Cambodia Is a Heaven of Alcohol though No Thorough Study Has Yet Been Conducted – 11-20.4.2009

Posted on 21 April 2009. Filed under: Week 609 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 609

“The abuse of alcohol among Cambodian citizens is said to be increasing, and now Cambodia seems to be a big heaven and market of alcohol in the region.

“This claim had been made after it has been found that the number of entertainment clubs, beer gardens, and different places for drinking are increasing in Phnom Penh.

“A coordinator of the Youth Council of Cambodia, Ms. Mao Puthearath, said recently that the number of nightclubs, beer gardens, and different places for drinking increases everywhere both in the city and at various other population centers in the country.

Rasmei Kampuchea was not able to find the figure of nightclubs, beer gardens, and places for drinking by 6 April 2009, but according to the actual scene, those places can be found at almost every major roads and places in Phnom Penh.

“Ms. Puthearath added that the Youth Council of Cambodia does not have data on this, and she concluded that this increase is a worrying signal for Cambodia.

“She went on to say, ‘The signal of the increase in the numbers of such clubs and entertainment places is a signal showing that Cambodia is becoming a heaven of alcohol at present.’

“Based on Ms. Puthearath conclusions, the increase in the number of places providing alcohol is also a signal telling that the number of citizens who like drinking alcohol increases also.

“The president of the Cambodian Center for Peace and Development, an organization that had studied the abuse of alcohol among 1,400 Cambodian citizens in seven provinces in late 2008, Mr. Yong Kim Eng, said that the number of alcohol abusers in the country is worrying.

“He added that the study found that 58% of the citizens interviewed, between the age of 18 and 25, are addicted to alcohol.

“It also found that among alcohol abusers, 41% like drinking white rice wine produced in the country, 37% like drinking beer of different brands, 13% like medical wines [alcohol mixed with different herbs or animals, like snake], and 5% like whisky – produced locally or imported. However, this study did not note how much they drank per day, and which different types of alcohol was imported, but Mr. Yong Kim Eng said that there are many types of alcoholic drinks on the market in the country.

“He said, ‘Just whisky alone, we cannot count all brands; therefore, it is no necessary to talk about beer – there are many types.’

“At present, the institution known to have the figures of alcoholic drinks produced locally is the Ministry of Industry. As for the figure of alcoholic drinks imported into Cambodia, it is administered by the Ministry Commerce and the custom tax institutions, but Rasmei Kampuchea cannot have the statistics about the number of alcoholic drinks trafficked on the markets from these institutions.

“According to advertisements in different publications, there are not less than 20 types of alcoholic drinks such as whisky, beer, and red wine. However, at the markets, there are more than that number, and obviously, if one walks into beer gardens, there are beer selling women from not less than 30 brands, pleading clients to buy their beer.

“Some of those beer brands are named like cars or like horses.

“A beer selling woman working in a beer garden at Ou Baek K’am said that since she became a beer selling woman, she has sold beer from countless brands.

“A woman who asked not to be named said that since 2006, she cannot remember how many brands she sold, because there are too many.

“This woman said, ‘When I cannot sell one brand many, I shifts to another company. Sometimes, I sold no less than five different brands of beer per month.’ She added that some companies for whom she had worked, imports various brands of beer.

“She counted briefly, ‘As much as I could remember, I used to sell beer such as Holland, Singha, whisky, Leo, Tiger, Horse; oh! There are too many and I could not remember all.’

“Concerning this issue, Mr. Yong Kim Eng expressed a concern that the abuse of alcohol at present is not banned, but instead, it is encouraged. Moreover, the companies make open advertisements on the media, which is a dangerous signal for society.

“He added, ‘Previously, alcoholics were seldom liked, but at present, it is different. Before, they were disapproved, but now they say that those who are not able to drink, are not real men or really human. Before, it was said that drinking beer affects the health, but now they advertise that it makes people healthy, handsome, clever, energetic, and they even get awards.’

“He continued to say that if there is no action taken, there might be problems in the future, especially on youth.

“This claim is in line with what Ms. Puthearath had stated. Ms. Puthearath said that the advertisements of alcoholic drinks seem to be very open, adding that those advertisements might be an attraction or encouragement for youth to abuse alcoholic drinks even more.

“She went on to say, ‘Economic growth is good, but the increase in the number of alcohol abusers is not. Drunkenness will result in many dangers for youth and for the nation.’

“Alcoholic drinks can encourage people to seek unsafe sex services, make them highly prone to an AIDS infection. It can make them lose self-control and have traffic accidents, and can also make people become immoral and even criminal, daring to commit immoral acts like rapes, which makes such people to become real criminals.

She added, ‘They are the important for the nation, but if they are drunk, on whom can the nation on.’” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4869-4871, 11-20.4.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 20 April 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #163, 11.4.2009

  • The [planned] ASEAN Summit Was Accompanied by the Presence of Thousands of Red-Shirt Demonstrators [supporters of ousted Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #192119-22, 11-12.4.2009

  • US Secretary of State Sends Good Wishes to Khmer Citizens for the Khmer New Year
  • The ASEAN Summit Was Cancelled Immediately; ASEAN Leaders Were Flown Out by Helicopters

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #384, 19.4.2009

  • [Minister of Interior] Sar Kheng Warns Officials Who Have to Retire to Stop Preparing Document to Change Their Age

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6626-6628, 11-20.4.2009

  • Suspect Duch Admits that He Ordered Torture and Executions [of about 300 people in the M-13 prison in Kompong Speu]
  • Cambodian Students Reached the Semi-Final in an International Law Competition [in the United States]
  • A Man and His Wife Selling Gold Were Shot Dead [robbers are not identified yet – Kampot]
  • About 20,000 Japanese Companies Want to Relocate Their Factories from China [because of the global financial crisis]
  • Mr. Thaksin Encourages His Supporters to Join Negotiations to Unite the Nation

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3735-3736, 11-20.4.2009

  • The Monk Tim Sakhan Will Meet UNHCR Officials to Seek Asylum [according to Khmer Kampuchea Krom human rights officials, Monk Tim Sakhan is now in Thailand where he became a monk again on 11 April 2009]
  • The Cambodian People’s Party Recovers when [the second deputy president of the National Assembly and the secretary-general of the Cambodian People’s Party] Say Chhum Can Work as Normal Again [he is severely ill]
  • Legal Professionals and a Civil Society Organization [the Cambodian Defenders Project] Encourage the United Nations to Keep on Discussing Corruption at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4869-4871, 11-20.4.2009

  • Cambodia Is Heaven of Alcohol though Study Is Not Yet Thoroughly Conducted
  • Experts Are Concerned about the Presence of Many Foreigners Coming to Invest in Tourism at the Southwest of the Country [because Cambodian citizens might face unemployment in this sector]
  • [Former Phnom Penh police chief] Heng Pov and [three of] His Followers Are Jailed for Eighteen Years for Shooting Koh Santepheap Editor-in-Chief
  • 100 Bullets Aimed at Murdering Yellow-Shirt Leader [Mr. Sondhi Limthongkul] at the Center of Bangkok [doctors said that his life is no longer in danger from a bullet wound on his head]
  • [Thai Prime Minister] Abbhisit Suspends His Visit to Cambodia while Cambodia Warns Citizens Not to Go to Bangkok
  • Aid of the German Government Focuses on Hydro-Electric Dams and Small and Medium Enterprises
  • Back to top

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