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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 18 August 2000

The Gecko: 18 August 2000

 

Tackling the IMPUNITY problem: A bit of progress on this front. An expatriate

businessman was driving through town and came to a stoplight that had turned red.

He did what one is supposed to do. He stopped! To his great consternation a moto

then rammed him in the rear of his car, and the expat thought "Oh no, what's

this going to cost me?"

A policeman came over to sort out the tangle. He calmly explained to the moto driver

that the accident was his fault. And, according to the Rule of Law, he was responsible

for any damages.

After a quick assessment of the banged up rear light, a deal was cut -$30 paid by

the moto driver to the barang.

And who knows, the expat may have driven off thinking: "What a great country.

I'm going to invest more here."

But now the bad news. An expatriate bar owner decided to put a small movable Pepsi

sign outside his pub which listed his daily specials and whatnot. The coppers came

by and told him the sign was okay but that he had to pay $70 a month as a "sign-on-sidewalk

rental fee".

The bar owner said "Nice try guys. Forget the sign. You keep the sign. Or I'll

just throw the sign out."

 

What galled the most was that the expat knew his restaurant-owning Khmer neighbors

were only paying 2,000 riel a month for sidewalk sign space.

Just imagine: that's only a 13,300 percent markup-because-you're-white-fee.

The management at the Royal Phnom Penh Hotel is so enamored with the concept of air-conditioning

that patrons say it has even been installed inside the sauna at the health club.

The new acting Royal Air Cambodge chairman, HE. Sok An, wasted no time in coming

to grips with the myriad of financial and organizational challenges facing Cambodia's

ailing national carrier.

RAC sources say that Sok An's first directive to the airline was an order that the

complementary copies of the Cambodia Daily and Rasmei Kampuchea given to passengers

be replaced by the cutting edge English-language Business News and the Khmer-language

weekly circular on activities of the Council of Ministers.

Whatever got stuck in the ventilation tube of the FCC's pizza oven, it lit up like

a house on fire last Friday. A huge crowd gathered on the streets below as the smoke

billowed out of the roof. When the outer wall started to glow red hot, a stream of

panic set in among the skittish shop owners below. Then it died and the frenzied

emotions went with it.

All systems were GO the following day.

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