Left: Rotten debt

Right: Rotten rose-apple

[Samak’s oddly shaped nose is said to be in the shape of a rose apple. This cartoon compares the sub prime debt crisis with a “sub prime minister” Samak who alarms many because of his background in right-wing governments of the 1970s as well as his bellicose relations with the press.]


Thanks for the PMship!Poojadkuan, January 25, 2008


Mak [Samak] pushes Bang [Gen. Sonthi] to be a military minister as a gift for chasing Thaksin and making Mak to be the PM


[Samak rewards Gen. Sonthi for his bungled attempts to stop Thaksin which resulted in the PPP regaining power and allowing Samak to be PM.]

RewardsNa Ban Bangkae by Bancha Kamin, Poojadkarn, January 25, 2008

Left: Throw at this house, you will get a minister position. [A reference to protesters’ attack on Prem’s house in July, 2007 implying those who kept up the fight against the military and Prem will be rewarded in a new PPP government.]

Right: Attack this refrigerator, you will get the chairperson of parliament position.

[A reference to Yongyuth’s role in leading a police team that raided a suspected drug dealer’s house in Ayuthaya in 2004. The police “raid” on the house consisted of showering the house with bullets. The elderly couple who lived in the house survived by hiding behind a refrigerator. The bullet-riddled appliance became a symbol in the press of the authorities’ abuse of power and earned Yongyuth the nickname ”Yongyuth, the Refrigerator Man.”]

Yongyuth, the Refrigerator ManThairath by Chai Ratchavat, January 26, 2008

People call out to the chairperson of the house: Your respectful Chairperson of Parliament!

[The MPs hide behind refrigerators when calling on House Speaker Yongyuth famed for his involvement with a bullet riddled refrigerator (see above)]


Fighting for the speaker’s chair - Arun, Krungtepturakit, January 24, 2008
The caption says something like "War of Angels." We are not quite sure that the point or joke is here. Anyone have an idea?
CB was quick to point out: The soap opera about bitchy air hostesses that is generating a lot of comment is called “Songkhram Nang Fah” which means “War of Angels” (I’d translate it as “Angels at War” or  “Warring Angels”). Air hostess have for obvious reasons always been called angels and “nang fah” is literally “Sky Lady” anyway. So it’s a joke that the politicians are obviously no angels.
And futher adds: Interestingly, the Bangkok Post translates "Songkhram Nang Fah" as "Air Hostess War" while The Nation chooses "Battle of Angels". Without the underlying Thai, it looks like two different shows…


Calling on the speaker - Phujatkhan, Na Ban Bangkae by Buncha/Kamin, January 24, 2008

People call out to the chairperson of the house: Your respectful Chairperson of Parliament!
On the speaker’s chair is a shoe with
a small sign that reads "Thaksin’s shoes"
There is reference here to Thakisn’s behind-the-scenes organizing of the political situation, but again we are not sure of the exact point or joke. Anyone have an idea?


Above: "I come home because I am of thinking of my children." Huddled around her are various PPP/TRT politicians. (from Manager, Na Ban Bangkae, by Bancha, January 11, 2008)

The return of Pojaman - January 12, 2008

Below: Pojaman as puppet (from Arun, Krungtepturakit, January 10, 2008)


"It is just a wrong idea…" - Kaolao Ruammitr by Tin, Matichon, January 13, 2008

Top left to right:
* If you want to ask the graduate from abroad to be a clerical staff in the front office. [This refers to the news that Gen. Sonthi asked the daughter of Sodsri Sattiyatham, one of the Election Commission members, to be his clerical staff. This led some to believe this is a favor to Sodsri for favoring CNS positions.]
* If you want to blend oil and water (Under the water bottle: "Party 1," Under the barrel: "Party 2") [A reference to the complex negotiations to create a PPP-led government that includes minor, fractious political parties.]
* If you think that the “invisible foot” will allow you a three-month honeymoon period [Meaning that the military and other anti-Thaksin foes will continue to hinder and hamper the new government right from the start. A play on the "invisible hand" meaning the CNS and the Privy Councilor who were rumored to be interfering in the formation of a PPP-led government.]

Bottom left to right:
* If you want a guy like “Chaiwat” to step backward (In the box: "The first round of election invalid") [The man is Chaiwat Sinsuwong, a Democrat Party member who filed multiple complaints with the Supreme Court over alleged irregularities in the December 23 election. These complaints had the possibly of leading to a ruling that the December election was invalid.]
* If you think the “eel” keeps his words (On the flag: "Non truth-oriented") [Chat Thai leader Banharn is know as the "eel" because of his slippery ability to change political allegiances and go back on his word.]
* If you think the lady comes back to take care of her children, Oak, Aim and Ung-Ing. [The lady is Thaksin’s wife Pojaman who returned to Thailand apparently to mediate in forming a PPP-led government. However, Pojaman claimed she returned only to see her children.]


More on the return of Pojaman – January 14, 2008

Above: "The back foot probes the water."
The sign reads "Hot water." The elephant has a square face like Thaksin’s face. Women are said to be the "hind legs of the elephant" so the elephant’s hind leg represents Thaksin’s wife who has recently returned to Thailand to test the political climate. (From Arun, Krungtepturakit, January 11, 2008)

Above: PPP leader Samak says: "Help me… I was bullied…" While Pojaman’s shadow looms over the scene. She hold a sack of money. At the bottom it reads "Whose mom comes, whose tears gush!!!" (From Krungtepturakit, January 10, 2008)


Mob rule in Buriram -
translated and summarized from
Thai Rath, January 7, 2008
The general public may be fooled into perceiving that people in Buriram province are showing a keen interest in political matters. This may be especially the case if some get the idea that the recent demonstration in the province was a genuine attempt by locals to maintain their electoral rights.
It was surprising when thousands of Buriram Province citizens, from various districts, recently gathered at the Provincial Hall. Those gathered were protesting against the recent Electoral Commission decision to award ‘red’ cards to three parliamentary candidates for constituencies in the province. This crowd gathered so quickly that one might be forgiven for thinking that Buriram people have been keeping themselves well abreast of political developments. However, it has since been reported (but not proven) that the protesters received 200 baht per person to turn up at the Provincial Hall demonstration.
The protesters’ insistence that the ‘red’ cards should be withdrawn is, in any case, a true example of mob rule in action – as the demonstrators have made it clear that they will not accept the awarding of such cards under any circumstances.
If Buriram people really long for justice and care about their Kingdom, they should spend more time trying to investigate the corruption in their province  – instead of gathering to support cheats.


More restrictive laws, penalizing political parties
translated and summarized from Thai Rath, January 9, 2007
Regarding the Electoral Commission moves to probe vote-buying allegations that have arisen from the recent general election. Many ‘red’ and ‘yellow’ cards will be awarded to parliamentary candidates of the People Power Party (PPP), if these probes conclude that PPP members have been breaching the electoral laws on vote-buying. This situation has led to a widespread perception that the 2007 Constitution is placing a great deal more emphasis on the penalization of political parties found to have engaged in electoral law breaches. I would like to add that another reason why the PPP is faced with a growing threat of political disbandment is because it is frequently thought to be a proxy of the now-defunct Thai Rak Thai Party – as formerly led by deposed PM Thaksin Shinawatra.


Political developments
translated and summarized from Thai Rath, January 8, 2008
Political reform in Thailand officially began after the 1997 Constitution came into effect in October of that year. After that constitution was ‘torn up’ in 2006, the Interim Constitution and the subsequent 2007 Constitution came in force. Although general elections have been held on four occasions since 1997, it is highly questionable whether Thai politics has moved forward at all in the past ten years.
If we monitor the behavior of politicians and political parties both before and after the December 23 General Election, we see that Thai politics has not changed in the slightest. All political parties still believe that they will ‘starve’ if they are forced to remain in opposition. As such, this means that they constantly trying to be a part of any government that is formed – regardless of any real benefit to the nation.
One political development has arisen in this election, however. Outdated politicians who formed new political parties before the event, in a bid to be a part of the new government, have largely failed to achieve their goals.
The results of the recent general election have done nothing to usher in political reform.
The 2007 Constitution was conceived to create a clean political system, and to reduce the power and influence of money politics. The participation of the public in the election – and their overall verdict – should be respected, however.
The December 23 General Election also led to another new political trend. People are now being urged to gather at protest meetings to pressure the Electoral Commission (EC) into dismissing provincial EC members who have awarded ‘red’ cards to parliamentary candidates. The future of Thai politics is extremely worrisome.


Thai press: "People for tomorrow" - Nation Weekend,
December 28, 2007-January 3, 2008

Thai press: "The war is still not finished!" - Siam Weekly, December 28, 2007-January 3, 2008

At bottom left: Lucky Prime Minister [PPP secretary general Surapong Suebwonglee who some tipped to become PM as PPP members consider Samak necessary to fight against the military and win a PPP victory, but not to represent the party as PM.]


Who betrays the people?
translated and summarized from Komchadluek, December 28, 2007
The negotiation between political parties seems to have been finalized. The People Power Party (PPP) sent certain offers to minor parties to persuade them to join its party in a bid to have the power to form the government. The PPP has more chances to form the government than the Democrat Party as it won as many as 233 seats in the recent election. How the coalition government will benefit the people we still do not know. What we know is that some politicians can say one thing and do the other if they are tempted by benefits and money. Thailand is not developing because the people never learn a lesson. They are still deceived by some two-faced politicians.

Happy New Year 2008 – translated and summarized from Krungthep Turakit, January 1, 2008
The year 2008 has begun. Thai politicians missed the new year celebration as they had to negotiate for benefits. The People Power Party is more likely to have the power to form the government than the Democrat Party as it has as many as 233 seats, while the Democrat Party has 165 seats. Thailand’s economy still depends on the political situation. The author believes the new government will focus on alternative energy to deal with energy problems. He suggests that the government highlight education, transportation, and research and development.


A nation must be a real nation -
translated and summarized from Krungthep Turakit, December 27, 2007
The interim government does not seem to care much about people’s living over the past five to six months. The inflation rate jumped by three percent during this period, while the global oil price almost hit 100 dollars per barrel. The Surayud administration was initially well-received by most Thai people as it helped reduce political stress. However, most Thais have turned to focusing on their living problems. That is why the People Power Party got the highest number of seats in the general election despite strong opposition against the party. The author wants to see a real nation with a government which has clear administration policies and will restore the people’s confidence.


Selecting ‘upright’ senators
translated and summarized from Matichon, December 29, 2007
A committee is currently looking into the selection of ‘appointed’ senators in advance of a deadline set for this task on January 2. The committee is comprised of the following: The Constitutional Tribunal Chairman, the Electoral Commission (EC) Chairman, the Chairman of the Ombudsman’s Office, the National Counter-Corruption Commission Chairman, the Chairman of the Auditor-General’s Office, a Supreme Court judge and a Supreme Administrative Court judge. After the conclusion of this selection process, the EC will be forwarded a list of suitable individuals from many organizations & walks of life, and will have about one month to examine this list. Some of the 150 senators will be selected by an electoral process, while others will be appointed by the above-mentioned process.
I wish to comment that the process of selecting senators is likely to generate some doubt in the minds of the public, if it is not clearly explained to them. The selection of ‘upright’ senatorial appointees will severely test the abilities of the seven committee members, if they are to conduct the process with both impartiality and fairness. 


EC’s role should be respected -
translated and summarized from
Thai Rath, January 3, 2007
Regarding the claims of the People Power Party (PPP) that the Electoral Commission (EC) has been attempting to prevent its rise to governmental power through the use of ‘red’ and ‘yellow’ electoral penalty cards. The PPP has announced its plan to form a coalition government with 3 minor political parties, and has also said it will abolish the EC once it is in power. I would like to pinpoint the fact that there were many allegations of vote-buying and other breaches of electoral law both before and during the General Election on December 23. The EC’s roles should be respected, as its mission is to put a stop to political sleaze and to support the nation’s democratic system.


Political problems and political solutions
translated and summarized from Krungtep Turakit, January 2, 2007
With regard to the current speculation on the possibility of the next government being formed by a coalition of the People Power Party (PPP) and 3 minor parties: Ruam Jai Thai/Chart Pattana, Matchimathipatai and Pracharat. I wish to comment that the Electoral Commission’s investigation, of allegations of vote-buying, is likely to cause some grief to the PPP. Another factor to be taken into account is that the PPP and its three allies might experience some hardship, in running the country, if the opposition parties exercise their right to veto their coalition government on its performance [by instigating a ‘No-Confidence’ debate].

Posted in Thai Media Project | Leave a comment

Samak mightn’t have an easy path, possibly lose power during May-September

Samak mightn’t have an easy path, possibly lose power during May-September – translated and summarized from Thai Insider, January 29, 2008
According to Bunlert Pairin, a well-known fortune teller, the new prime minister Samak Sundaravej is expected to have ill fortune during May 7-September 16, 2008. He might lose his post during the period. The premier recently visited Phrakrun Palad Sopit Chotikul, a senior monk of Wat Arun Rajavararam. The monk wished him good luck with a blow on the new premier’s head. The monk said Samak is sincere and is kind to people, no matter they are rich or poor.

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Thailand finances Cambodian power grid to electrify Angkor Wat

Thailand finances Cambodian power grid to electrify Angkor Wat – EARTHtimes, January 29, 2008
The Export-Import Bank of Thailand and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have agreed to provide 14 million dollars to finance the construction of transmission lines across the Thai-Cambodian border, EXIM Thailand announced Wednesday…

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Popular blogger arrested in Myanmar: opposition

Popular blogger arrested in Myanmar: opposition - AFP, January 29, 2008

A popular Myanmar blogger who belongs to Aung San Suu Kyi’s pro-democracy party has been arrested in Yangon, apparently for violating the nation’s tough Internet controls, a party spokesman said Wednesday…

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PM Samak has two choices: to be a good leader or a mere puppet

PM Samak has two choices: to be a good leader or a mere puppet – translated and summarized from Krungtep Turakit, January 28, 2008
Samak Sundaravej is expected to win a parliamentary voting session on January 28 to select the country’s new prime minister. Samak’s political career has spanned more than three decades. He was a Democrat MP of Bangkok, an interior minister, a party leader, a prime minister, and a Bangkok governor. Samak missed the chance to be Senate chief in 2006 as the military junta staged a coup in September that year. He was later persuaded to lead the People Power Party by the previous prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra. The columnist said it is a good opportunity for Samak to be an incorruptible prime minister and devote himself for the Kingdom. Otherwise, he would be a mere puppet for the previous premier. Actually, Samak himself once said that he was a “nominee” for Thaksin. If he chooses to be just a “nominee” and focus on personal benefits, he will surely be cursed by the whole country.

Posted in High Tension in Thailand 2004-2008 | Leave a comment

The worst building in the history of mankind

The worst building in the history of mankind - Esquire, January 28, 2008, 6:57 AM
[Thanks to Don for pointing this out.]
It’s the Ryugyong Hotel in North Korea, where the world’s 22nd largest skyscraper has been vacant for two decades and is likely to stay that way … forever…

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Follow Thailand in exporting food culture: council

Follow Thailand in exporting food culture: council - Taipei Times, January 28, 2008

Taiwan should emulate Thailand by marketing its traditional foods internationally, officials from the Council for Economic Planning and Development said…

Posted in Food and Drink | Leave a comment

The upcoming Samak government

Celebrity chef is elected as Prime Minister of Thailand - Independent, January 28, 2008
[As noted last week, the foreign press seems to be having fun characterizing the new PM.]

Thailand’s parliament has chosen as its new prime minister a pugnacious
celebrity chef and self-confessed “front man” for his ousted predecessor
Thaksin Shinawatra…

Earlier: Thailand’s tough talking TV cook – AP, January 22, 2008
Samak Sundaravej — the man likely to become Thailand’s next prime minister — is known for his sharp tongue and short temper…

Burmese generals probably happy with Thailand’s new government - The Irrawaddy, January 29, 2008
The junta no doubt views the new prime minister, Samak Sundaravej, as a proxy for deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Sinawatra, as does most of the Thai public. Thus, they probably anticipate much smoother—and more supportive—relations with Thailand’s new government…

Myanmar migrants fear worst from new Thai government - Reuters, January 29, 2008

…However, the prospects of positive change were slim, with many Thai officials deliberately hampering alien worker registration to keep wages low, he said.
“The worse the situation for the migrants, the cheaper the labour for the Thai businessmen,” Ko Htwe said. “The new government will not change things…”

And another classic from NottheNation: NTN Editorial: It’s Time For Samak To Resign
…Yes, PPP may have won the election, but it’s clear to us that all journalists hate Samak with a passion. And if society’s gatekeepers of the truth and democracy don’t like Samak, how good can he really be?…

Posted in High Tension in Thailand 2004-2008 | Leave a comment

Thailand praises Suharto’s contributions to ASEAN

Thailand praises Suharto’s contributions to ASEAN
Earthtimes, January 28, 2008

…”Thailand deeply appreciates the enormous contributions His Excellency General Suharto rendered to the causes of peace and security in the region, to our efforts to strengthen regional cooperation as well as the expansion of the relationship between the Kingdom of Thailand and the Republic of Indonesia,” said Surayud…

Posted in 2Bangkok News | Leave a comment

BMA requests all districts to cancel entertaining activities during Valentine’s

BMA requests all districts to cancel entertaining activities during Valentine’s - PRD, January 28, 2008

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EU takes ‘erratic’ Thai tariffs to WTO

EU takes ‘erratic’ Thai tariffs to WTO - Bangkok Post, January 28, 2008
…European spirits exporters welcomed the EU’s call on the WTO to pressure Thailand to change its ”arbitrary” tariff system imposed since the 2006 coup.

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2,000 lights out at Suvarnabhumi – Visibility at night a problem, say pilots

2,000 lights out at Suvarnabhumi – Visibility at night a problem, say pilots - Bangkok Post, January 28, 2008
…The delay in fixing the broken lights occurred because AoT placed an order for many lightbulbs at one time, he said.
Mr Chaisak said he had once suggested AoT change its buying method.
Instead of ordering a large number of lightbulbs at the same time, he said, AoT should buy smaller numbers of replacement stock periodically, when only some bulbs were not functioning…
Posted in Airports and Airlines | Leave a comment

Thailand bans book criticising 2006 coup

Thailand bans book criticising 2006 coup - Reuters, January 28, 2008
…"A Coup for the Rich", by political scientist Giles Ungphakorn, was ordered off the shelves at Thammasat University’s bookstore last week, the only shop in Thailand that sold the 144-page book.
"The book has been banned and is under investigation concerning charges of lese majeste," police lieutenant Santi Piwtongkam told Reuters.
…”The first inkling I received was when Thammasat returned the unsold copies today,” he told Reuters. “Given that the print run was almost sold out, it’s a bit late to be cracking down”.

And DD points out the book is available for download here: A Coup for the Rich (pdf)

Posted in 2006 Coup, Lese Majeste | Leave a comment

Chuwit Kamolvisit News


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Chuwit is back - August 21, 2010
The sign reads: Rak Pratet Thai Party – Do not allow someone to divide Thailand – Gathering blood and flesh of Thailand [part of the lyrics of the national anthem] – Chuwit Kamolvisit, leader of the Rak Pratet Thai Party

Chuwit Kamolvisit News

Thai soapy massages meet politicsGlobal Post, May 26, 2010
[Thanks to Jess for pointing this out.]
…But how exactly are you going to fix police corruption?
You catch some official, he goes to jail. Let’s say 10 years. Then society will say, “Really? Now someone’s really in jail for corruption!”…

Chuvit setting up a party - Bangkok Post, February 17, 2010
[Despite early election losses, Chuwit attracted much interest with his bold talk about exposing corruption. However, he alienated many when he abandoned his political organization and joined the soulless Chart Thai Party.]


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

New Chuwit billboard – October 25, 2008
It reads: Where are you? 340,616 people – Who choose Chuwit, I appreciate it – I do not give up and will continue to fight for the nation – For nobody but Thais – [small symbol on the left – possibly a new political party logo] Fight for Thai

Chuwit: ‘The BMA just rents one room in a house comprised of many rooms’ - Bangkok Post, September 22, 2008


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Chuwit’s dream – August 1, 2008
The billboard reads: Last night I dreamed that Thai people love each other, but will my dreams come true?



(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Give him one more chance… - April 12, 2008
[As many have suspected, Chuwit’s series of billboards seem to be a pre-campaign for Bangkok Governor later this year.]
It reads: Stop at Bangkok please. "I will get off" Give Chuwit one more chance to change Bangkok.



(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Chuwit billboard - March 24, 2008
It reads: Over 6 billion spent on fire the truck project that Bangkokians never use.
[Even even though the sentence ends with question mark, it does not seem to be a question. It means "the government has spent over 6 billion baht on the fire truck project. But it’s useless as people in Bangkok do not get any benefit from it." Literally it says Bangkokians cannot get even one baht from such project.]



(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Above: You are a liar. You don’t have a standpoint. You disappoint the society. You lie to the people. You make excuses to deceive the public.

Chuwit billboards - February 23, 2008


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Above: When politicians don’t keep their words, what should the public do?


Chuwit calls on coalition MPs to blindfold themselves when voting for PM - The Nation, January 28, 2008


Chuwit: The people’s guard dog - Malaysia Star, January 26, 2008

…Since 2004, the Chuvit billboard has been a much-awaited event in Bangkok. There’s even an English-language, Thailand-based blog, www.2bangkok.com, keeping track of them.
In June 2006, there he was with his arms stretched out and saying: “I love you. Let’s love each other. We are all born in Thailand…”


Banharn! – January 21, 2008

The billboard reads: Person like you.
No veracity, not clear.
The nation does not want you.

This is most likely a reference to Chat Thai’s leader Banharn’s move to join the People Power Party coalition.


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Banharn threatens to sue Chuwit for B100m - Bangkok Post, January 29, 2008
Chart Thai party leader Banharn Silpa-archa has threatened to file both civil and criminal lawsuits demanding 100 million baht from former party deputy leader Chuwit Kamolvisit for allegedly defaming him…


Chuwit quits Chart Thai - The Nation, November 27, 2007

Chart Thai Party deputy leader Chuwit Kamolvisit said he decided to quit from the party because he could not accept party leader Banharn Silapa-archa’s lack of political commitment….



(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Chuwit frustrated! - November 13, 2007
It reads: No choices. No exit. No happiness. No truth. That is Thai politics.



(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Chuwit: Attack dog! - November 14, 2007
It reads: I’m a guard dog for the country. When you cheat, I’ll bark. When you’re involved in corruption, I’ll bite you.



(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Chuwit: Stay wise, people! - November 13, 2007
The billboard reads: Do you believe this? Debts paid by others. Free gifts. Free tuition fees. Happiness. These are not real. Stay wise, people.


Chuwit watch: Former massage tycoon won’t run for MP - Bangkok Post, October 26, 2007



(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Chuwit billboards return! – October 11, 2007
This billboard is at the entrance to the expressway at Huay Kwang: Will you deposit (entrust) the future with a nominee? Chuwit Kamolvisit

[Chuwit, as Chat Thai member, seems to be taking a swipe at the People Power Party and its leader Samak who is seen as a nominee for deposed PM Thaksin. ]


Re-cap of the Chuwit saga - Bangkokeyes, August 17, 2006


Chuwit watch The Nation, July 28, 2006
Outspoken massage parlor tycoon-turned-politician, Chuwit Kamolvisit, showed up at the gate of the Bangkok Remand Prison with traditional sweet and Chinese noodle for the three jailed ex-EC members. Chuwit’s presence was seen as an attempt to further embarrass the EC members who had previously removed him from his MP status.


Chuwit, Thai Rak Thai lawyer summoned by Criminal Court - The Nation, July 28, 2006
…Amnuay said the fact that Chuwit carried foods and drinks for the former EC commissioners after they got jail sentence, led to a quarrel with the EC supporters and caused turmoil in the court’s compound.
Amnuay said Thana Benjathikul, a lawyer of Thai Rak Thai leader Thaksin Shinawatra, had strongly criticised the verdict against the EC and criticised the court’s decision to deny bail against the former commissioners…


Chuwit acquitted - The Nation, July 13, 2005
…However, charges of damaging property, intrusion, illegal detention and forcing others to act against their will against Chuwit, Lt-Colonel Himalai Phewphan of the Supreme Command, Army Major Thanyathep Thamathorn and 126 others were dismissed by the court on the grounds that the plaintiffs’ testimonies did not carry enough weight.
The incident took place during darkness and it was impossible to identify who carried out the demolition, the court said.
…However, the court found evidence of the involvement of lawyer Chanvej Malaibucha, who worked for the Nickel Company that carried out the demolition. He was initially sentenced to one year in jail, but this was reduced to eight months because of his useful testimony.



(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Chuwit is back and he loves you! - June 23, 2006
Chuwit’s new billboard reads: I love you. Let’s love each other. We are all born in Thailand.


Chuwit disqualified as MP - The Nation, January 26 , 2006
The Constitution Court Thursday disqualified Chat Thai party-list MP Chuwit Kamolvisit on ground that he had not joined the party for at least 90 days before the general election last year…



(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Chuwit and sledgehammer – January 3, 2005
Chuwit billboard: Quash the cheating people, expose the evil people, do not fear the influential!


Chuvit colour-codes cabinetBangkok Post, March 17, 2005
…Yesterday, he unveiled his cabinet guide, which assigns each minister to a group _ Mr Thaksin’s friends [T], faction leaders or representatives [G] and the party’s financial supporters [$]…
”Colour-coding zones in the southern-most provinces seemed to backfire on Prime Minister Thaksin, so I have decided to help him out by using it on his cabinet members instead,” said Mr Chuvit…


Chuwit’s persona might be annoying but he’s an asset, say opposition MPs - The Nation, February 24, 2005

Massage parlour king makes smashing entry into Thai parliament - Channel NewsAsia, February 18, 2005
Thai massage parlour king turned politician Chuwit Kamolvisit made his legislative debut Friday by smashing a bath tub with his trademark sledgehammer and lying in a coffin outside parliament.
"I smashed the bath tub to show that I am no longer involved in the massage parlour business, and I laid down in the casket to show that the old Chuwit has died and now voters have voted to give birth to a new Chuwit," he told reporters…


Unofficial tally lands Chuwit in ParliamentThe Nation, February 10, 2005
Former massage-parlour tycoon Chuwit Kamolvisit will make his way to Parliament for the first time after the Election Commission yesterday announced that unofficial results from party-list voting means his Chat Thai Party will win seven party-list House seats…


Defiant Chuwit won’t vote for Thaksin as PM - Bangkok Post, February 10, 2005
…"I am not like other politicians who mostly dare not speak out or do whatever they are told by their parties. I think I will do a better job than they do in parliament.
"This is because I entered politics with a strong desire to work, and not to sleep or search through pornographic websites while sitting in parliament,” he said…

Party orders Chuwit to tone down speechesBangkok Post, December 4, 2004
Billionaire Chuwit Kamolvisit has been instructed by Chart Thai leaders to tone down his forceful campaign speeches and avoid making any scathing references to Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra or government policies, a party source said…

Tycoon’s park to open before poll – FTN leader says he’s not buying votesBangkok Post, November 21, 2004
…Mr Chuwit, who pledged to transform his six-rai plot of land at the corner of Sukhumvit Soi 10 into a park equipped with a library during his recent campaign for Bangkok governor, said he intended to open the park to the public before the Feb 13 general election…
Although the park is privately owned, Mr Chuwit said he would not take the land back and turn it into a commercial complex “at least during my lifetime”…
The land, which was home to many bars that were demolished by men believed to be working for Mr Chuwit himself, is valued at about 1.2 billion baht. Mr Chuwit said he had turned down an offer of 700 million baht for the land from an investor.


Chuwit’s talk show cancelled by Army TV – AP, September 16, 2004
A television station has abruptly canceled a planned talk show featuring a sex tycoon-turned-politician famous for his anti-establishment views, raising fresh charges of unfair government influence over the media…


Chuwit’s website unregistered - June 11, 2004
The Nation recently announced Chuwit Kamolvisit’s campaign website would be http://www.chuwit-online.com, but it appears the domain name is not even registered…
Earlier: Chuwit’s website – June 10, 2004
Massage parlor king/Bangkok governor Chuwit Kamolvisit is supposed to have a new website here: http://www.chuwit-online.com, but it does not appear to be online yet. Anyone know if this is the correct url?


Davis Group businesses being sold - The Nation, May 27, 2004
Commercial sex mogul Chuwit is selling off his massage parlors to build a 5-star hotel: "It will be like Phuket right in the heart of Sukhumvit Road. It will look like [the now-defunct] Siam Intercontinental Hotel," he said.



(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Chuwit campaign billboard – April 25, 2004
For some reason, 2Bangkok.com gets a lot of email asking ‘What is Chuwit doing these days?" The answer is running a quixotic campaign for Bangkok Governor. This billboard is near the south end of Wiphawadeerangsit Road. It reads "Choose Chuwit to be governor of Bangkok.
Governor is marked out and underneath is written man of service. (Conor notes that “servant” is a better translation of this.)


Chuwit’s political party - March 2, 2004
The headquarters of massage parlors mogul Chuwit Kamolvisit’s political party on Ratchadapiesek Road (right). It is called Thon Thrakul Thai – Thai Ancestry Party. "Strong ideas, strong talk, strong action."


Have sex, flash your badge and skip the billThe Nation, September 5, 2003
We try not to cover issues that are already well-covered in the local press, but this one had a funny slant—watch for to be reprinted in the Weird or Odd news sections of the international press: Acting Suthisarn Police chief Colonel Varanvas Karunyathat defended the police action, saying that the officers involved needed to have sex with the masseuses to gain evidence for the arrest. He added that the police confiscated hundreds of used condoms from Chuwit’s massage parlours.

 


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)



(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Chuwit rides the Skytrain – 1:50pm, September 2, 2003
Massage parlor tycoon Chuwit rides the Skytrain from Chong Nong Si to Siam Stations with the press in tow.


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

The massage parlour scandal – July 15, 2003

At the beginning of May, 2Bangkok.com reported how the foreign press referred to Chuwit Kamolvisit as the ‘king of commercial sex’ while the local press were still deferentially referring to the tycoon as a ‘Managing Director.’ Now even the local press are reporting all the sordid details of his empire and his dangerous war of words with the police.

While this news has been slathered across all the papers, The Nation has had several informative articles about how the Chuwit Kamolvisit saga relates relates to Thai culture:

Sex still sells for tycoon - The Nation, July 13, 2003
Besides Victoria Secret, they mention more details of the Chuwit empire: Chuwit’s other upscale parlours include Honolulu, Emmanuelle, Hi-Class and Copa Cabana. They are clustered around Ratchadaphisek Road, where several other top-end parlours thrive. (the last one is Julianna)
While we are sure Mr. Chuwit’s massage parlours are ‘legitimate,’ 2Bangkok has been informed repeatedly by numerous sources over many years that the sex industry in Thailand–particularly the extravagant massage parlours that have grown up in recent years–are really used to launder money from various schemes both domestic and foreign.

Also: Chuwit and the police: a cultural parableThe Nation, July 12, 2003
From the police’s point of view, Chuwit was guilty of a lack of gratitude. He has been able to run his morally "grey" business simply because the police looked the other way. In the words of police Maj-General Wichienshote Sukchoterat, a deputy permanent secretary of the Justice Ministry, police had already paid back operators of illegal businesses by turning a blind eye, and thus owed no debts to them. "It is rather a quid pro quo," said Whichienshote, referring to Thai proverb yuen moo, yuen maew ("You give me a pig, I give you a cat.").


Keeping Chuwit in perspectiveThe Nation, September 14, 2003
The massage tycoon alleges bribery and the police allege prostitution. Both sides vehemently deny the charges. But anyone with half a brain can deduce that both charges are true, and anyone who tries to deny them is regarded as a hypocrite and a liar…
Apparently, the people who lost face did not get the money. Either that or the money was not enough. When Chuwit came out with his bribery allegations, even more face and more money was lost. Gen Sant must have felt rather awkward denying that his officers were accepting bribes while at the same time transferring scores of them from their precincts. He lost face and he didn’t get paid for it.


A tale of two newspapers: Describing a local tycoon – May 3, 2003
After the Sukumwit Square demolition controversy, what is interesting is the way the local and foreign press describe one of the central protagonists–Chuwit Kamolvisit. He is typically referred to in the local press as ‘managing director of Sukumwit Silver Star Co.’ The foreign press has openly referred to him as the ‘king of commercial sex.’

news.com.au states: Chuwit Kamolvisit, 42, widely known as a boss of the Thai sex industry, was arrested late last week after 10 weeks on the run. Chuwit, who runs nine large massage parlours in Bangkok, has a personal fortune estimated at more than $250million. He was arrested in connection with the demolition of a whole Bangkok city block of "beer bars" to make way for a new brothel. Australian Federal Police officers in Bangkok are investigating the extent of Chuwit’s involvement in the sex industry in Australia and his property interests in this country.

The Nation
,
which is usually prepared to go a bit further than other local press in exposing local ‘big men,’ reports: Meanwhile, Metropolitan Police have placed anti-drugs banners over Chuwit’s family name at a number of police booths around Bangkok. Chuwit donated money for the construction of several police booths in central Bangkok. The police, in recognition of this, placed signs on the booths with the foundation carrying his family name: the Kamolvisit Ancestors Foundation.


How much things cost – July 9, 2003
Chuwit Kamolvisit, formerly one of Bangkok’s most influential men, admitted he paid police 12 million baht per month in bribes to run his many massage parlors. “I used to buy whole trays of Rolex watches for police officers. I used to carry cash in black plastic bags for them. But they are still harassing me.” Police have already threatened to sue: He said there were about 13,000 metropolitan policemen and it was possible that some of them might be corrupt. “So, we will check to verify the information. If it turns out to be incorrect, we will have to take legal action to protect the reputation of our agency,” Damrongsak said.
Notice that The Nation is using the "king of commercial sex," description for Kamolvisit. We think 2Bangkok.com was the first English-language press to mention this back in May: He is typically referred to in the local press as ‘managing director of Sukumwit Silver Star Co.’ The foreign press has openly referred to him as the ‘king of commercial sex.’
UPDATE: Chuwit was released on bail and is now ‘missing.’
UPDATE: Chuwit is found, claiming to have been kidnapped.
Mr Chuwit said he was disappointed the premier and the police chief thought he invented the story. Before his disappearance, Mr Chuwit said the bribery claim had put his life in danger. One senior officer regularly pocketing tea money was an influential deputy commander of a city police precinct, he claimed. “I never said police were sleazy. In our society, it’s a norm to pay your way,” said the owner of the Davis Group, one of Bangkok’s biggest chains of upscale massage parlours. He was not prepared to be a sitting duck and had to dig up the dirt to defend himself. “But when I finally came out with the truth, I was labelled a liar. How can you be so hypocritical,” Mr Chuwit asked.
Posted in Chuwit Kamolvisit | 8 Comments

Minister – Made in Hong Kong

Minister – Made in Hong Kong – Arun, Krungtepturakit, January 27, 2008

It reads: Minister. Made in Hong Kong

[Meaning that Thai government ministers are now controlled by Thaksin from Hong Kong.]

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Thailand Collapses into Democracy

Thailand Collapses into Democracy - ShortNews.com, January, 2008
Apparently this "article" was removed from the news summary site, ShortNews.com because it included comedic editorializing.
Here is the version from Google cached: Without any US invasion, carpet bombing or even massive sanctions, Thailand’s rulers have for some unknown reason ended 16 months of military junta and restored parliamentary rule to its citizens.
Billionaire businessman, Thaksin Shinawatra, the former leader of Thailand, was exiled to Britain in a coup after extensive accusations of corruption. His party, the People Power Party (PPP), won almost half the seats in the lower house.
Current PPP leader Samak Sundaravej will most likely be his successor as Prime Minister. Pundits in Washington are still baffled as to how democracy could take root without their permission and without outside intervention.

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The great problem of the people

The great problem of the people - Poojadkarn, January 26, 2008

The great problem of the people

Left: Rotten debt

Right: Rotten rose-apple

[Samak’s oddly shaped nose is said to be in the shape of a rose apple. This cartoon compares the sub prime debt crisis with a “sub prime minister” Samak who alarms many because of his background in right-wing governments of the 1970s as well as his bellicose relations with the press.]

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Thailand claims to be enforcing copyrights

Thailand claims to be enforcing copyrights – UPI, January 26, 2008
The head of the Thai intellectual property department said Saturday she hopes to convince the United States that Thailand has improved its record on piracy…

Thailand optimistic US will improve intellectual property status – TNA, January 26, 2008
Armed with substantial confidence that Thailand had sufficiency suppressed the piracy of US intellectual property during 2007, the chief of the Intellectual Property Department said she hoped Washington would upgrade Thailand from the current priority watch list later this year…

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Logo?


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)

Logo? - January 26, 2008
Incredibly phallic logo on a company banner in the Din Daeng area.

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Nigerian scam

Nigerian scam - January 26, 2008
New take on the Nigerian scam – Refunds for victims:

FIDELITYBANK/ UNITED NATIONS 2008 SCAM VICTIMS COMPENSATIONS PAYMENTS.

FRAUD VICTIMS/$800,000 BENEFICIARIES.

REF/PAYMENTS CODE:FCB/06654 $800,000 USD.

Attention,

I write to bring to your notice as a delegate from the Nigerian Government Reimbursement Committee under the strict supervision of the United Nations

to pay 230 Nigerian 419 scam victims the sum of $800,000 USD (Eight Hundred Thounsand Dollars) each.You are however listed as one  of the beneficiaries for these payments.You are expected to get back to us for your immediate reimbursement…

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Grief trucks


(Photo: Narut)

Grief trucks - January 26, 2008
Narut sends this interesting photo of a fleet of trucks parked off a Bangkok side street.

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“Please dress in a formal manner”


(Photo: 2Bangkok.com)
"Please dress in a formal manner" - January 26, 2008
Left: Sign in the Immigration One-Stop Shop.

CB was one of many to point out: Regarding the lovely sign in the One Stop Shop, you missed the obvious point that what they really objecting to is low class dark skinned people. It’s correct to be a yellow Chinese Thai guy.

Posted in Signs and Billboards | Leave a comment

Yongyuth, the Refrigerator Man

RewardsNa Ban Bangkae by Bancha Kamin, Poojadkarn, January 25, 2008

Left: Throw at this house, you will get a minister position. [A reference to protesters’ attack on Prem’s house in July, 2007 implying those who kept up the fight against the military and Prem will be rewarded in a new PPP government.]

Right: Attack this refrigerator, you will get the chairperson of parliament position.

[This refers to Yongyuth’s role in leading a police team that raided a suspected drug dealer’s house in Ayuthaya in 2004. The police “raid” on the house consisted of showering the house with bullets as Thai police normally kill drug suspects instead of apprehending them to prevent testimony that implicates the police in the drug trade.
The elderly couple who lived in the house survived by hiding behind a refrigerator. The bullet-riddled appliance became a symbol in the press of the authorities’ abuse of power and earned Yongyuth the nickname “Yongyuth, the Refrigerator Man.”]

Yongyuth, the Refrigerator ManThairath by Chai Ratchavat, January 26, 2008

People call out to the chairperson of the house: Your respectful Chairperson of Parliament!

[The MPs hide behind refrigerators when calling on House Speaker Yongyuth famed for his involvement with a bullet riddled refrigerator (see above)]

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Thanks for the PMship!

Thanks for the PMship!Poojadkuan, January 25, 2008


Mak [Samak] pushes Bang [Gen. Sonthi] to be a military minister as a gift for chasing Thaksin and making Mak to be the PM


[Samak rewards Gen. Sonthi for his bungled attempts to stop Thaksin which resulted in the PPP regaining power and allowing Samak to be PM.]
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Welcome home – Thakino Pikku

Welcome home - Matichon Weekly, January 25-31, 2008

It reads: Welcome home – Thakino Pikku

"Pikku" is the title for a monk and "Thankino" is the supposed name for Thaksin as a monk. The head monk would give each new monk a new monk-like name based on their given name.

From King Mongkut, who spent 27 years in a monastery after being outmaneuvered for the throne, to dictator Thanom Kittikachorn, whose return as a monk sparked student protests and the massacre of left-wing students, Thais have used the monkhood as a source of protection.

 

At the bottom left of the cover it reads: Let’s run away.
[The sentence is a title of a recent Thai comedy movie. The speaker of the sentence should be a monk, considering the second person pronoun Yome]
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New mother’s death preventable: coroner

New mother’s death preventable: coronerThe Age, January 25, 2008
…The Siriwans decided to have their child in Melbourne rather than Thailand, where Ms Siriwan was a Thai Airways air hostess, to get the best possible care.
But after the natural birth of her daughter Nerissa, Mrs Siriwan bled heavily, and when her condition deteriorated, her obstetrician Maurice Lichter ordered her transfer to another hospital for a hysterectomy.
But this was delayed by about 20 minutes when Dr Lichter realised the Siriwans did not have private health insurance.
He switched the transfer to Monash Medical Centre, despite Mr Siriwan telling Dr Lichter he would pay for whatever treatment his wife needed, Ms Spanos said in her findings.
Despite having a hysterectomy once arriving at Monash Medical Centre, Mrs Siriwan died there at 2.15pm…

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Ministry of Public Health to issue complete smoking ban on February 11th

Ministry of Public Health to issue complete smoking ban on February 11th - PRD, January 25, 2008

…The new stipulation will completely ban smoking in pubs, bars, restaurants, all types of markets both indoor and outdoor including Chatuchak market, flea markets and all publicly accessed area’s both air conditioned and non-air conditioned. The clause will take effect on February 11th…

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