Hammered by years of debt, drought and desperation, Cambodia’s smallholder farmers have long supported themselves by sending family to work in Phnom Penh factories. But the pandemic has upended the arrangement, forcing unemployed workers back to failing farms.
There were two sides to Kem Ley, the beloved Cambodian activist who was murdered five years ago: the calm, insightful public intellectual, and the hyperbolic nationalist who wanted to rid Cambodia of “illegal Vietnamese immigrants”, writes Tim Frewer.
On the front lines of Cambodia’s fight against COVID-19, the five-man team responsible for disposing of all of Phnom Penh’s medical waste says they are poorly equipped, uninsured and at risk of infection, but few recognise the challenges they face.
Cambodian Muslims in Phnom Penh say they are experiencing a drop in customers frequenting their businesses and other discrimination after a number of reported infections within their community were linked to a religious gathering in Malaysia.
An estimated 3,000 tonnes of waste is produced per day in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh alone. Lacking adequate structures to deal with the problem, most of the work being put into recycling is still being done by informal street pickers.
This week in Southeast Asia: a broad anti-fake news bill is proposed in Singapore, the leader of the Future Forward Party is slapped with charges in Thailand, and an inquiry in Malaysia concludes that the police were responsible for the disappearance of two activists.
This week, Adam Bemma speaks to the wife of a community worker disappeared in Laos six years ago, Mark Tilly talks to architects about the development and urbanisation of the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, Calum Stuart interviews Edmund Bon on the likelihood of Malaysia legalising medical marijuana and Aisyah Llewellyn looks at why it’s so difficult to sort out Indonesia’s violent football culture.
Despite the latest push by Cambodia to send its domestic workers abroad, labour rights advocates say the women being shipped off to countries notorious for abusing migrant workers still aren’t adequately protected.
For about a decade in Cambodia, learning English was a risky undertaking.
Wealth, hope and heartbreak take shape on Phnom Penh’s Diamond Island, a cautionary tale for the city and the country.