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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Dress up the poor people

Dress up the poor people

The Editor,

I would like to be among the first to congratulate the first

vice governor on his plan for cyclo drivers to wear uniforms. This will make

them and Phnom Penh much more attractive to tourists who are known to have

stayed away in huge numbers due to the sight of dirty cyclo drivers. The city of

Phnom Penh could now become full of tourists who need have no fear of being

nauseated by the sight of cyclo drivers pretending to be poor.

However, I

wonder if this goes far enough. What about the passengers? Many of them also

have clothing which makes them look just like poor people.

The fact that

the cyclo drivers are clean and smart could make the passengers seem even more

dirty, ill-clothed and unkempt. As a regular cyclo passenger I am worried and

would like to suggest that the following two options be considered:

  1. Each cyclo should carry two spare sets of clothes, one for women, one for

    men to be used by the passengers.

  2. By taking a lesson from the preferred symbol of the rich and famous, i.e.

    black plastic on the windows of the Merc, why not make a black plastic cabin to

    completely cover the passenger from the view of unsuspecting people who might

    accidentally cast their eyes on the cyclo as it passes.

If either of these suggestions is taken up, the resulting influx of tourists

is sure to reach record levels within a few months.

PS. Will the uniforms

be strong enough to protect both driver and passenger when the cyclo turns over

because it has gone into another pot hole or open drain?

- David Hayter, Phnom Penh.

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