In the 10 years since I began blogging, I have posted on this site my insights, quibbles, news, analyses, complaints, observations and random thoughts.
The blog evolved from the darks ages, when I emailed (then e–mailed) a weekly newsletter about real estate in an effort to market my business as a broker. Its name changed from “Service You Can Trust” to “I, on Cambodia.”
This post is my one thousand-four hundred-twenty-ninth. This post Continue reading
Purportedly mentally ill man is chained by his leg to a support in an abandoned house in one of Cambodia’s provinces. Source: TPO (or PTO) via Twitter
The first two photos in this post are said to have been taken in Cambodia, but I cannot vouch for their authenticity, date or anything else about them. They showed up in my Twitter feed with “PTO” as the source but, in a subsequent message, corrected as “TPO.”
Whether as real as they appear to be, the photos strike me as emblematic of how misunderstood mental illness is in Cambodia, how inadequate is its treatment and how brutal can be efforts to control severe cases.
Below is the second photo in the Twitter item, included only below because, in my opinion, it is far too sensational to put at the top. Continue reading
Pichayada Promchertchoo chronicles the improbable influence that Catherine Harry has had on other Cambodian women in her article below. With two of its images, the piece is published here with the permission of Channel NewsAsia, a regional news organization based in Singapore.
Anger is not always a bad thing, at least not for 23-year-old Cambodian Catherine Harry. Such emotion has led her to be featured in Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Asia 2018, the magazine’s annual selection of young visionaries who tackle issues that matter in countries around the world.
Born bred in Cambodia, Ms Harry often gets angry about certain aspects of her culture. She finds several customs, social values and ideas that have shaped millions of lives in her homeland, oppressive towards women. In her eyes, many of them are victims of a patriarchal society, where women can be confined by what she views as outmoded conventions and biases.
Yet, Ms Harry knows Continue reading
The unfortunate victim of extortion for a crime that he did not commit has been working at this pool.
The 18-year-old pool attendant at my gym is gawky, gangly and unusually skinny. No taller than my chin, he has kind of a goofy smile that always accompanies his dependably friendly greeting when we run into each other at the facility.
His was only one of two recent incidents that are symptomatic of rampant injustice in Cambodia.
I got to know the young man — call him Chan — when his job was to clean the equipment on one of the gym’s floors I visit. I since have seen him frequently when he stands outside the glass doors at the entrance of the pool, where he has been assigned for more than a year.
On March 13, Continue reading
After 24 years of excellent journalism, the Cambodia Daily writes -30- with today’s issue.
Happy Labor Day to readers in the U.S. I wish there were happy news to report from here in Cambodia. The latest news is anything but that. Continue reading
Rapt audience approaches 100 individuals at Saturday’s event aimed at younger Cambodians.
At the start of an event at a local university last Saturday, the audience was warned against publishing comments by the speakers without their permission.
“We want people to feel comfortable to share their ideas,” the moderator explained.
Such is a measure of the fear that grips Cambodia’s populace in the wake of occasional arrests on trumped-up charges for online criticism of the government. Also of concern is the violent restraint of street protests in the last few years, though not of late.
While maintaining that young people — that is, the small minority of college and university students in the country — “are aware of their security risk” for speaking out, one presenter allowed that Continue reading
Visitors evinced keen interest in new developments at the Cambodia Real Estate Show.
Foreigners in Cambodia are barred from owning the ground floor of any building in the Kingdom of Wonder.
I finally found out the origins of the prohibition early this month when I attended one of 16 presentations at the Cambodia Real Estate Show, a well organized two-day event that attracted numerous potential developers along with buyers of luxury apartments and buildings. (Hey, you can take the broker out of real estate, but you can’t take real estate. . .)
It was not until 1989 and then in 2001 that government decrees defined the possession and subsequently, in 2001, full ownership rights of residential property.
Like most other countries in the region, Cambodia does not want foreigners to own a piece of the nation, no matter how small, as codified in Article 8 of the Land Law.
According to presenter Matthew Rendall — a lawyer who holds a Cambodian passport and is managing partner at SokSiphana & Associates in Phnom Penh — the stricture resulted from Continue reading
Cambodia’s minister of culture and fine arts, Phoeurng Sackona, spoke warmly about the artist Sopheap Pich, standing at her left, in front of the sculpture called Big Being.
No one would describe Cambodia as a vital center of the visual arts in Southeast Asia.
While there are art schools and art exhibitions, the output does not tend to be memorable. (When it comes the visual arts, I find photography to be the most accomplished.)
One reason must be Continue reading
As a former traditional print journalist, I cannot leave behind the urge to keep up with the news. Consequently, I read online or on actual paper the three slim dailies published in English, presumably for expats.
The Khmer Times, which I confess has shown modest improvement since its plagiarism scandal several months ago, is the one in which I have the least faith in having achieved an acceptable journalistic standard. Rather, I tend to rely on the Cambodian Daily and the Phnom Penh Post, which do a pretty good job of reporting the news.
What I see virtually every day is stories about political corruption, traffic deaths, human rights abuses, sexual abuse, governmental misconduct and an extraordinarily high level of judicial malfeasance that boggles my mind. Continue reading
I never have darkened these doors. In fact, the only one of the restaurants in this post that I have tried is bbq, below, because of a two-for-one promotion. That eatery is part of a Korean chain, and the food certainly is memorable. Memorable, yes, but I have to say it is not so in a good way.
When Burger King opened its doors two blocks from my apartment in January 2014, I tweeted half seriously, “There goes the neighborhood.”
Little did I know. And how much do I regret that I unwittingly had foreseen what would ensue. Burger King cranked open the floodgates that caused an inundation of fast-food restaurants — which enjoy throngs of young Khmers starting late in the afternoon — along a four-block stretch of a street that parallels mine.
Our mid-rise apartment building is, I hear, only about five years old. The lot it occupies apparently was a banana plantation prior to construction, and the greenery it provided exemplified my neighborhood. In no small part because of our building boom (soon to be bust, I think) and the growing profusion of restaurants, gorgeous tropical trees are vanishing apace.
When we moved to the Boeung Keng Kang I area at the end of 2013, one of the chief attractions Continue reading