IN the final episode of YLC 7, Heng Malyka and Khmin Phearum competed for SMS votes from a live television audience. The competition involved debating one another, answering questions on public policy and responding to criticism from their opponent and former contestants.
Malyka said she learned a lot from the criticism she received. “They allowed us to criticize each other and even the management of the TV show itself. I have learned a lot about freedom of expression.”
When Phearum criticised Malyka for crying so often during YLC competitions she said that crying was part of her strategy “to make my rival think that I am weak…when they thought that I was weak…They were careless toward me and did not put pressure on me.”
Malyka and Phearum also had to answer questions on topics ranging from education to agriculture. When Malyka was asked to give advice to a young garment worker who lost their job and is now looking for work, she made this suggestion: “jobs requiring manual labour are usually not well-paid. The jobs that require your intellectual abilities will pay you more and allow you to work with dignity. Prime Minister Hun Sen is raising the value of education in Cambodia so that youth can focus on their studies and get a good education to get good jobs.”
Malyka won the competition with 2,765 SMS votes and will travel to the US for her reward, Phearum wasn’t far behind with 2,136 SMS votes. United States Ambassador to Cambodia, Mrs. Carol Rodley presented the grand prize to Malyka and called her “a role model and shining example for the young people of Cambodia.”
Malyka said YLC has made her famous and given her more confidence, “I feel that more people know me right now. I have become popular now. Many people praise me. Now I realize my own ability to challenge others.”