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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 26 July 1996

The Gecko: 26 July 1996

Asiaweek's July 5 issue came out with their list of Asia's 50 most powerful people.

Second Prime Minister Hun Sen was the only Cambodian on the list, pegged at Number

42. In describing the Co-PM's "Power points" Asiaweek said: "A wily

tactician and shrewd judge of character. Despite losing in a 1993 poll, he has been

inexorably consolidating his power base. Fights to win but is becoming isolated politically.

Given to paranoid temper tantrums. Limited exposure to the outside world."

** "I'd still invest here over China, Vietnam and Burma. At least here

you can have a better chance of controlling your investment." said a financial

services advisor and former banker recently when commenting on Cambodia.

** A couple of barang tourists stop at a neon-lit club on the road near the

Casablanca restaurant late at night looking for a bite to eat. They walk in and ask

if there is still any food available. They are then ushered into a room with gals

sitting behind a glass window wearing pink uniforms. They say "No no. We want

some food." The host replies "Yes, yes. Food!" pointing at the massage

girls.

** How many casinos can you fit on the head of a pin? The scuttlebut on the

streets is that the new, shiny, five-story building across from the Lucky Market

is slated for development as a karaoke/entertainment/gambling center, as is the nearby

Makarah Restaurant which may get torn down with a new casino built in its place.

** Press Alert: Mr. Qazi Abdul Majeed, an international journalist (former)

has arrived in Phnom Penh and is on a new mission to write an international book.

Literature he is distributing says: "Our beloved Cambodia will be a significant

factor" in the new publication.

Mr. Majeed has had a run of bad luck of late as outlined in a brochure he has written

entitled "Special Police under Memorandum". According to the pamphlet Mr.

Majeed was poisoned with arsenic in Cairo after protesting against Sadam Hussein,

suffering from nerve-related problems ever since; was victimized by crooks in Mathura,

India, while seeking traditional Hindu health remedies, and had all his belongings

stolen; escaped an assassination attempt in Jalalabad, Afghanistan; was locked for

one month in "a dead cell under a hill" by Bulgarian secret police in Sophia;

and, later kidnapped by Pakistani spies and jailed in Peshawar before being released

and deported to Kathmandu.

** The world wide web, which is just starting to entangle Cambodia, has sent

shivers through the spines of some of Phnom Penh's residents. "The Internet

is the third Anti-Christ. It will destroy the world," preaches futurist, Nostradamusian

scholar and part-Chinese, Catholic look-alike Matthew Lee.

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