Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - The Gecko: 7 July, 2000

The Gecko: 7 July, 2000

The Gecko: 7 July, 2000

 

American creativity is achieving new heights. In a country that invents new illnesses

faster than old ones are cured, medical researchers say they have identified a new

disease that may be the cause of a recent upsurge in mass random violence. Called

the "I-can't -take-it-any-more:

 

Just-let-me-talk-to-a-live-human-being Syndrome" (known as IctiamJlmttalhb

Syndrome for short), experts say the widespread use of recorded phone message systems

at the nation's large public and private institutions is having an adverse effect

on citizens, leaving them feeling frustrated and out of touch with their fellow humans.

"People can't find anyone to talk to anymore," said Dr Melvin Afterthebeep.

"They end up in a tangled web of taped recordings that don't respond to their

innermost needs for a sympathetic ear."

Afterthebeep said he is seeing a marked increase in the number of patients who are

afraid to use the phone as they fear all they'll get is a recording with numbered

options that only lead to more and more messages.

"People are frustrated and starting to panic," said Afterthebeep, "leading

to increased levels of anxiety and tendencies towards acts of violence."

"I don't want to sound alarmist, but we are on the verge of a national emergency."

One of Afterthebeep's patients being examined for IctiamJlmttalhb Syndrome, who declined

to be named, said "I'm so angry I could just scream.

"Last week I shot up my phone but that didn't seem to help. When I realized

that I was thinking of finding the person who taped the message and venting my rage,

I decided it was time to seek therapy."

Afterthebeep says he has yet to determine an appropriate treatment for the new disease,

but he suggested it was time for a mammoth federally funded initiative to tackle

the problem.

Officials at the Department of Health were unavailable for comment on the issue.

Messages left at the Department were not returned.

Back in Phnom Penh, the head of the Government's Human Rights Commission, Om Yienteng,

appears to be having a few difficulties with the jargon connected with his job.

When one wire service reporter rang him about the Licadho's report on torture, he

responded: "Torture? What is that?" After a quick explanation of torture

the reply was still "I don't know what it is."

When a second reporter rang him for comment on the same issue they spoke together

in English for about 15 minutes, but Yienteng appeared reluctant to comment about

the issue, eventually saying: "I don't speak English," and hanging up.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to

  • Thai border crossings eased

    The Cambodian Embassy in Thailand said in an announcement on Wednesday that Thailand’s government has allowed certain passengers from several countries to enter its borders. The visitors must go back to their country immediately after their duties in Thailand are fulfilled, the embassy said.

  • Gov’t says tourism recovers slightly despite pandemic

    The Ministry of Tourism and the Phnom Penh municipal administration have recognised 33 tourism businesses in the capital which have consistently implemented safety measures for tourists and adhered to the code of conduct issued by the ministry. Recently, the ministry announced that tourism businesses had to

  • Mull ASEAN border opening, PM urges

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that ASEAN launch a scenario for gradually reopening cross-border travel and trade between countries in the region. He said ASEAN has had more success combating Covid-19 compared to other regions. The prime minister’s request was made at the

  • Ministry reports 11 new Covid-19 cases, reiterates vigilance

    Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng has urged people to continue practising virus prevention techniques after 11 people tested positive for Covid-19 within two days after arriving in the Kingdom. Speaking on Sunday, Bun Heng stressed the importance of washing hands, wearing masks or scarves when

  • Nine on Indonesia flight Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health on Saturday confirmed nine more imported cases of Covid-19. The nine ‒ eight Cambodians and one Indonesian, aged 22 to 26 ‒ arrived in Cambodia on Thursday via a direct flight from Indonesia and are receiving treatment at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hostipal in Phnom Penh.

  • Kingdom’s financial sector healthy

    Cambodia's financial sector remains on a sustainable growth path despite the Covid-19 pandemic squeezing crucial industries, National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) governor Chea Chanto said. Tourism, garments and footwear have borne the brunt of the Covid-19 impact, he said, whereas the financial and agriculture sectors

  • Vietnam told to remove border tents

    Kandal provincial governor Kong Sophoan has ordered local authorities to prohibit the construction of buildings in areas bordering Cambodia and to report any irregularities immediately. Recently, Vietnamese officials removed another seven tents from the border area with Cambodia. His remarks were made on Wednesday afternoon

  • Migrant workers set to return from Malaysia

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation confirmed on Thursday that 158 Cambodian students and migrant workers will fly home from Malaysia on Friday morning. This is the second flight to bring Cambodians home from Malaysia. A ministry notice said Malaysia Airlines Flight MH754 will