Min­is­ter wants Pchum Ben song banned

The Phnom Penh Post - - NATIONAL - Khouth Sophak Chakrya

THE Labour Min­istr y wants to ban a pop­u­lar song about the reli­gious Pchum Ben fes­ti­val by singer and song writer Mao Hachi.

In a let­ter sent to In­for­ma­tion Min­is­ter Khieu Kan­harith and Cul­ture Min­is­ter Phe­ung Sakana on Wed­nes­day, Labour Min­is­ter Ith Sam Heng said the song paints a grim pic­ture of the gov­ern­ment pol­icy on Cam­bo­dian gar­ment work­ers.

Cit­ing a verse in the song, he asked the min­istries to ban it from ra­dio and tele­vi­sion to avoid pub­lic con­fu­sion over the gov­ern­ment pol­icy.

“[ Work­ers] have not been paid, can­not visit fam­i­lies in [their] home­town, so [work­ers] can only tele­phone them and shed tears,” read the verse.

He said in con­trast to the song’s sub­stance, the gov­ern­ment has striven to pro­vide pro­tec­tion and ben­e­fits for gar­ment work­ers through­out the King­dom.

The Post is not aware of any re­sponse from ei­ther min­istry as of press time.

Meas Sok Ratanak, a gen­eral man­ager at Town Pro­duc­tion where the song was pro­duced, said it had been broad­casted on ra­dio, tele­vi­sion and so­cial me­dia prior to the Labour Min­istry’s proposal.

He said the song had been cir­cu­lat­ing since Au­gust last year.

“I don’t know why the min­is­ter has based the proposal on one verse of this song and why he wants to ban it only now. The song has been around since last year. Any­way, we’ll meet with the min­istry to dis­cuss it on Fri­day,” he said.

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