Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - TV must show traditional, not just modern songs: PM

TV must show traditional, not just modern songs: PM

TV must show traditional, not just modern songs: PM


Hun Sen's comments aim to preserve traditional Cambodian culture; TV stations say they will comply with his suggestions.

Photo by: Sovann Philong

Traditional Cambodian dance is filmed at a performance. The PM has called for TV stations to focus more on traditional arts. 

TV stations across the country are looking to modify their entertainment output to include traditional songs following Prime Minister Hun Sen's recent comments on what he felt was a neglected genre among the youth.

Hun Sen on Friday urged TV stations to set up talent contests for young people that would include assessing how well they could perform traditional songs.

"I want to ask all TV stations - aside from having the modern song contests - is it possible to create a traditional song contest?" he asked in a speech ahead of the 99th Anniversary of International Women's Day. "This should be done.... Now the younger generation thinks it is easier to sing [modern songs]."

Hun Sen said he was not looking to force TV stations immediately to follow his suggestion - this was simply "a recommendation to promote our culture".

"If you really want to preserve tradition, you should include both subjects at the same time for each contestant: modern and classical," he advised, adding that it was up to the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Information to promote traditional songs through television.

Ministry in support

Khim Sarith, a secretary of state at the Culture Ministry, said he supported the prime minister's idea and would be happy to provide experts in traditional singing to assist the contestants.

"We always support television stations," he said. "Whenever they ask us for teachers, we always send them along to help with scoring contestants."

Khim Sarith added that the Ministry of Information was responsible for questions of content of TV programs but pointed out that his ministry held events each year to promote the country's traditional cultures such as a national traditional dance festival.

Reth Chetra, deputy director general of Bayon TV, which is run by Hun Sen's daughter Hun Mana, said the station would definitely follow the prime minister's recommendation when putting together its next talent contest.

"I consider the PM's suggestion to be a good idea to help promote and preserve our culture and tradition," he said. "We can see these days that young people generally don't like classical music, but if next time they want to enter a song contest, then they will need to know classical songs."

Reth Chetra said Bayon TV was a leader in promoting traditional Khmer culture and already had a number of programs of that type.

Another large TV station, the Cambodian Television Network (CTN), is about to start its own talent search program. Yok Chinda, a senior producer at CTN, said by phone Monday that the company's employees would soon meet to discuss how best to set up the program.

Yok Chinda said the producers at her station had not yet decided how to implement a contest for traditional songs along with a modern song contest, but she applauded Hun Sen's comments. "We must do that. This will test the abilities of contestants to sing our country's traditional songs."


  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • Sam Rainsy, government group set to clash at IPU Geneva meet?

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy has been invited to speak at the General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva, according to a former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmaker. A government delegation is also set to attend the meeting, a National Assembly press release