As a visitor to Cambodia, I wish to say how I have enjoyed my stay. This is a wonderful country with hardworking, friendly and honest people. I suggest some reforms which would help:
1. Every child should go to school.
2. No child should leave school without being able to read, write, count and know something of Cambodian history and religion.
3. Every child, on leaving school, should learn some trade or skill.
4. No child should be living on the streets. Children should live with their parents or adoptive parents.
5. There should be big penalties for foreigners who mistreat Cambodian children.
6. If a foreign company wants to set up a factory or business, every help should be given. This means jobs for Cambodians.
7. Every effort should be made to encourage businesses, local or foreign, which will employ and provide skills to young Cambodians.
8. Useless paperwork should be abolished.
9. Traffic should stick to its correct side of the road. There are too many accidents. The police should enforce simple road rules.
10. No one should leave rubbish around. There should be regular rubbish collections.
11. Around the temples at Angkor Wat, tourists should be allowed to look without being plagued by sellers.
12. Trees should be cut down only where there is provision for replanting. Strong penalties should be imposed on those who do not obey.
13. There should be severe penalties for corrupt government officials. Proceeds of corruption should be confiscated. No one should be above the
law in this regard.
14. Businesses catering to tourists should be subject to regular health inspections.
15. The aim should be to provide every Cambodian home with electricity, running water and drainage within five years. This will greatly increase life expectancy and reduce infant mortality.
16. Farmers, fishermen and small businesses should be provided with small loans to enable buying of equipment to improve productivity.
17. The Khmer Rouge Tribunal should finish its work quickly before the defendants die. Further persons should be charged.
18. The Khmer Rouge should be recognised for what it was – an ignorant ideology which disregarded the good of individual Cambodians.
19. Judges should stay out of politics – and the courts should make quick and fair decisions.
20. The prisons and places of killing by the Khmer Rouge should be looked after well as a reminder of the truth – many many people were killed or starved.
21. A big effort should be made to destroy land mines and unexploded bombs in populated areas.
An example for Cambodia to follow is Singapore, which was a poor country after the Second World War but has become rich as a result of honest government seeking the good of all the people.
Send letters to: [email protected] or PO?Box 146, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The Post reserves the right to edit letters to a shorter length.
The views expressed above are solely the author’s and do not reflect any positions taken by The Phnom Penh Post.