Author Archives: Steven Lee

Restaurant review – Il Forno

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It’s disappointing when you go into a restaurant expecting to love it, and come away underwhelmed. That’s exactly what happened when I took two loved ones to Il Forno recently. Everything about the place, a relatively new upscale contemporary Italian…

Posted in Expat Life, Food, Phnom Penh, Restaurant Reviews, Reviews, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , ,

Fugitive Dutch paedophile Pieter Ceulen believed to be in Siem Reap

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A convicted Dutch paedophile and former banker, Pieter Ceulen, 60, is believed to be in Siem Reap after fleeing Europe this week, just two days before an Antwerp court handed him long prison sentence for child sex crimes. According to…

Posted in News |

Charlie Chaplin’s Cambodia

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Charlie and Paulette were big news, the reporters descended, and Charlie entertained them “with much courtesy and charm” in the hotel bar (presumably the Elephant Bar). Phnom Penh, he said, was charming, the palaces and pagodas delightful, the Cambodian houses picturesque. He felt he had to question whether French Colonial villas (the ones the Europeans lived in) were perhaps a little suburban and uncomfortable, but the wide boulevards, built over newly-reclaimed canals, were the equal of those in Paris. Asked if he might consider making a movie in Cambodia, he didn’t rule it out, but also didn’t see it happening in the immediate future. He would, however, undertake to publicise Indochina as a tourist destination on his return home. Continue reading

Posted in Analysis, cambodia culture, Commentary, history, Siem Reap, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , ,

Singlets, Sok Bun, Sam Rainsy and the case of the missing PhD: 2015 – a year in review

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As 2015 draws to a close, it is a good moment to take a step back and look at some of the highlights – and lowlights – of the last twelve months on Khmer440, and beyond. It’s been a helluva…

Posted in Analysis, history, News, Reviews, Uncategorized | Tagged , , ,

Plagiarism, phonyism and buffoonery at the Khmer Times: Part 2 – The fake letters to the editor

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The Khmer Times fabricated these letters in an apparent campaign to manipulate public opinion, by deceiving its readers about what other members of the community were really saying about Cambodia’s most important political issues of the day. This scheme demonstrated a blatant disregard for journalistic ethics, which are based on telling readers the truth about what is happening around them, rather than trying to hoodwink them. The fact that Mr. Mohan actually thought his clumsy campaign of deceit would work is a profound insult to the intelligence of the Khmer Times’ readers. Continue reading

Posted in Analysis, cambodia culture, Commentary, Expat Life, News, Phnom Penh, Reviews, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , ,

Plagiarism, Phonyism and Buffoonery at the Khmer Times: Part 1 – The Editorial Columns

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Mr. Mohan took an easier but even more deceitful path. He repeatedly stole knock off content from Malaysian newspapers about things happening there, figuring that no one in Cambodia was looking. Then he wrapped this counterfeit content up for his Khmer Times readers by occasionally changing a few of the names, and sold it to them as genuine content and commentary concerning the CPP, CNRP, and political events in Cambodia. Continue reading

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King Norodom’s Head – a book review

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I want to make one thing perfectly clear: under no circumstances will I mention Cholon Duck. Never. I know why you’re reading this, and I’m not going to give you the satisfaction. You’ll get not a word about Cholon Duck…

Posted in Book review, cambodia culture, history, Khmer Rouge, khmer superstition, Phnom Penh, Reviews | Tagged , , , , ,

The Mekong Mutilator, part deux

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Me and Strange Dave got bored one day in Battambang, bought a telescopic rod and some tackle, a bag of mealworms as bait and got permission to fish in a small pond where huge fish could be seen basking on the surface. After hours of chain smoking and drinking warm cans we had nada, not even a nibble, when along came the Khmer crocodile lady and scooped up a respectably dinner sized specimen with her hands. With her fucking hands! Continue reading

Posted in cambodia culture, Expat Life, khmer superstition, provinces, village life | Tagged , , , , ,

The Muslim Cham in Cambodia

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Would the Cham become more assertive or even more extremist if their population were larger? It is perhaps a moot point when discussing a minority group representing just over 1% of the national population, a demographic reality not likely to change anytime soon. For the moment, Cambodia looks like a beacon of religious tolerance and freedom, the nation’s xenophobia and exophthalmic rage aimed more in the direction of the local Vietnamese community. Continue reading

Posted in Analysis, cambodia culture, Commentary, religion | Tagged , , , , ,

The Executioners

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Here is the big question: how and why did a Buddhist nation produce one of the 20th century’s worst genocides, and one which is marked by so many horrific instances of cruelty and savage violence? A whole chapter in my…

Posted in Analysis, cambodia culture, Commentary, Khmer Rouge, khmer superstition, politics | Tagged , , , ,