Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Buddha on banknote offends some observers

Buddha on banknote offends some observers

The new 100 riel note depicting the Buddha
The new 100 riel note depicting the Buddha. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Buddha on banknote offends some observers

The head of cultural watchdog group the National Culture and Morality Center and a group of monks from Siem Reap have requested the government scrap its new 100 riel banknote, calling the depiction of the Buddha on the country’s smallest currency offensive.

The new salmon and brown banknote, released this month, features King Norodom Sihanouk and the Buddha on one side, and the Silver Pagoda and a statue of Buddha on the other.

Bo Samnang, chairman of the morality centre, said the banknote, worth about 2.5 cents, was unacceptable.

“A 100 riel note is the lowest currency in Cambodia and Buddha is of the highest status, higher than the royal king; this is unacceptable to have his photo on the currency,” said Samnang, adding he had received “so many” complaints about the note since its release.

Association of Life and Hope’s Venerable Lorm Loeum, based at Wat Tomnak pagoda in Siem Reap, echoed the sentiment, saying he was concerned about how the bills would be treated.

“This is awful, as normally people keep money in pockets and even their bras for women,” he said. “This is very offensive to the Buddha. I urge the government to consider this and withdraw that Buddha picture from currency.”

However, Sambo Mannara, history lecturer at Pannasastra University, said he didn’t believe the new banknote was disrespectful.

A government spokesman couldn’t be reached for comment on the note.

MOST VIEWED

  • First deportees of the year touch down in Cambodia

    Twenty-five Cambodian-Americans landed in Phnom Penh on Wednesday, marking the first such deportations of the year. “On Wednesday, US law enforcement authorities deported 25 Cambodian nationals that immigration judges determined had no legal basis to remain in the US,” said Arend Zwartjes, spokesperson for the US

  • Qatar Airways to connect Doha and Siem Reap town

    Qatar Airways Company QCSC has announced a new route connecting Qatar’s capital Doha with Siem Reap, a move hailed by local officials as a significant step to boost tourist numbers. A Qatar Airways representative, speaking at the Kuwait Aviation Show, announced on Thursday that

  • Kingdom drafting new law to strengthen immigration

    The Ministry of Interior on Tuesday said it had formed a working group to draft amendments to the Law on Immigration. Its secretary of state Sok Phal told The Post that the amendments will strengthen the management of immigrants in line with the current situation.

  • Sokha defence denies Tech’s claims

    ON DAY two of Kem Sokha’s treason trial, lawyers for the government said the defence had raised questions in an attempt to allow their client to make a public statement and a conclusion to the case, something his legal team denied. Ky Tech, a

  • Cambodian general visits Myanmar to enhance national defence cooperation

    Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) commander-in-chief Vong Pisen is now in Myanmar leading a delegation that aims to improve ties, particularly in national defence, with the fellow Asean member. The timing of Pisen’s four-day visit to the Southeast Asian neighbour is highly symbolic, with

  • Sokha’s treason trial begins

    The treason trial of Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) president Kem Sokha began at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on Wednesday with the presentation of a two-minute video clip. The footage, which was the basis of the charge against him, was dismissed by