Crossing Cambodia

Friday, March 02, 2007

What should happen first?

In the ongoing debate concerning the change to Cambodia's traffic, there seems to a lack of consensus as to what should happen. Politicians believe that a new law is the solution, many people believe ensuring proper law enforcement as the solution and today's (March 1, 2007) Cambodia Daily,, Letter to the Editor considers using the constitution...:
'I have noticed that the municipal traffic police fine people based mainly on their appearances ....'
Discrimination no less. Poorer looking people tend to pay more than richer looking people, depending on the colour of their skin / ability to speak the local dialect:
'Foreigners also tend to be charged higher. I do not feel that this is part of The Constitution. I was told this week about three foreign psychologists who drove in the wrong direction and were made to pay 20$US. This is unfair'.
Now, what were three foreigner psychologists doing driving in the wrong direction? Research? Trying to prove that the Khmer traffic police psyche discriminates against foreigners? Then again how is possible that 3 foreign psychologists be together in 1 car (or was it a moto?), surely the chances of this must be very small in Phnom Penh. And does not this throw a different light on the discrimination or were the three poor looking?
'Without proper invoices, I would say we cannot be assured that the penalty fees are being paid into the national budget'.
A well-known fact? Clearly the situation is unclear and with future promises a revolution is required, not less.

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