The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 596
“After visiting the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation - and there was nothing specially new - I began to wonder whether the websites of other state institutions are also all numb or not.
From the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: ‘International Issues’ – the last entry is from 2003; for 2003, 2002 and 2001 there is only one item each. ‘Statements by H.E. Mr. HOR Namhong’ - up to February 2007. The icons of little flags of China, France, Japan, and South Korean seem to invite to read the documents in the language of these countries – but a click leads back to the English text – the target of the British flag icon. A Khmer language version does not exist.
“Therefore, I started to visit a website of the Council for the Development of Cambodia, which is an important state institution, especially it is tasked to attract investment to Cambodia. It was as disappointing as visiting the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. On the websites of the Council for the Development of Cambodia, and on another website, Cambodian Rehabilitation and Development Board (CRDB) - Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), most information, except for laws, is out of date, which is not different from that of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The first website deals with investment, and the second one is related to foreign aid and meetings with donor countries. Both websites do not have information since 2007. [The first of the two sites displays an icon with the Japanese flag – and a click leads really to a Japanese version.]
“As for information about the gross domestic product [GDP], there are only figures for 2005; that means the GDP figures for the last three years, when Cambodia achieved double digit percentages of economic growth, are not published to the world through this website. What is ridiculous, is that the price of land in Phnom Penh, presented to investors, is just between US$357 and US$700 per square meter. Is this information useful for anything?
“In fact, this is very old information, because the price of land in Phnom Penh is now not under thousands of dollars, even though we are facing an economic crisis. The reason, why the Council for the Development of Cambodia publishes such cheap land prices is because those prices are from reports from 2006.
“How about looking for information about the political system on the website? New information related to the political system is also not provided. That means they still present previous information about the parliamentary election results of 2003, where the Cambodian People’s Party won 73 seats, Funcinpec won 26 seats, and the Sam Rainsy Party won 24 seats. Results of the elections in July 2008 are not found on this website. Therefore there is no information saying that the Cambodian People’s Party won 90 seats, the Sam Rainsy Party won 26 seats, the Human Rights Party of Kem Sokha won 3 seats, Funcinpec won 2 seats, and the Norodom Ranariddh Party won also 2 seats among the 124 seats of the National Assembly. As for information about the government, there is nothing; that is, no one knows about the Cambodian government led by Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen. They only keep old information of many years ago, around 100 words in English. They do not present anything to the world about the political stability in Cambodia.
“The Council for the Development of Cambodia should know that political stability is a key factor which can attract foreign investors to invest in Cambodia. This omission is part of the failure to attract foreign investors to come to invest in Cambodia. The role of the Council for the Development of Cambodia is to present detailed information about Cambodia to the world, particularly information related to favorable factors for investment.
“If this website contains mostly unusable information, how can investors decide to invest in Cambodia? Moreover, publishing such information about investment on this website can also make the foreign press use it and publish it in their countries - so they use these figures of investments in 2006, 2007, and 2008. Looking at these investment figures, the press will analyze these data and publish wrong information to the world.
“What the Council for the Development of Cambodia and all state institutions have to know better is to provide information; information is a necessary factor for democratic and free market countries. Additional billions of dollars will flow to Cambodia, if investors receive sufficient information: that Cambodia has political stability and many other favorable factors for investment. They will not take a risk to invest in a country that they do not known well.
“It should be time that all state institutions wake up and catch up so that information technology will be benefiting as much as possible. A lazy Cambodia might be assessed wrongly when seeing such out-of-date information. They might think that those institutions do not do anything for the nation. Written by a citizen” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4801, 22.1.2009
Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 22 January 2009
Cheat Khmer, Vol.1, #9, 22.1.2009
- [Foreign] Co-Defense Lawyers of [former Khmer Rouge leader] Nuon Chea Will Appear to Explain Their Corruption Complaint Today [at the Phnom Penh Primary Court]
- Dey Krahom Residents Ask the Municipal Authorities to Provide between US$30,000 and US$100,000 to Each Family
- [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Ms. Mu Sochua Asks the President of the Cambodian People’s Party to Keep the Renakse Hotel as a National Heritage
Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1853, 22.1.2009
- Obama Sworn in to Take His Office and Become the First Black US President
- Municipal Traffic Police Complain that Money Provided by the Municipality Was Lost for Four Months [Riel 5 million, corresponding to approx. US$1,250, is provided to the Phnom Penh Traffic Police Office monthly, and each traffic police official receives Riel 10,000, corresponding to approx. US$2.50]
Khmer Aphivoath Sethakech, Vol.7, #328, 22.1.2009
- Prime Minister Hun Sen: If I Want to Break Up the Alliance between Both Parties [the Sam Rainsy Party and the Human Rights Party], It Can Be Done Any Day
Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #189, 22.1.2009
- If It Keeps Working, It Is against the Punishment Imposed; therefore It Is Better to Close It [the Bopha Meas Clinic was closed by the Ministry of Health, after violating the ban for private hospitals to pick up and transport patients]
- The Cambodian Government Adopts a Video Conferencing Program [using e-government technology for state meetings]
Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6558, 22.1.2009
- A Teenage Boy and a Teenage Girl [of a group of ten teenagers] Are Arrested for Attacking another Student [one girl was hit until she fainted; all of them are high-school students - Phnom Penh]
Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3672, 22.1.2009
- Siamese [Thai] Minister of Foreign Affair [Kasit Piromya] Will Come to Discuss Solutions for the Border Disputes with Cambodia This Weekend
- Mr. Sam Rainsy Hopes that the New US President Will Improve the Promotion of Democracy
Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4801, 22.1.2009
- Websites of the Council for the Development of Cambodia Also Sleep
- Research Report [conducted from 9 September to 1 October 2008 by researchers from the Human Rights Center at the University of California at Berkeley and from the Treatment Committee] Found that only a Small Number of Khmer People Know and Follow he Processes of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal
- A Man Died and a Boy Is Seriously Injured because of Playing with Unexploded Ordnance [Pursat]
- Cambodia and Vietnam Do Not Allow the Building up of Military Activities against Each Other
- The Minister of Health [Mr. Mam Bunheng] Appeals to Residents Living near the Vietnamese Border to Be Careful with Bird Flue
Samleng Yuweakwey, Vol.2, #6, 22-24.1.2009
- Born Samnang and Sok Sam Oeun [who have just been released on bail] Will Attend to Place Flowers for Chea Mony This Morning [the former president of the Free Trade Union of Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia, who was murdered in 2004]
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