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Youths tackle alcohol on social media

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A social media user views a Facebook post showing a group of people drinking alcohol. A group of youths on Monday launched a one-week campaign on social media against posts that advertise alcohol consumption. Hean Rangsey

Youths tackle alcohol on social media

A group of youths on Monday launched a one-week campaign on social media against posts that advertise alcohol consumption, saying they exhibited a lack of dignity and set a bad example for younger generations.

“To preserve your dignity, please don’t post alcoholic drinks on social media when you drink as it equates to teaching children about this vice,” said the post, which received messages of support from other users.

Kung Raiya, the campaign leader, told The Post on Tuesday that it was created following an increase in Facebook users who unknowingly advertise alcohol consumption through their posts.

The campaign, said Raiya, also aimed to urge the relevant ministries, especially the government, to advance its approval of the law on alcohol regulation.

“If the government does not act now,” the post said, “alcoholic drinks will continue to be sold, consumed and advertised widely, which will lower our standards of proper conduct and morality”.

Unlike some countries which have set laws on alcohol regulation, Raiya said the Kingdom has no law to control the distribution of alcoholic drinks, making its consumption rather pervasive.

Eang Phearanh, 27, a participant of the campaign, said anyone can share its messages on their timeline.

“During this campaign, I ask all Facebook users to stop posting alcoholic drinks and join in on the campaign instead. I ask those who consume alcohol to only drink at the point where they still have full control of themselves,” he said.

The approval of the draft Law on Alcohol Regulation, which consists of some 39 articles and 11 chapters, had been delayed at the Ministry of Health although it had already been discussed and approved by inter-ministerial institutions in 2015.

Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine is yet to respond to the ongoing campaign.

But government spokesman Phay Siphan expressed support for it, saying the posting of alcohol consumption on social media has deeply affected society.

He said the Council of Ministers will soon hold a meeting to discuss the draft law although he has not revealed a specific time.

“Drinking alcohol and posting it is inappropriate because Facebook is a public platform that includes impressionable young users.

“More than 80 per cent of traffic accidents have also stemmed from driving under the influence of alcohol. The Ministers of Information, and Commerce said the draft law will soon be forwarded to the Council of Ministers,” said Siphan.

Supreme Council for Consultation and Recommendations member Pich Sros on Tuesday said: “This law had already been integrated with the Ministry of Commerce’s food regulation. But I have yet to receive information on when it will be approved and promulgated.”

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