Tuesday, October 30, 2007

PETA and the concerns about KFC in Cambodia

There is a story about PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) in Cambodia Daily and their concerns regarding a KFC in Cambodia. The government recently has allowed KFC to set up restaurants here.
The concerns are: KFC will threaten peoples health, will lead to animal abuse and - threaten cambodias culture.

PETA is doing an incredible job, and, yes, sometimes you need some PR in the media. Thats why they fighting against the big companies. And yes, the KFCs may be lead to animal abuse.

But: KFC is not really threatening cambodias culture. Just walk arround, see the Lucky-Burger and the Family-Pizza-Chain, the Coffes Shops and the Boom-Boom-ipod-stores. Look on the menu at the most restaurants and you will find spaghetti, red thai curry and fish amok. Thats how tourism works: provide, what the clients want. and that sometimes is different to what PETA wants. A culture is not written in stone, it should be reflected by other cultures. And as there is some ïnternational culture coming in, cambodian culture still changed. otherwise, you have to re-open angkor wat as a temple, move the government to siem reap (which is the again just a monarchy) and bring the people back to the rice fields.

And: look how animals are still treated in cambodia? ever seen the chicken on the motorbike? or even the dogs in the basket? I am not sure wether KFC or local farmers treat the animals better?

By the way: I am really looking forward for the first starbucks in town!

Free press and the powerful people

Just want to point to this story I read in the mirror:
A few hours after the publication by local newspapers that the authorities had arrested a navy general’s son without mentioning the names clearly yesterday morning, Mr. Khieu Kanharith, the Minister of Information and the government’s spokesperson, asked all media agencies to publish the names of the parents of culprits clearly so that it is easy for higher level authorities to take action. This wide permission was announced by the Ministry of Information after many newspapers had not dared to publish the names of culprits who are children of high ranking officials or bodyguards of high ranking officials, by just saying that they are the children of Ta Ta [grandfathers – this refers to high ranking officials]] or the bodyguards of powerful people.... read more

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Dog-owners meeting

Its really hard to let your dogs run in Phnom Penh, because there are no parks, and if there are some squaremeters of green dogs are not allowed. So its really helfpul that the owner of the GASOLINA, located oin the 57th street, allows dogowners to bring their pets in every Saturday from 10.30 a.m. on. The dogs can run and play arround while we have breakfast and chatting a lot. Perfectly.

Trekking in Cambodia

This video was produced for Exotissimo Travel , who arrange your holidays perfectly.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Just found these thoughts on Sharkys website. I think he is absolutely right. Last reports about of the demand of virgin girls told that the major requests are from Asians. That does not mean that westerns are innocent. But if you fight against anything you need to know who your enemies are - and where they are from.

We all know the billboards and adverts stating: "Abuse a child in this country. Go to jail in yours." I totally agree even if they do need them translated into Chinese, Japanese and Khmer. The campaign is sponsored by World vision (USAID). Meanwhile 500 charges against pedophile Catholic priests in L.A are dropped when the church hands over $660 million! Now if that isn't double standards I don't know what is! Oops forgot. It's the church isn't it. Rules don't apply to them!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Biking in Cambodia

Cambodias Countryside

I just came back from a trip to Siem Reap, where I shot a promotional video for exotissmo. I joined a trekking group, following them for one day - and it was beautiful. Beside some know obstacles in this country, the moment you leave Phnom Penh and go to the countryside, everything is forgotten.
Of course its the best time right know, the ricefields a beautiful green, the palms gives you some shadow on the way, and luckily we had no rain there. And: I really love to talk to the local people, even if we have no common language. Its a forever experience to see how the boys fishing rice crabs or how the mother is prparing food for their family. Its brings you down from the internet-age to that, what real life is for the most people in the world.
Maybe we will come back on time to basics like this, when we used the last drops of oil, when economy collapsed and pollution in s the city were on a peak that nobody can breath anymore.. watch CNN Planet in Peril, and you will see, that its not just a nightmare anymore. in parts of China, maybe Bangkok, its still reality.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Investments form North Korea

Hmm, how to handle a regime like North Korea? Ignore it? Todey in the Cambodia daily there was e arport saying that Cambodia will sign an investment deal in November with Kim Jong Ill. Cambodias Commerce Minister said, there should be a realationship to "give the north korean government air to breathe" and show them an exit. He compared the diplomacy status to the Cambodian history, when everyone wasn't talking with the Khmer Rouge regime. The article also points to stronger relationships between US and North Korea.

I think, trade relations with North Korea are because of money, not of politics, ethices or moral. If Cambodia make sthis deal, that would be a signal to others: Look, we are dealing with North Korea, but we do not want to have a Mc Donalds here. I mean, if Cambodia liks to attract all the "investors" from NK, Lybia, Syria a.s.o. they will shortly get in danger because of international reputation. Its still not that easy to invest in cambodia..

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Things I don't understand on Cambodia

Ok, I am just a few weeks here in Cambodia, but all the following questions I also asked my wife (she is here since March), but don't get really an answer.

Am I right or is the main part of the social and health care system based on NGOs in Cambodia? If so, could this be an obstacle to develop a own cambodian healthcare system? The government just saving money for new cars and important issues like more navy soldiers.

Everyone in the business scene is talking about booming Cambodia, but isn't it a bit risky right now? Where should the boom come from? There is just a small middle class, earning enough money spend it as consumers - unfortunatly in Bangkok and Singapore. There a rare possibilities to go shopping for luxury or premium goods in Phnom Penh. Every dollar spent in Thaiand is lost in Cambodia.

Its seems to me that there are less laws and law enforcment as I expected. Without a working legal system, economy will not grow sustainable. How should a "boom" work if there is this kind of anarchy in the legal system (just look at the traffic law).

I am working in the tourism business, and when I was in Sihanoukville, it was typical for the situation right now: People just want to make quick money. There is a lot of money out there, but if the government doesn't invest in infrastructure, nobody will take his dollars to build up hotels on a small strip of beach next to a russian or korean casino. There must be a masterplan of development for the touristic regions - as well as for Phnom Penh I think (yes, there was one in the 60s).

I am getting a little bit confused about an argument I hear everyday: "The people are not well educated, thats why nothing happens". Hmm, I think they are - especially the big guys from RCAF and political parties - but maybe there is no vision of future, and thats why people live from day to day. A skytrain isn't a vision, by the way, as well as a stock exchange is not.

Just my 20cents

Friday, October 5, 2007

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Silent murder in Burma

As the German magazine "Der Spiegel" reports, there is a silent killing in the hours of darkness in Burma. A Burmese told the reporter that in the night the army soldiers come and catch the people to kill them later.
The killing was mostly in Okalapa a suburban of Yangon. Police officers are reported to hit monks in the pagoda there. Thats still rumors, but the problem is to get serious and proved information out of the country right now. There are also reports about camps where dissidents are hold.