I write on behalf of the many expats I have spoken with living in Siem Reap. It was with complete outrage that we read the article written by Peter Olszewski in The Phnom Penh Post’s 7DAYS magazine on January 28.
The piece paints all Westerners who ride large motorbikes as dangerous riders, driving at excessive speeds, we have no respect for Cambodian people or their culture and we do this as we are rich and can do anything we want.
This is a total insult to all of us that have created businesses in Siem Reap, creating much-needed income and jobs for Cambodians. It is even more insulting to people like myself who work for NGOs for no fee. To be told we have no respect for Cambodians or the culture is absurd.
I would like it noted that, yes, there are a few noisy dirt bikes, but they are a small percentage, not all driven by Westerners. It is also worthy of note that all of us have been riding bikes in our own countries, often for many years and therefore have to take a very stringent test to gain driving licences. Do we ride larger bikes because we are rich? No. It is due to the fact that many of us, as NGO representatives, have to ride some distance to work, often miles outside Siem Reap. Others uses include collecting provisions for their guest houses, bars or restaurants.
The ridiculous bias of this article shows no respect for Westerners. Imagine if I was to issue the same article replacing the word Westerners with Cambodians. You can only imagine how insulted they would be and understandably so.
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