Crossing Cambodia

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Final launch?

Today's (12 September, 2007) Cambodia Daily reports on yesterdays' public function which intended to educate the general public on the new traffic law. Crossing Cambodia reported a few days ago that the intent was to draw 2,000 people. Well, did they achieve this feat?

No, according to Cambodia Daily:
'Around 1,000 people gathered ...'
Further on in the article the reason for the public gathering:
'Public Works and Transport Minister Sun Chanthol said the launch signaled that authorities will begin implementing the new traffic law ..
"Today is an alarm to wake all people to drive carefully and respectfully", he said.'
Crass words. Unfortunately another speaker at the ceremony was Cabinet Minister Sok An:
'[Sok An] admitted that some aspects of the law, which includes a penalty point system on drivers' licenses, will "take five years to implement"'.
@#%&*! Five years? Why then write this aspect in the law if you have no intention of enforcing it? Another law for the rubbish heap.

The article goes on to explain how the system of points will work. Then:
'Sok An said that the point system being developed is to ensure that people respect the new traffic law.


... "People have to respect the law"'.

Coming from Sok An himself, would almost make you believe that it's true, unfortunately the minister does not mention whom he describes as 'people'. One thing for sure is that it certainly does not include himself or all his buddies and cronies. If anything, one would be inclined to refer to the current Cambodian government as 'lawless', if not with a word that implies worse.
'More than 500,000 motorbikes are registered with the ministry, but only 2,000 have obtained licenses, said Keo Savin [director of the transport department at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport] which indicates that law enforcement officials must disseminate information about the law first first and foremost.
"Competent people have to be gentle in implementing the law," he said, adding that it was uncertain when motorists would start being fined, as the tickets that will be issued by police have not been created yet'.

Yawn. Surprise?

Even Handicap International seem to have lost it:
'"These coming years will be particularly critical in applying the new law", he [Jean Francois Michel, coordinator of operations for Handicap International] said'.
At least it's true, though a totally useless statement. Then again his hopes are that it will be enforced within the coming years as opposed to never.

The whole article is then given perspective by a foot voter, a motorbike taxi driver:
' ... that officials have been talking about implementing the new law for weeks, but things have yet to change on the roads."
I doubt if the new law will be effectively enforced,"...'
So does Crossing Cambodia.
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