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Man About Town 27-08-2010

Man About Town 27-08-2010



Bakong Technical College gets construction approval

THE massive Bakong Technical College project to be built in Siem Reap has finally received approval from Apsara for some of its construction.
Meanwhile, the project’s founder, US-based Ronnie Yimsut, is celebrating the 55th anniversary of Voice of America Khmer radio for a special reason.

The radio service’s legendary Madam Ang Khen, one of the first staff to sign on back in the US in 1962, returned briefly to the airwaves this month.
This especially delighted Ronnie because Madam Ang Khen is his foster mum.

He told me, “She was a ‘foster mum’ who sponsored and adopted an orphan named ‘Yimsut Ranachith’ to America in 1978, to whom she gave a new name of ‘Ronnie’ to help facilitate easier name calling by Americans. Her step-mum (Aunt Seng Chan) and my mother (Seng Chem) are sisters. Her dad, the late Uncle Ang Khiev, was a well-known scholar, one of my childhood idols.”

The Erich Bader saga
The arrest last Thursday of Erich Bader, proprietor of the Prince Mekong Villa guesthouse, on alleged child sex charges is the subject of lurid local gossip.

Bader is the second Swiss-national hotel boss to be charged with such offences.

Rudolph Knuchel, a former general manger of the Grand Hotel (before it became affiliated with Raffles) was convicted of similar offences in April this year and jailed for two years, with one year suspended.

Regarding Erich Bader however, a trip through Google’s memory lane elicits a fascinating story. Some ex-guest bloggers describe him as a colourful character but most outline Fawlty Towers-type stories of conflict and aggro, mostly over room bills.

The Google stories are hilarious but, sadly, far too defamatory to describe here.

Lighting the way
The Korea International Cooperation Agency, together with Apsara and Asiana Airlines, held an inauguration ceremony in Siem Reap on August 19 to celebrate the installation of solar street lights.

The lights, designed as saeg-dong trees, a type of tree found in Korea, consume only solar energy.

To date, 16 solar streetlights have been installed around Siem Reap at a cost of US$83,000. During the ceremony, a memorandum of understanding was signed to install up to 50 solar streetlights within five years, with an average of five to seven lights per year.

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