Man about town: 12 September 2014

Man about town: 12 September 2014

Nowadays almost anybody can find out almost anything by a quick visit to Google and other online sources, and this has led to the prevailing common wisdom in some quarters that the computer age is breeding a society of know-all know -nothings.

This has certainly been borne out by the plethora of alleged debate online about the work permits that expats working in the Kingdom now have to acquire.

Social networks have been humming with information about this issue and it’s astounding how much of that information is in fact misinformation, some of it so wildly off the mark that it’s ludicrous.

The simple facts are that the need for work permits for expats has been on the government books since at least 1996, and indeed the need for work permits has been published in several English language sources such as B2B magazine et al.

And yes, another fact is that for whatever reason it hasn’t been overly enforced by authorities.

The next fact is that it is now being enforced, quite rigorously in some parts of town and there’s no avoiding the obligation.

A very much disliked fact is that the $100 permit fee is backdated to when people first started working here, so some people have to fork over several hundred bucks.

There have been claims online by persons declaring that they were informed by the French Embassy and/or the British Embassy that the government can’t enforce backdating.

Well the news is that the government can and is doing so, and it seems unlikely that the foreign embassies in question are ruling on Cambodian regulation in the manner suggested by onliners.

Many expats say that they should not have to pay backdated fees because the government was slack in enforcing the permits.

Conversely government officials say that expats were lax in determining their obligations and should have applied for work permits since day one.

Other people say that the fees are simply a corrupt dodge by authorities who pocket the permit fee money.

That’s also incorrect because the Ministry of Labor, which issues the permits, also issues receipts for the amounts paid.

The reality is working expats must have work permits and the best place to find out all about this is the Ministry of Labor, not what some dimwit know-alls allege online or on Facebook.

Get real and get the real facts.

The fact that Siem Reap and outlying provinces cannot produce enough fresh vegetables to meet the need of the Siem Reap hospitality market was addressed late last month by Chov Elen, a lecturer and researcher at the University of Battambang.

During the sixth annual International Conference on Science, Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Well Being held in Siem Reap from August 28-30 she delivered a paper titled, “Assessment of Local Vegetables in Tourists’ Consumption: Case Study in Siem Reap District.”

She stated that local producers had the potential to supply Siem Reap but haven’t managed to do so, and hence were unable to compete with vegetable imports from neighbouring countries, especially Vietnam.

But she added that a research team will be working to define obstacles and provide solutions to boosting the supply of vegetables into the Siem Reap market.

UK expats hanging out for goodies from Brit department store Marks & Spencer will now be able to get their shopping fix via an online service. Reporter Nicky Sullivan says this is “good news for those whose store of sensible knickers is running low.”

One Brit has already received her goodies, five working days after placing her order online. The goods came via DHL and the delivery charge was $25.


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