Siem Reap provincial authorities are shuttering more than 40 internet cafés in Siem Reap district this week after parents repeatedly lodged complaints with authorities that children were wasting time gaming online, authorities said yesterday.
Tith Narong, Siem Reap town police chief, offered no timeline for how long the crackdown would last but noted that police began closing the internet cafés on Monday.
“We have received many complaints from the parents of children because many of these [internet] shops have online gaming [programs] that children get really absorbed in,” Narong said, adding that constant computer games were distracting youth from studying, according to their parents.
Narong told the Post yesterday that a committee of provincial authorities was created to investigate shops blamed for stirring up all the parental angst, but could not remember exactly when the committee was formed.
Siem Reap Deputy Governor So Platong confirmed that any shop owners intending to ignore the crackdown by continuing to offer online gaming would be disciplined.
“[Shop owners] have to ask our permission to [reopen] and we will make sure they no longer provide online game services in their shops,” Platong said.
At Asia Net, an internet shop in Siem Reap district, an employee who was not authorised to speak to the press told the Post that she was yet to hear about the crackdown.
“I don’t know about this matter. My shop just has normal internet service where my customers can check their email. I have no idea why they would want to close us.”