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Predictions dire for the 'Pig'

Predictions dire for the 'Pig'

Amid a weekend of mad partying and New Year's jubilation, the Year of the Dog was

succeeded by the Year of the Pig, which squealed into the lives of Cambodians at

around 12:48 pm on April 14.

The pig is believed to be modest, clever and patient - a character who refrains from

creating problems. But the Kingdom's top astrological expert believes the coming

year, ruled by heavenly Goddess Mohorterak Devi, who arrives astride the pig, will

be one Cambodians may choose to forget.

In fact, the twelfth animal in the Khmer lunar cycle brought with it dire predictions

of a year full of uncertainty, catastrophe and caution, astrologers told the Post.

In his recently published book of predictions "Maha Sangkran, Year of the Pig,"

Im Porint, chief astrologer at the protocol department of the Royal Palace, predicted

many devastating events for the Khmer year of 2551.

"According to my predictions, the situation this year will be worse than last

year," said Porint.

He spoke of war, drought, torrential rains and flooding. He also predicted a huge

disaster in the "middle of the city and the middle of the country" that

would leave thousands of people and animals sick, dying or dead. Bandits would cause

serious trouble, and disease would sweep the country, Porint told the Post April

18.

According to the Royal Astrologer, rice crops would be destroyed by rats, insects,

and terrible weather conditions and "crocodiles" would kill hundreds of

people. He said King Norodom Sihamoni would become angry this year over an influx

of foreigners into the country. He said sadness would continue until the end of the

year.

Porint's only positive prediction for the Year of the Pig was that the wives of high-ranking

officials would be generally content, and women serving the King would bring him

prosperity.

Porint, who has worked as Royal Palace Astrologer since 2003, said that astrological

predictions had become increasingly important to Cambodian culture.

"I think that people have a very strong belief in astrology. When I started

in 1998, I printed 2,000 copies of my book. In 2006 I printed 15,000, and this year

20,000," he said.

Porint admitted that his predictions were not always 100 percent correct. But he

maintains strong faith in his ability and said his prediction skills were passed

down from his father.

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