Cambodia Waits to See the Impact of the Spreading of Swine Flu – Thursday, 30.4.2009

Posted on 1 May 2009. Filed under: Week 610 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 610


Because the International Labor Day on First May is a National Holiday in Cambodia, the next publication of the Mirror will be the Sunday editorial. The regular translated editions will start again on Monday, 4 March 2009.

Norbert Klein

“Phnom Penh: Economists and investors are still unable to predict the possible impact of the spreading of swine flu on the Cambodian economy, but have voiced their concerns if this disease would spread strongly all over the world.

“The director of the Cambodian Economic Association, Mr. Chan Sophal, said on 29 April 2009 that at this stage, Cambodia has not yet suffered any impact, but if this disease spreads severely, it will become a new threat to the development of the economy as well as to Cambodia as a whole.

“He said, ‘If it spreads strongly, the world will fall into chaos, and economic activities will severely decline, and that is when it would impact Cambodia.’

“So far, swine flu has not spread to Southeast Asia. But in the evening of 29 April 2009, the Associated Press news agency reported that already 150 people have been killed by this disease, and it has spread to the Middle East and to the Asia Pacific region [and by now there are also several cases in Europe].

“Regarding the concern over the spreading of swine flu, Mr. Sophal expressed his own concern that in Cambodia, the sectors of the economy that can be affected are tourism, foreign aid, investment, and a general impact on the livelihood of citizens.

“The chairperson of the Permanent Committee of the Cambodia Association of Travel Agents, Mr. Ho Vandy, said that it is a new threat for the tourism industry in Cambodia as well as for the world in this year of 2009. He added that at present, the tourism industry of Cambodia is declining, due to the financial crisis, and Cambodia does not want to face another new problem. Therefore, Cambodia should immediately take action to prevent the new problem to happen, to avoid what happened at the time of the spreading of SARS in 2003.

“He said, ‘We are encountering difficulties because of the global financial crisis. Therefore, we should try not to face another problem like the spreading of SARS in 2003.’

“In 2003, SARS, which originated from Southeast Asia, made tourism in the region and in Cambodia drop dramatically. It is estimated that because of SARS, tourism, commerce, and transportation lost as much as US$40 billion.

“Mr. Vandy emphasized, ‘I cannot remember the figure of the loss in 2003, but at that time, the local tourism market became quiet. Thus, I hope that swine flu will not spread to Cambodia. The authorities should take urgent measures.’

“Worrying about the spreading of swine flu, the Cambodian authorities are not apathetic, they take action to protect and prevent swine flu.

“An spokesperson of the airport concession company [Société Concessionnaire de l’Aéroport], Mr. Khek Norinda, said that on 28 April 2009, the Ministry of Health just set up a body temperature screening machine at the Phnom Penh International Airport, and on 29 April 2009, another machine was set up at the Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport.

“He added, ‘There are no direct flights from Mexico or from any of the European countries to Cambodia, but we have direct flights from countries in the region that have already examined the situation carefully. Anyway, we cooperate with the relevant ministries to prevent the spread of this disease.’

“Concerning the impact of the spreading of this disease by air traffic to Cambodia, he said that he could not comment yet, because the situation is new.

“He said, ‘It is too recent an event, and we wait to see two and three weeks later.’

“Besides the concerns of economists and tourism experts, those who invest in raising pigs in Cambodia expressed also concern about the spreading of this disease.

“The director of the Mong Reththy Group which has just imported pigs from foreign countries worth approximately US$5 million, Mr. Mong Reththy said by telephone that this disease is a problem which may affect his business, but he said that his pigs and local pigs have not been reported to be infected with this disease.

“He said, ‘We have to be careful all together in order to prevent the spreading of swine flu.’” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4881, 30.4.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 30 April 2009

Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #64, 30.4.2009

  • Cambodia Releases US$25 Million to Support Important Sectors of the Economy [such as the garment industry and agriculture, which are affected by the present global economic crisis]
  • Senior Officials and Members of Parliament from the Cambodian People’s Party Avoid to Attend an Event of Releasing a Publication: a Book on the “Rule of Law” [organized by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation of Germany]

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #171, 30.4.2009

  • Cambodian Prime Minister Suggests to ASEAN to Hold an Emergency Meeting about Swine Flu

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1931, 30.4.2009

  • Prime Minister Samdech [Hun Sen] Tells Citizens Not to Get Chaotic about Swine Flu
  • The Opposition Party Asks for the Creation of a Tourism Court to Solve Tourism Disputes [but the Minister of Tourism, Mr. Thong Khon, said that there is no need to do so as sufficient provisions are already included in the tourism law]
  • Thai Separatists in Southern Thailand Started a Shootout Which Killed Ten Civilians

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #391, 30.4.2009

  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Ms. Mu Sochua Welcomes [Prime Minister] Hun Sen Who Agrees with the Revocation of His Immunity in Order to Face the Court

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6637, 30.4.2009

  • Reaction of Samdech Akkak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen: “I Sue for Defamation because This Case Relates to All Women” [recently, Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian Ms. Mu Sochua and her lawyer held a press conference and said that Prime Minister Hun Sen’s words against Ms. Mu Sochua sound like he is looking down on all women in Cambodia]
  • Message to the Public: Swine Flu in Other Parts of the World Is Not Transmitted by Eating Pork
  • Cambodia Has Never Invaded Siamese [Thai] Territory; Siam [ Thailand]: The Withdrawal of Troops from the [Keo Sekha Kiri Svarak] Pagoda and the Preah Vihear Region Will Wait Until After the Setting of Border Markers [this was claimed after the recent negotiations in Siem Reap]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3745, 30.4.2009

  • Duch Calls Khmer Rouge Cadres “Specters Who Ate the Same Specters”
  • Prime Minister Recognized that [former Khmer Rouge Minister of Defense] Son Sen Was a Spy of [his] Government [therefore, as a result, the top Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot executed him and his family]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4881, 30.4.2009

  • Cambodia Waits to See the Impact of the Spreading of Swine Flu
  • [Former Tuol Sleng prison chief] Duch Denied that the S-21 Prison Was the Only Special Prison

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.

And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

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