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Phnom Penh (Ah!) EXTRA - YOUTHFUL CAMBODIAN ENTERTAINERS vs. VETERAN TALENT in SABAY CONTEST

Cambodian parliament member Mu Sochua is determined to fight child sex trafficking in Cambodia - http://musochua.org/ photo

 

Young Cambodian girls and boys are the victims of the child sex trade which is primarily patronized by Khmer men - gprovideo.com photo

 

Cambodian activist and lawyer Theary Seng faced death by the Khmer Rouge in the documentary FACING GENOCIDE ranked # 2 on our most popular Phnom Penh columns. - NR Photo

 

Meas Molina - Sabay.com photo

 

 

Socheat Kong - Sabay Photo

 

Uk Chenda - Sabay Photo

 

Meas Molina - Sabay Photo

 

 

D. J. Ken - National Radio Text Service

 

 

2 of Our TOP 3 STORIES 2-B SCREENED @ META HOUSE - KHMER MUSIC VIDEOS with POOR TASTE & BAD IDEAS - Handicap International Talks Street… ACCIDENT DANGERS - LUCKY MARKET Mistakes & Goes Price Crazy

 

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Saturday, August 20, 2011

FACING GENOCIDE & RED LIGHT @ META HOUSE

Two of our most recent Phnom Penh Stories were film reviews. Two of them will be screened at the Meta House in Phnom Penh, Cambodia over the next three days. Activist THEARY SENG is featured in the film "FACING GENOCIDE" and ranked second on our PP Top 3 stories rankings. The film will be screened TONIGHT August 20th at the Meta House at 7 PM.

In the film Seng recalled her experience being a prisoner of the Khmer Rouge with her mother and brothers after her father was killed by the KR. While sleeping with her mother the then four year old Seng awakened and her eyes locked on to the eyes of the Khmer Rouge soldiers as they entered the room where they were being held captive with wet ropes and then they left. Her mother knew exactly what the wet ropes meant. When she awakened her mother was gone. At first she didn't think that was unusual since the adults left early to go to work. In this case that wasn't the reality.

Our position the CNN reports stories about child abuse for selfish ratings reasons was the focal point in our June column CNN FAILS TO SEE THE (RED) LIGHT with their Freedom Project series. The underlying focus was on our review of the Red Light documentary and knowledge of the subject of the abuse of children being used in Cambodia's sex trafficking business. The CNN FAILS TO SEE THE (RED) LIGHT column is ranked 3rd on our PP Top 3 Phnom Penh story charts. THE RED LIGHT DOCUMENTARY will be screened at the Meta house this coming Tuesday August 23rd at 7 PM.

A monthly schedule of Meta House screenings is available at the Meta House. A schedule on the film presented on the current day is available at their web site.

Meta House

#37 Sothearos Boulevard

Songkhat Tonle Bassak, Khan Chamkarmon

Phnom Penh

Tel: 023-224-140 & 023-218-897

www.meta-house.com

HANDICAP INTERNATIONAL TALK STREET… ACCIDENTS & DEATH

Handicap International (HI) made a presentation regarding road safety at the Meta House Friday August 19th. Over the past five years the number of crashes increased by 217% and the number of fatalities almost doubled. The organizations Road Safety Program Manager Socheata Sann pointed out that 1800 people a year die with 10 to 15% of that figure being pedestrians. That overall number could be reduced by 50% by a reduction of the forecasted number of fatalities for 2020 in part through improving traffic laws and education. Sann pointed out that improving night time law enforcement and wearing helmets would assist in attaining those goals.

Sann noted that the three major causes of accidents are:

1. Speeding (driving over the speed limit or inappropriate speed) which caused around 50% of overall fatalities and injuries.

2. Drunk driving, which caused between 10 to 15% of fatalities.

3. Driving without a helmet. In 2010, around 75% of motorcyclist fatalities resulted from head injuries.

In a video presented by HI to emphasize the harsh reality of being in an accident and not wearing a helmet the demonstration was a hammer breaking open an egg. The inference being does one prefer to look pretty and show off their hair or potentially lose their life or wear a helmet and continue to live?

NOTE: In the past we have addressed the pedestrian having to walk in the street issue noting that pedestrian safety is at risk since they have to walk in the streets while the sidewalks are used for parking.

The AIP NGO also made a video presentation. It included the importance for small children should wear a helmet while noting that a small helmet weighs only 35 grams. They stressed there is a need for sidewalks near schools for children to walk on. "Children can't walk in the streets," the presenter stressed. He added that children as young as 6-7 year-olds ride bicycles to school and the importance in them wearing helmets.

A video was shown of a bald head with a stitched up scar on a person's head. It was to demonstrate the importance of wearing a helmet while on a motorbike. Some older youths have argued that wearing a helmet would mess up their hair. With the video on the screen, "Look no hair," the presenter said as a potential result of not wearing a helmet.

CONTINUED

CAMBODIA'S SABAY CONTEST Pits YOUTH vs. VETERAN TALENT

Cambodia's Sabay Contest is attempting to be Cambodia's Grammy Awards. They are trimming a list of 190 Khmer entertainers in three categories best MC/TV host, singer and actors. September 1 the list will be pruned down to the Top 10 male and females in each category. The final is scheduled for December 2nd.

The public is supposedly the only decider of who can win via telephone text voting. All mobile phone companies with the exception of one are involved in providing their systems to facilitate the voting.

Contestants range from 16 up with no age limit. The most senior contestants have been on Cambodian television since the beginning of the 21st Century from our observation. They include TV 3' Socheat Kong (listed as 33), CTN's Uk Chenda (listed as 36) and TV 3's Meas Molina (listed as 28). Ouen Leakita 16, is the contest's youngest competitor.

Given that most of the cell phone users in Cambodia are under the age of 25 and would be most likely to take the time to vote it will be interesting to see the results and integrity of the voting. If the young voters select a veteran contestant it would be a shock.

Early on in this century Socheat Kong was virtually the only face on Cambodian magazines covers. The advent of talent and beauty contests for youths resulted in a new crop of new faces gracing the covers of magazines and hosting television shows. Those TV shows the new generation host are with themes more popular with the younger age group. What's up??? Stay tuned…

STUPID, VIOLENT KHMER MUSIC VIDEOS

Given the reputation of Khmer society being violent there are some underlying reasons why that opinion could be valid, that being bad influences.

Cambodia has a designated music video channel that is very popular. Thursday August 18th between 8-9 AM two disturbing videos were aired. One was three Khmers in the late teens to early 20's each swigging on there own whiskey bottles staggering around the stage with a band and dancers behind them. That visual left us with the opinion that the point of the video was to consume alcohol and be obnoxious.

The other video was a girl involved with two men thus creating the jealousy factor. The girl preferred one over the other and was pulling away from her most aggressive suitor who played the role of a buster bad ass. In one of the closing scenes the other boyfriend was in the hospital with a gash on the left side of his face apparently from a knife attack.

Cambodia apparently is absent of regulations as to what is acceptable to be aired on TV as there is in the Western world where rating systems area applied for films and absolute NO's as to what can be aired on television. In America some of the NO's are not permitting advertising of liquor (alcohol) or cigarettes. With the apparent lack of laws such irresponsible programming in the realm the fault lies with the script, the production company and the television outlet. Is there any wonder why there is such a high incidence of child rape, death by drink driving and murder in the kingdom?

LUCKY MARKETS GO PRICE CRAZY

Yea, yea sure, sure we know that food prices are going up all over the world but in Phnom Penh some items are increasing in 25% increments. Many of the items that we have purchased have doubled in price over the past five years. The prices increase with each new shipment. Are these increases for real or is this another form of the highly unpopular and infamous ROAD TAX?

In a previous column we noted that the price of ground beef at the Lucky Market ion Sihanouk Blvd leaped from $8.50 to $10 overnight as as indicated on the price labels with the previous and the then current days date. This past week the price returned to $8.50. Why? Possibly there was a mistake made by the employee that did the labeling. In the past we have noted cheese marked for sale at 3 cents. Obviously that was a mistake. Since that time they no longer carry that brand of cheese. There is no explanation why.

In the past we have praised the polite manners of the Lucky Market staff BUT we ran into our first experience in 10 years with a surly Lucky management employee. We purchased a breakfast food marked $1.70. When we went to the check out counter the price was $4.70. We rejected the item and the clerk summoned her superior for a price check. The manager then went to the area and called us over. "See," she said while pointing to the sticker price below the item, "$4.70."

We then noted that a 1 is not a 4 and wrote how a 1 and a 4 should look like since we have more experience with the English language based on coming from an English language country as well as having taught the language. She was annoyed by our correction which was unlike all other pervious encounters with a Lucky Market employee who in our opinion are the best trained in Cambodia in how to deal with the general public. Is the world going to hell in a hand basket?


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