Beware of the motorcycle rental scam. One shop in town demands a $600 deposit to
rent a motorcycle and provides you with a lock. They need to know where you are staying
and for how long. A day before the customer is expected to leave - Oh what a tragedy!
- the motorcycle is mysteriously stolen by unidentified thieves. There goes the tourist's
deposit too. Moral: make sure to use your own lock.
** Veteran scribe Mark Dodd, who was the Reuters Bureau Chief here in Phnom Penh
and used to contribute to the PPPost, now writes for The Australian, based out of
He recently wrote an article about East Timor, which seems to have upset the East
The East Timorese Foreign Minister issued a press release entitled "Ramos-Horta
comments on Mark Dodd's article in The Australian."
Dr. Ramos-Horta said, among other accusations, that Mr. Dodd: 1) is pursuing a hate
campaign against: a) East Timor; and b) the Prime Minister of East Timor; 2) is a
little-known freelancer; 3) struggles to earn a few dollars here and there; 5) was
the subject of complaints of shoddy writing; 6) is not serious enough journalist
for the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper; 7) practices gutter journalism; 8) is a
failed journalist; 10) lies; 11) is a liar; 12) claims to have spoken to Dili-based
diplomats when he not; 13) is guilty of selective reporting; 14) lifts sections of
reports to suit his bias; 16) is a gutter journalist; 17) is a bad writer; 18) is
a dishonest journalist; 19) is a dishonest person; 20) makes up stories; 21) cooks
up quotes from unnamed sources; 22) is very patronizing towards East Timor; 23) has
a colonial mentality towards East Timor; 24) is very patronizing and has a colonial
mentality towards indigenous Australians and people of dark skin in Asia and the
South Pacific; 25) is a patroniser; 26) is a colonialist; 27) is a red-neck; and,
28) is a racist.
Not surprisingly, Mr. Dodd is suing for defamation. He has secured the services of
another Australian as his lawyer, none other than Mark Plunkett.
** On a related legal front, word is that former PPPost correspondent Nate Thayer's
case against Ted Koppel and ABC News was finally, after dragging on for seven years,
settled out of court. Thayer won and was awarded a settlement in the low, low seven
figures. Lawyers and the IRS quickly took two-thirds of the Pot.