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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 30 July 2004

The Gecko: 30 July 2004

The

Ministry of Finance is starting off the "third mandate" with a bit of a

headache.

They thought that because the National Assembly didn't do anything for the last year

there was no need to pay the Members of Parliament their monthly wages. Wrong.

The issue was forced and MoFE was over-ruled by the Boss. Now they have to find funds

for one year's back pay. That's around $1,800 per MP per month x 123 MPs x 12 months,

or around $2,656,000.

Stay tuned and keep an eye on whether the SRP guys get their overdue paychecks.

** A Western cameraman got wind of the troops surrounding Chea Sim's house on July

13 and went to have a look in the early hours of the morning. The guys with guns

didn't like him filming, a scuffle ensued and his film cartridge was confiscated.

** A journalist was speaking in Beijing with an employee of Transparency International

(TI), the organization that monitors corruption. The TI man said that there were

only two countries in Asia where corruption was markedly worsening - Cambodia and

Bangladesh.

** A recent conference in Geneva on internet abuses identified the top ten nations

in descending order that produce spam: United States, China, South Korea, Taiwan,

Brazil, Canada, Argentina, Russia, Italy and Hong Kong. No explanation was given

on why Hong Kong was considered a "nation".

** One expat had his phone nicked. The thief didn't change the SIM card and just

bought a new phone card to top up the account. The expat then cancelled the number,

bought a new phone and had the phone company give him his previous number. To his

minuscule delight he had an extra $30 worth of call time available.

** The PM's meeting with Chea Sim broadcast on TVK does not seem to have allayed

all the jitters in the capital. The rumor going around some of the city's markets

is "Some time in August. Watch out!"

** One of the newest places to have a quiet coffee or even a meal at budget cutter's

prices AND in the comfort of air-conditioning is none other than the Chit Chat Café

& Bubble Tea on Sihanouk Boulevard, just east of Lucky Market. Bubble Tea connoisseurs

will note a full range of Bubble flavors including, but not limited to, Kiwi, Apple,

Cherry and Lavender.

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