Crossing Cambodia

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Chasing Cars, Cambodian Style 20-12-2007

  • Vietnam is catching up with Cambodia: as of 15 December wearing helmets is compulsory and universally enforced according to VoA and Reuters.
    In Cambodia wearing a helmet is also compulsory but only 20-30% wear them and the police are very relaxed on enforcement: they don't give a hoot, nor do they have helmets themselves. And the government? ....
    The articles on Vietnam make much of the problems of beauty versus wearing a helmet. Crossing Cambodia wonders why. Have you noticed that here in Phnom Penh it are women who are wearing helmets proportionally more (~50%) than males? Now, why is that?
  • So why are petrol prices in Cambodia so much higher (20-25%) than in neighbouring countries? It's because PM Hun Sen's government 'quietly' subsidizes the prices by over 100 million $USD. Here and here. Unfortunately he fails to clarify how this takes place, and as transparency concerning government expenditure is lacking, he can just as well call any number without being challenged. Wonder how much the Vietnam and Thai governments are 'quietly' subsidizing prices in Cambodia?
  • The main attraction of Phnom Penh, it's waterfront boulevard park, is being dug up which means that tourists have to walk on the road. Just for the coming year. At least Phnom Penh's traffic police are getting into action, towing away parked vehicles, which has lead to an unicum: '
    'You might have noticed you can actually walk along some parts of the pavement now...'
  • A great article in December's SE Globe, unfortunately, too long to type and too bulky (8 MB) to download. 'Back seat drivers' explores the current and future prospectives of Phnom Penh's cyclo's. Many cyclo's face hard conditions making ends meet. The article ends on a positive note:
    'With tourist numbers on the increase and the municipality considering limiting the number of tuk-tuks [are they?] in the city centre, maybe the future for Phnom Penh's cyclo drivers is not as bleak as it appears at first glance'.
    Furthermore in the same issue a 'comment' on the widespread acceptance of impunity which leads to negligence when it comes to individual responsibility in Cambodia's modern society:
    ' ... personal responsibility has been characterized by a careless hit-and-run approach'.

Related Posts with Thumbnails