Monday, 8.9.2008: Inflation Affects the Livelihood of the Poor

Posted on 9 September 2008. Filed under: Week 577 | Tags: , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 577

“Phnom Penh: While the price of fuel increases, everything increases also, but when thr price of fuel in the world declines much, the prices of goods in Cambodia do not seem to go down, affecting the livelihood of the citizens, especially of the poor. High ranking officials of the National Bank of Cambodia have recognized signs of inflation in Cambodia.

“According to a report of the first six months of 2008, issued by the National Bank of Cambodia, inflation in Cambodia increased to 37.2%, which seriously affects the everyday life of the citizens.

“Mr. Chea Chanto, the governor of the National Bank of Cambodia, said that the major issue is the remarkably rising inflation during the early part of 2008. There was increasing inflation, because Cambodia faced the world economic situation which was bleak, and this resulted from a combinatiion of factors, such as the turmoil in the financial and credit markets of industrialized countries, as well as the rising prices of fuel and of food worldwide, particularly the increase of the price of rice.

“It is not known whether what is mentioned here is appropriate or not, but according to observations at the markets in Cambodia, it seems to be almost a habit that when prices of all types of goods increase, they later hardly decline, and if there is a decline, it is small.

“The price of fuel rose dramatically in the world from US$100 to US$147 per barrel in July 2008, and in August, the price of fuel in Cambodia increased also considerably to Riel 5,650 [approx. US$1.40] per liter. However, when prices of fuel in the world declined to US$112 (a US$35 drop), fuel prices in Cambodia declined to Riel 5,400 [approx. US$1.33] only, which seems not to be equivalent to the world influence.

“As for the prices of goods at the markets in Cambodia, they do not decline much, making people to say that when prices rise, they later hardly decline. Prices of goods seem to remain stable – Somaly rice costs Riel 4,000 [approx. US$0.99]/kg, Phka Malis rice Riel 3,100 [approx. US$0.77]/kg, Neang Menh Riel 2,500 [approx. US$0.62]/kg, pork Riel 20,000 [approx. US$4.95]/kg, beef Riel 23,000 [approx. US$5.68]/kg, chicken Riel 18,000 [approx. US$4.45], fresh pike fish Riel 15,000 [approx. US$3.70]/kg, dry salty pile fish Riel 32,000 [approx. US$7.90]/kg, and sugar Riel 2,200 [approx. US$0.54]/kg.

“Now, not only the prices of goods of daily consumption increase, but also the prices for bicycle and motorbike parking at different markets increased also.

“Ms. Srey Sitha, 49, whose husband is a civil servant with a salary of Riel 200,000 [approx. US$49.43], has four children. She was carrying a basket and went with not much hope to do the shopping. She said that she lives in Boeng Salang and was heading to the Phsar Deumkor Market to do the shopping. Before, she spent only Riel 5,000 [approx. US$1.24] when she did the shopping, but now, although having Riel 20,000 to Riel 30,000 [approx. US$7.41], she could not manage to buy delicious food.

“She added that according to her husband’s salary, more than Riel 6,000 [approx. US$1.48] can be spent per day, and as for her, the state offers her [a dependent’s allowance of] Riel 6,000 per month (before it had been Riel 3,000); how can the money be managed? At least Riel 40,000 [approx. US$9.89] to Riel 50,000 [approx. US$12.36] is needed to be spent per day (Riel 20,000 for food, Riel 10,000 [approx. US$2.47] for fuel for her children’s and her husband’s motorbikes, and Riel 10,000 for her children for additional tutoring classes) – and this does not yet include rice for breakfast.

“A teacher of a high school in Phnom Penh, who uses his free time to work as a moto taxi driver, said that his salary is Riel 300,000 [approx. US$74,15], but it is not enough for his family, because even calculating the amount of fuel and of rice for breakfast, already Riel 10,000 is gone. If he would not drive a moto taxi to earn more money, how could the life of the family be supported? He added a Khmer saying, ‘The teacher has a good wife, but when he is poor, she complains’ [mocking the teaching profession, known to receive low salaries]. ‘I don’t know whether my students want to follow me to become a teacher who is poor like this.’

“As for workers, they complain similarly. Srey Oun, 29, from Kompong Thom, works in a factory in Tuek Thla, Russey Keo, Phnom Penh. She earns between US$60 and US$70 per month, and she complained that everyday, she works like a slave of the Chinese owner, and she does not know clearly whom her work feeds more [her or her boss]. She earns US$60, out of which US$10 is paid for the rent where she stays, US$5 for utilities, US$20 per month for her meals, US$1 for rice as breakfast – corresponding to US$30 per month – and US$10 for traveling to visit her hometown every month. So there is no money left to feed herself and her parents. She said, ‘I do not want to work in the factory very much, but if I stay at home, there is nothing to do, so I just bear it until I die.’

“A retired civil servant said that if one considers the prices of goods at the current markets, there is only suffering; for him, like for other civil servants, if he would not work hard to find part-time jobs, he could not expect to survive; his stomach will shrink and the whole family will die. At present, approximately 34% of the citizens earn less than US$1 per day. However, the number of officials of the government increases, and they are wasting the state’s resoources, because too many positions and roles have been created.

“Mr. Kouy Sarun showed the gap between the rich and the poor through a poem, ‘The rich is rich with much wealth, while the poor lacks everything forever; the rich buy beef for their dogs, while the farmers who feed the cows eat Prahok.’ [preserved fish]” Amnach Reas, Vol.1, #21, 8-14.9.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 8 September 2008


Amnach Reas [the title is written in Khmer, then in Roman letters trascribed, and then in English translation: The

    People’s Power], Vol.1, #21, 8-14.9.2008
    Inflation Affects the Livelihood of the Poor


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1740, 7-8.9.2008

  • [Cambodian National Research Organization director] Dr. Heang Rithy: If Sam Rainsy Wants to Protest [against election results], He Should Not Be Stupid Like This [but he has to create a clear policy plan for the elections]
  • Man, Who Loses Court Case [over land issue], Is Ordered by Court to Unearth His Wife’s Body from the Tomb [located on the contestedland – Baribour, Kampong Chhnang]
  • Makeshift Truck Sets Off Anti-Tank Mine, Killing Five People in Koun Kriel Commune [Samraong, Oddar Meanchey on 5 September 2008]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #239, 7-9.9.2008

  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Phnom Penh] Son Chhay: Cambodia Might Have a New Revolution if the Cambodian People’s Party Does Not Reform the Leadership System Following Democratic Principles
  • Illegal Logging Continues Seriously in Ratanakiri


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #93, 7-8.9.2008

  • Trees in Oral Mountain Are Illegally Cut in Great Numbers [Kompong Speu]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #64, .9.2008

  • Are Neighbor’s Acts Good or Bad? At the Cham Yeam Border Crossing [in Koh Kong], Siamese [Thai border protection officials] Have Dogs Sniff Khmers from Head to Foot [checking for drugs]; at the Choam Border Crossing [in Oddar Meanchey], the Palms of Their Hands and All Ten Fingers Have to Be Fingerprinted [by the Thai immigration police] before they allowed Cambodians to enter Thailand]
  • Oral District Military Police Burned [illegal] Sawmill in the Jungle [5 September 2008 – Kompong Speu]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4688, 7-8.9.2008

  • A Bodyguard’s Gun Went Off by Itself, Killing a [27-year-old] Woman; He Was Released by the Police, but Not Sent to Court [Kien Svay, Kandal]
  • Approximately 450 to 500 Dogs Are Needed for Dog Meat Restaurants saain Phnom Penh per Day [according to a Municipal veterinary]

Click here to have a look at the last editorial – how to evaluate them: which realities do they really represent?

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Wednesday, 3.9.2008: Election Results Announced by the NEC Are Absolutely Not Accepted by the Opposition Parties

Posted on 4 September 2008. Filed under: Week 576 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 576

“Mr. Sam Rainsy, the president of the Sam Rainsy Party [SRP], said publicly on the Ponleu Ploeng Tien [Light of Candle – the logo of the SRP] program [on the Sambok Khmum Radio of Mr. Mam Sonando], ‘Today, we would like to announce again that the Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party do not recognize the election results as publicly announced by the National Election Committee – NEC – on 2 September 2008.’

“Mr. Sam Rainsy added, ‘We have received more evidence and more witnesses, which show that the election results are based on many fraudulent votes, different from previous elections, because the names of many citizens were removed [from the voter lists]; when they wanted to vote they could not vote, as their names were deleted and stolen, in an attempt to prevent them from voting. This is the fist problem.’

“The well-known opposition party leader continued, ‘The second problem is that Forms 1018 were issued illegally, because many Form 1018 documents were fraudulent and were provided to those who were ineligible to vote, such as the Vietnamese, underage children, and those who did not have their names in the voters lists at districts and at many poling stations; they provided fraudulent names for such people, to vote for the Cambodian People’s Party.’

“Therefore, out of the tens of thousands of votes claimed to have been received by the Cambodian People’s Party, at least 500,000 votes were from ‘unreal’ votes which are called ghost votes, using ghost names to vote. Moreover, at least more than one million citizens’ names had been deleted from the voters lists, stolen, and the people had been prevented to vote.

“These are the reasons why the votes of the opposition parties declined, since those who wanted to vote for the opposition parties could not vote. On the contrary, those who did not have names to vote were helped by getting Forms 1018 illegally to vote.

“Mr. Sam Rainsy emphasized, ‘The election results were turned around and do not reflect fairness at all, they present the citizens’ will entirely distorted, and therefore we would like to announce again the position of the SRP and of the Human Rights Party to be still against the bad activities of the Cambodian People’s Party, implemented through the NEC and through the Constitutional Council, that serve the Cambodian People’s Party.’

“He went on to say, ‘After this, I have the further information that I, Sam Rainsy, will travel to protest in front of the international community on this Wednesday. I will go to Europe, to Paris and Brussels, and to America, to New York and Washington, in order to announce our complaints about the stealing of votes. Also, I have much evidence, as I have mentioned earlier, and I have revealed this evidence on a website [not identified here] and by other means on the Internet; we use modern technology to let the world see: if anyone wants to see, they can see.’

“The evidence shows that the elections in Cambodia were not held correctly, because we have received thumbprints of tens of thousands of citizens who had expressed their dissatisfaction with the NEC that had deleted their names.

“Mr. Sam Rainsy continued that tens of thousands of citizens had made motions with thumbprints, and the numbers are increasing further day-by-day. Not only the Sam Rainsy Party, but also the Human Rights Party is conducting a campaign to collect thumbprints to show the international community that the Cambodian People’s Party, through the NEC as a tools, had deleted many citizens’ names who were eligible to vote. Those thumbprints are published on our website where people from any country can see.’

“In the meantime, Mr. Sam Rainsy asked, ‘If anyone has evidence of fraud using Form 1018, please bring them to me directly at the headquarters of the Sam Rainsy Party. Also, I would like to remind that as for those who had came from near and far places, I would like to express gratitude from all my heart, and for those who bring one sheet of paper of a fraudulent Form 1018, we will present an award of US$50 to them, corresponding to Riel 200,000.’…

“Obviously, even a working group official of the Cambodian People’s Party in Kompong Cham said publicly, in a the Ponleu Ploeng Tien program, that the elections of 27 July 2008 had many irregularities, such as intimidations, human rights abuses, and fraud using the Form 1018, creating ghost names.

“Regarding the fraudulently used Form 1018, the official continued to say that there were many such cases – village and commune chiefs met three or four days ahead of the elections to plan for the creations of Form 1018 ghost names, and other cases.

“The official of the Cambodian People’s Party said, ‘A special case was that on 17 July 2008, Mr. Ouk Bunchhoeun, a high ranking official of the Cambodian People’s Party, went to strengthen the party’s affairs in Memut [Kompong Cham] and ordered lower officials to create fraudulent Forms 1018 and other cases.’

“This means that imposters of the Cambodian People’s Party and of the NEC start to become known gradually. Therefore, the international community will absolutely not recognize the election results.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #235, 3.9.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 3 September 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1736, 3.8.2008

  • No Norodom Ranariddh Party in the Fourth Term Government [according to an official close to Prince Norodom Ranariddh, and a Cambodian People’s Party spokesperson affirmed that the fourth term government will be a coalition government between two parties, the Cambodian People’s Party and Funcinpec]
  • India Asks to Create a Bank in Cambodia to Facilitate Investments from India
  • Siam [Thailand] Is Under a State of Emergency
  • Siam Secretly Puts a New Border Marker 200 m into Khmer Land [Banteay Ampil, Oddar Meanchey]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #235, 3.8.2008

  • Election Results Announced by the NEC Are Absolutely Not Accepted by the Opposition Parties
  • The Sam Rainsy Party Asks Samdech Euv [the former King] to Be President in the Negotiations with Siam [Thailand over territorial issue]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3503, 3.8.2008

  • Khmer Rouge Tribunal Has Only Money Left Enough for the Trial of Former Tuol Sleng Prison Chief Duch
  • Citizens Criticize Traffic Police for Using the Law to Do Business Shamelessly [police extort money from people whose motorcycles have no wing mirrors for safety and those who do not wear safety helmets – Phnom Penh – ???]


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4684, 3.8.2008

  • Thailand Declares State of Emergency in Bangkok
  • Japanese Prime Minister [Fukuda] Surprisingly Resigns [reason not mentioned]


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3400, 3.8.2008

  • Norodom Ranariddh Party Urges that a Royal Government Should Be Created Very Soon [in order to lead the country toward development]
  • Click here to have a look at the last editorial – will the Prime Minister’s concern for the environment continue to be violated?

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