Crossing Cambodia

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Next up II

Under the heading ‘Tuk-tuk Ad Ban Puzzles Lawmakers, Businessman’ todays (February 7, 2006) Cambodia Daily follows up on yesterday’s story: tuk-tuk’s are banned from carrying commercial advertisement which could contribute 5-10 $US per month per tuk-tuk driver. The reason provided was to ensure public order and maintain the beauty of the city. With the reporters having nothing better to do, they went in search of quotes on yesterdays revelations which were a discovery of a municipal directive issued in November:
'This is communist style of economy. Such policies will create uncertainty and scare away investors.'
SRP (opposition) legislator Yim Sovann
'The decision was taken to give the municipality more control over what tuk-tuk drivers choose to advertise. Sometimes we don’t know with whom they [advertise].'
Deputy Governor Mann Chhoeun backing up the directive. The Cambodia Daily adds that Mann Chhoeun did not explain why not knowing with whom tuk-tuk drivers advertise was a problem.
'Effect of the order on the overall business climate would be minimal.'
A business expert on condition of anonymity!

So far for the lawmakers (just one) and businessmen (= business expert). After a few months it will have been forgotten…. But that was not all on this subject in today’s Daily. A letter to the editor from Simthay Neb of Phnom Penh:
'Who are the real abusers of Phnom Penh’s public order? Is it really those dastardly, capitalist tuk-tuk drivers? ... And no tuk-tuk driver is as able to blatantly break traffic laws and endanger the public like those who have the protection of a state, police, National Assembly, Senate or RCAF license plate.'
In Cambodia there are license plates for the masses and license plates for the privileged which are easily distinguishable. Stay clear they mean!
'It is extremely misguided and hypocritical for City Hall to pinpoint tuk-tuk divers as abusers of public order and defilers of the city's beauty. ... It's a pity that more of the high and mighty don't follow their socially-responsible lead by slapping an anti-corruption sticker alongside their proud Lexus symbol. ... Good leaders respond to social needs.'
Nothing to add. (?)

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