Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 30 october 1998

The Gecko: 30 october 1998

The Gecko: 30 october 1998

** A Western businessman flew in from Singapore

several weeks ago with three grand worth of computer

equipment. As he passed through customs, wondering about

duties, one of the officials noticed he was sporting a

Hun Sen watch and asked the barang where he got it. With

a weighty "Don't ask, don't tell" look, the

senior executive replied: "I can't tell you

that". The customs official waved him by duty free,

with a graciousnesss befitting a high-level status worth


** One visitor to the Kingdom engaged in some exotic

shopping before his departure, sailed through the

security checkpoints at the airport without raising an

eyebrow, and then told a fellow passenger after his

arrival in Bangkok that he'd carried a hand-grenade with

him on the flight as a small souvenir from his Cambodian


** Soothsayers in town are concerned. They note the

Tonle Sap switched directions one month earlier than

normal and now speculate this might be a bad omen for the

future of the Great Lake. However, golf course

developers, looking on the brighter side of things to

come, say if the lake dries up due to continued

siltation, there is enormous potential for the

construction of sand-trap-focused golf course in the

"off-shore" Siem Reap area.

** The Cathouse has come up with a new scheme to cope

with the economic downturn. Instead of Happy Hour,

they've instituted a "Depression Hour", and it

lasts a long time - from 4pm to 8pm. Prices have been

slashed. With the slogan "we're waiting for things

to get better," the management is confident there is

a light at the end of the no-government tunnel.

** The appoinment of Ginger Spice as a UN Goodwill

Ambassador for Contraception and Sex Education has the

development set all a-twitter with the thought that one

of Britain's most famous condiments might pay a courtesy

call on Cambodia to help fight the AIDS epidemic.

Reflecting the wave of excitement sweeping the donor

community, one British official enthused: " The

Spice Girls are our biggest current export in terms of

culture. Its really depressing."

** Some American tourists travelling in Spain were

recently queried about the on-going tiff between US

congressman Dana Rohrabacher and the Cambodian

government, and the larger debate over continued US aid

for the Kingdom should the Constitution be amended to

allow for the formation of a new government with a simple

majority. Bert and Madge Huckabee, who hail from Tulsa,

thought pensively about the issue for several minutes,

their brows furrowed, and then responded: "where's


** The "Touchy-Feely Management of the Week

Award" goes to USAID. Gathering all its local and

foreign partners together for a self-criticism session

last week, USAID organizers unveiled a big "Sok

Sabai Happy Face" white-board. "This meeting

doesn't have to be all about problems," USAID told

NGO reps who were either baffled (Khmer) or cringing with

embarrassment (foreign) - "anytime, you can come

right up to the 'Sok Sabai Happy Face' board and write up

anything that has made you happy working with

USAID!" Then everyone was given a namecard and pen

and asked to draw a little picture on one corner about

what USAID meant to them. Most of the Khmer NGOs got the

point straightaway and drew stylized gardens, with USAID

as the golden sun overhead nurturing the beautiful

flowers of, presumably, democracy-building, judicial

training and health care. Shame on the cynic who

separated USAID Washington and Phnom Penh on different

sides of the card, both feeding into a rickety machine

with mis-matched cogs and gears and leaking oil.

** The buzz in Bangkok? Possibly the Funcinpec Royal

Air Force. During the tough peace negotiations in 1991,

Prince Ranariddh often sought solace and contemplation by

flying his squadron of radio-controlled airplanes. So

great was the solace and contemplation that his aides

were often hard-pressed to drag him back to matters of

state. Weather conditions seem perfect, then, for FRAF to

take to the air again.

** Aussie novelist and lawyer Eddie asked for a

takeaway pizza from Happy Herbs. "What flavor?"

"Eddie's pizza," he replied, having had one

already. "Eddies" was misheard, instead, for

"Happies". Result? A full three-day psychotic

experience and severe sickness for Eddie, who said that

he'd never had marijuana before and felt like his brain

was melting.


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  • More than 10,000 workers suspended

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  • Oz lauds Kingdom’s passage of money laundering laws

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    New investments from local and foreign sources continue to pour into Cambodia despite the Covid-19 pandemic remaining a lingering threat to regional and global economies. This comes as the Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to contract between one and 2.9 per cent this

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    NAGACORP Ltd has requested that it be allowed to reopen its NagaWorld integrated resorts in Phnom Penh after the government recently approved casinos to operate again, provided they follow Covid-19 prevention measures set by the Ministry of Health. Mey Vann, the director-general of the Ministry

  • Rubber exports stretch 17%

    Cambodia exported 97,175 tonnes of natural rubber in the first five months of this year, surging 17 per cent compared to the same period last year as the Covid-19 pandemic stretches on, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries official Khuong Phalla told The Post on Thursday. Phalla,

  • ASEM supports Kingdom’s proposal to postpone meeting amid Covid

    The 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM13) scheduled to be held in Cambodia in November has been postponed until mid-2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation press statement released on Saturday said. The decision was made during a two-day meeting