Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Festival boat ban: Counting the cost

Festival boat ban: Counting the cost

Festival boat ban: Counting the cost

Last week, Prime Minister Hun Sen cancelled boat races at this year’s Water Festival in Phnom Penh to preserve funds for flood relief. The Post took to the streets yesterday to see what residents of the capital thought.

Motodop Brang Veasna, 34, , originally from Takeo
I agree with the government’s decision, even though it will affect my income. The government is in need of funds to help the flood victims. This is a good choice. Last year, I made between 200,000 and 300,000 riel (US$50 to $75) during the three days of the festival, but this year I


Hairdresser Chea Sreyda, 21, originally from Prey Veng
I felt sorry after I heard  it was cancelled because it is one of the most important and ancient festivals in our country. Since I was born, the Water Festival has never been cancelled like this. I wish and hope that such an unfortunate incident [floods] will not hit Cambodia again and affect the Water Festival.


Teacher Jacob Legge, 31, from Melbourne, Australia
You have to wonder if it has to do with the tragedy that took place last year. Maybe they [government] don’t feel organised enough to deal with it this year. It is not worth cancelling an event that means so much to people. If there is money that needs to be spent on flood victims, it could found in other places.


Pharmacist Sok Somaly, 57, from Phnom Penh
I appreciate that the government is thinking in the interest of the nation and using the money saved from not celebrating the festival to help the real victims of the floods. I don’t mind, even though the cancellation will affect my business. I normally can earn more money during the three days [of the festival]


Street vendor Srey Kar, 42, from Phnom Penh
It is necessary that our government think about people’s lives and the expenditure on the Water Festival. I think that the Water Festival can be celebrated next year as usual, but people’s lives are the most important. We can hold the festival next year, but we cannot gain life if an accident happens due to the floodwater.

Interviews and photos by Phak Seangly and Derek Stout

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh