No Naughty Phones for Cambodians

And over in Cambodia, the always unpredictable Prime Minister-for-Life Hun Sen is at it again. This time, spurred by a petition that his wife signed, Hun Sen has decided to ban the new 3G mobile phones from being sold in Cambodia, fearing that they will further corrupt the morals of the kingdom’s youngsters.

Besides their usual telecommunications functions, the state-of-the-art devices are capable of sending high-quality images (photos and videos) between phone users. Puritans – and wives of politicians - fear that this new technology will – in the words of the petition – “allow young women to send images that may tempt men into nefarious relationships and therefore damage the society and culture.”

Whew, who came up with that wording? If nothing else I give them bonus points for using “nefarious” in a sentence. Well done. And let’s also give kudos to Information Minister Khieu Kanharith, who seems to be one of the rare yonks in the Cambodian government who isn’t a Hun Sen yes-man; he thinks a ban on the phones is ridiculous. If the phones are banned, reasons Kanharith, “Then we should also ban using a car, because they can also use that to transport a girl.”

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