Re: PM Hun Sen will allow "Miss Cambodia contest" when poverty rate drops below 15% and per capita GDP exceeds $1,500.00
- From: "Chim" <ChimS1@xxxxxxx>
- Date: 5 Sep 2006 15:12:56 -0700
PM Hun Sen Says No to Beauty Pageant
Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday opposes Khmer women's participation
in foreign beauty pageant, saying as long as the poverty level does not
fall below 15%, and people's income does not reach $1,500 per month, he
will not allow it.
Speaking at an informal meeting with people in Svay Rieng province, Hun
Sen says that what he wants is for the people to have enough to eat,
appropriate clothes to wear, adequate houses and forms of
transportation, schools for children, and hospitals for sick people.
Hun Sen says that he does not see why Cambodia has to flaunt her
women's beauty. He says that Cambodia can flaunt her famous Angkor Wat
Cambodia held beauty pageant contests in 1993 and 1995, and none after
Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts' State Secretary, Sisowath Kolachat
supports Mr. Hun Sen's decision, saying when Cambodian young people are
highly educated, and the nation's economy makes progress, then Cambodia
will send her women to compete abroad.
Opposition party's leader Sam Rainsy says he is not surprised by Mr.
Hun Sen's decision, and seems to support it, saying there are other
heritages that can lift Cambodia's name other than a beauty pageant.
Director of Gender and Development for Cambodia, Ms. Ros Sopheap
opposes Mr. Hun Sen's allegations. She says that Cambodian women should
be allowed to participate in international beauty pageant to show their
intellect and beauty.
Cambodia has never participated in any international beauty contest.
Cambodian leader declares ban on beauty contest, calling it ``useless
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) - Cambodia's on-again, off-again beauty
pageant - the Miss Cambodia competition - is a "useless" event that
will not be allowed while the country remains plagued with poverty, the
prime minister said Tuesday.
Prime Minister Hun Sen said "no Miss Cambodia contest will be allowed"
until Cambodia's poverty rate drops below 15 percent and the annual per
capita income exceeds US$1,500 (1,170).
That could take a while for Cambodia, one of the world's poorest
nations. The current per capita income is US$450 (350) a year, and
about 35 percent of the country's 14 million people live below the
poverty line - which Cambodia defines as earning less than 1,826 riel
(US$0.45; 0.35) a day.
Speaking on state-radio during a tour of eastern Cambodia, Hun Sen
called the Miss Cambodia pageant, which was last held in 1995, a
"useless and wasteful" event and said that money would be better spent
on building canals to irrigate peasants' rice fields.
"There are many issues of importance we have to solve to answer the
needs of the people," he said, adding that Angkor Wat, the famed
ancient temple and main tourist attraction, is a sufficient symbol for
The Ministry of Culture last month informed the pageant's organizers
that it would allow the first Miss Cambodia contest in more than a
decade in September - but without a swimsuit competition.
The ministry said contestants must be properly attired at all times "to
preserve Cambodian culture." But soon after, the ministry withdrew its
permission after receiving criticism that the event was in poor taste.
Hun Sen said Tuesday that it was on his order that beauty pageant was
Cambodia is predominantly Buddhist and socially conservative. Women at
the beach generally wear shorts and T-shirts to go swimming.
Miss Cambodia competitions were held in 1993 and 1995, but not in the
intervening year, as the government thought it was a waste of money.
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