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Thai mps protest mistress ban
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  1. #1
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    Thai MPs protest mistress ban

    BBC News, 2 December 2003

    The party wants to stop MPs visiting massage parlours
    MPs from Thailand's ruling Thai Rak Thai Party are getting hot under the collar over plans by the party leadership to ban them from having mistresses or visiting brothels.
    Later this month, the party, led by the prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, will consider plans to screen candidates so that only faithful and monogamous husbands can stand in elections.

    One MP told The Nation newspaper that if the rules were enforced, the party would only be able to field around 30 candidates, compared to its more than 200 sitting MPs.

    Another said it would lead to mass defections.

    But Thai Rak Thai spokesman, Suranand Vejjajiva, told the BBC's World Today programme that social values were "getting stronger" in Thailand, and people had higher expectations of their politicians.

    " If your background is not as, quote unquote, clean, or quote unquote, up to social standard, as the other guy, I think you have to pick the other guy," he said.

    And he said that all MPs were "now under evaluation".

    Many of them have expressed outrage that the party hierarchy is trying to interfere with the practice of keeping a mistress, or "mia noi" as they are known.

    "To have a mia noi is an individual's right. There should be no problem as long as the politician causes no trouble to his family or society," one MP, Thirachai Sirikhan, told The Nation.

    The party's action appears to have been prompted by a series of scandals, with wronged wives and mistresses publicising their stories.

    Mr Thaksin himself cultivates an image as a family man, and frequently appears with his wife and children by his side.

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    Men who cheat on wives can't join Thaksin's party

    Singapore Straits Times, 3 December 2003

    BANGKOK - Thailand's ruling party says it plans to reject would-be lawmakers who cheat on their wives.

    'We decided party candidates must not have a reputation as a playboy or a record of having mistresses,' Thai Rak Thai party spokesman Suranand Vejjajiva said yesterday.

    It is common practice in Thailand for married men to have mistresses.

    The idea of loyal, monogamous legislators was proposed by Thai Rak Thai chairman Somchai Sunthornwat.

    Mr Suranand said Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was strongly supportive of the idea.

    Mr Somchai proposed the party's election candidates be subject to thorough background checks in future.

    Those who went to brothels and massage parlours or had mistresses should be rejected, Mr Somchai was quoted as saying by The Nation and other newspapers.

    'Just take a look at our Prime Minister, who has been upholding good family values. He never had 'small houses' and always treats his wife with honour,' he said.

    In Thai society, mistresses are referred to as 'minor wives' who live in 'small houses' paid for by their patrons.

    Mr Thaksin, 54, has made a point of projecting a family man image. He is often seen in public with his wife, son and daughter.

    But some party members said serious screening would rule out more than half the potential candidates.

    'A warning is OK but making a rule is too much,' legislator Suchart Bandasak was quoted as saying.

    'It's a man's personal right to visit massage parlours or have more than one wife. I am afraid that if they really implement this kind of rule, they will find no man suitable to be the party's candidate.'

    Mr Suranand said the party probably would not impose a written rule.

    'But the chances of politicians getting a party ticket if they have a reputation for adultery, having a minor wife or enjoying massage parlours is very, very slim,' he said. -- AP

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    I'm not supporting adultery, but it is interesting that some of the world's most profound leaders had "mia nois." So perhaps "adultery" is more of a moral/cultural issue than a political one. Anyways, it's just a thought.

    By the way, I suppose that if the Thai Rak Thai party should be so bold as to reject lawmakers, who have a history of committing fraud as opposed to adultery, then the rule might be more relavent. Of course if that did happen, then I'm not so sure Thaksin would continue to look like the "ideal poster-child" for the Thai Rak Thai party anymore, would he?
    "Random Witty Comment"

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    Gor Gai

    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]it is interesting that some of the world's most profound leaders had "mia nois." So perhaps "adultery" is more of a moral/cultural issue than a political one
    Perhaps it was so in earlier times. But "you cannot step in the same river twice" and so times change as well. Case in point: it was pretty much general knowledge that Kennedy was cheating his wife Jackie with a number of women (including the lovely Marilyn Monroe), and yet, there were no political ramifications. Fast forward time: Clinton's little flint with Monica Lewinsky and others amounted into a huge scandal that nearly cost him his presidency. He was lucky, but now America has a Republican president. And where is Bill? Appearing in some cheesy TV shows, while his wife (the poor victim) is building a political career of her own. Some political ramifications, eh?

    Anyway, back to the topic at hand: It is refreshing to know that some men of character in power are not afraid to step up against a generally accepted practice when they know it is wrong. Where in the Western world can you say the same thing? Over there, politics is all about pleasing and kissing up.

    And I don't think this is just a token effort at all. Just think about it khrab: a family-oriented legislative body will make laws that prefer family values. The last thing any country needs are lawmakers who are convinced that they "have the right" to treat women like status symbols and objects of pleasure.

    Well done, Mr. Thaksin! May the determination not falter in the face of the adversities that will inevitably rise.


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