Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Bazaar boot camp: military rank easy as a trip to market

Bazaar boot camp: military rank easy as a trip to market

Bazaar boot camp: military rank easy as a trip to market

111228_06a
A vendor sells military apparel at a clothing stall at Teuk Thla market in Phnom Penh yesterday.

The military uniform that cost Australian-Cambodian returnee Tim Kimsuth two years of his life and US$500 cost him a mere $30 at the Teuk Thla Market, in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district.

Tim Kimsuth had purchased Royal Cambodian Armed Forces two-star general shoulder pads and a military uniform he had embroidered with his name at the Teuk Thla Market because he “liked the uniform”.

“I had worn it in my room only and was not aware that wearing military uniforms and ranks is illegal,” Tim Kimsuth told the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday at this sentencing.

Tim Kimsuth, who spent 20 years in Australia and has only recently returned to Cambodia, had reason to be confused.

Theuk Thla Market has about 50 stalls selling various police and military uniforms as well as a variety of general ranks. The market even offers while-you-wait embroidery of uniforms.
A set of police clothes sells for between US$8 and $9, but military general uniforms go for as much as $50.

“Police who have a low position sell their uniforms here because they don’t get paid enough money and they need extra to send home to their wives and children,” one vendor told the Post yesterday.

Many sellers said artillery and various automatic weapons were still secretly dealt at the market. “Sometimes, if there is something in the press, police will come and confiscate all the uniforms being sold,” another vendor said.

“They tell us it is illegal to sell them, so they take everything – we have lost a lot of money from this before.”

National Police spokesman Kirt Chantharith said there was still legal uncertainty relating to the selling of uniforms.

“There is no clear law about this,” he said.

“But police are given only two sets of uniforms a year. For an official that works out in the sun or in the forest every day, it’s not enough, and they need to go to the shop to buy more.”

Kirt Chantharith said the police minister had been in negotiations with the finance ministry to get extra funding for officers’ uniforms.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom’s domestic milk still cannot compete with imports

    Price competition and a lack of confidence by consumers are the main reasons the dairy market cannot compete with imports, said domestic milk producers. The large displays of imported fresh milk at the Kingdom’s supermarkets present a cumbersome obstacle for local producers, they said.

  • ‘Pesticide-laden cucumbers’ kill two, poison 150 in Banteay Meanchey

    At least two youths have died and 243 others are being treated for vomiting, diarrhoea, breathing difficulties, dizziness and muscle weakness after they ate cucumbers suspected to consist of pesticides. The incident happened on Saturday, said Banteay Meanchey provincial police chief Ath Khem. He told The

  • Three dead, 13 injured in collapse at Siem Reap pagoda

    At least three people were killed and more than 10 others injured on Monday after a dining hall under construction collapsed at Prasat Kokchak pagoda in Kokchak commune, Siem Reap province. Provincial police chief Tith Narong said Military Police, soldiers and local volunteers had successfully recovered 16

  • Forest Harmony’s $18M luxury villas break ground in Kampot

    Local and French joint-venture Forest Harmony has broken ground on its $18 million “second-home” Luxury Holiday Villas project in Kampot province. Century 21 Mekong CEO and local shareholder of the project Chrek Soknim told The Post that the project will comprise 90 villa units covering 18ha on a 97

  • China Unicom enters Cambodia

    China Unicom, the country’s largest telecoms operator, has expanded into Cambodia to build optical telecommunication pathways in the Kingdom as part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The Hong Kong-listed company officially opened its China Unicom (Cambodia) subsidiary on Monday to become the

  • PP-SHV Expressway on track for completion in early 2023

    The construction of the $1.9 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway, which broke ground at the end of March, is on track to be completed by early 2023, Ministry of Public Works and Transport spokesman Vasim Sorya said on Monday. The 190km high-speed highway linking the capital to the