The Minister of Information put out a statement on Monday ordering a ban on the broadcasting of karaoke songs, movies and videos that portray alcohol in a positive light.
Information Minister Khieu Kanharith ordered radio and television stations, and production companies to stop showing content that depicts a main character drinking alcohol as a way to solve their problems or eliminate their concerns.
“In the case that the owner of a radio and television stations, or any production company does not adhere to the notice, the Ministry of Information will not allow broadcast such songs or movies in the media,” Kanharith said, adding that showing such images has a negative impact on Cambodia society, particularly on youth.
“In order to avoid negative impacts, the Ministry of Information would like to instruct the owners of radio and TV stations and owners of production companies that create songs, movies and videos with main characters that have mental problems, to please show proper solutions or mental education or meditation as means to solve the problem rather than using alcohol to solve concerns,” Kanharith said.
Meas Sok Rathanak, who manages the company Town Production, said in the past his company had produced content that showed the use of alcohol as a problem-solver and that the company would be complying with the Ministry of Information’s new instructions.
“We used to do it because it is a normal thing for people . . . because our performances show reality. Some people who have concerns do exercise or hang out while other broken hearts drink alcohol . . . It is unavoidable,” Rathanak said. “Even past generations drank alcohol to solve sadness . . . but when the ministry gives instructions like this, we will follow it.”