The land of heroes
Our heroes
Our land
Cambodia Kingdom

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Ruling parties of China and Cambodia expect closer cooperation


Zhou Yongkang (L, Front), a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and secretary of the CPC Central Commission for Political and Legal Affairs, meets with Chea Sim (R, Front), Chairman of Cambodian People's Party and also President of the Senate of Cambodia, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Aug. 20, 2011. (Xinhua/Liu Weibing)


PHNOM PENH, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- Officials of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Cambodian People's Party (CPP) agreed here to promote inter-party cooperation on Saturday.

At a meeting with Chea Sim, CPP Chairman and also President of the Senate of Cambodia, visiting CPC senior official Zhou Yongkang conveyed best regards from Chinese top legislator Wu Bangguo.

Zhou highly spoke of the CPP's achievement in leading Cambodian people to develop economy, reduce poverty, promote ethnic reconciliation, secure national stability and play an increasingly active role in regional and international affairs.

The CPC is willing to carry out more active inter-party exchanges with the CPP to share experience in state governance and administration, and further upgrade the China-Cambodia comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.

Chea Sim said Cambodia would deepen mutual-beneficial cooperation with China in politics, economy, culture and other areas. He said he believes Zhou's visit will be an opportunity to enhance the Cambodia-China ties and benefit both peoples.

After the meeting, Zhou and Chea Sim attended a signing ceremony of a document on inter-party exchanges between the CPC and CPP.

Zhou, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and also secretary of the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the CPC Central Committee, arrived here on late Friday to pay an official good- will visit at the invitation of the CPP and the Funcinpec Party.

Cambodia is the third leg of Zhou's five-nation Asian tour after Nepal and Laos. He is set to leave Cambodia on Sunday and continue his visit to Tajikistan and Mongolia.

Zhou Yongkang (R, Front), a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and secretary of the CPC Central Commission for Political and Legal Affairs, shakes hands with Chea Sim (L, Front), Chairman of Cambodian People's Party and also President of the Senate of Cambodia, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Aug. 20, 2011. (Xinhua/Liu Weibing)
Zhou Yongkang (L, Front), a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and secretary of the CPC Central Commission for Political and Legal Affairs, and Chea Sim (R, Front), Chairman of Cambodian People's Party (CPP) and also President of the Senate of Cambodia, attend a signing ceremony of a document on inter-party exchanges between the CPC and CPP in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Aug. 20, 2011. (Xinhua/Liu Weibing)
Zhou Yongkang (2nd L, sitting), a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and secretary of the CPC Central Commission for Political and Legal Affairs, and Chea Sim (2nd R, sitting), Chairman of Cambodian People's Party (CPP) and also President of the Senate of Cambodia, attend a signing ceremony of a document on inter-party exchanges between the CPC and CPP in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Aug. 20, 2011. (Xinhua/Liu Weibing).
Read more!

Cambodian maids tell of abuse by their employers

The government says it condemns abuse of maid but has not done anything to review the laws to protect them, say human rights activists.



KUALA LUMPUR: Hok Pov had never been beaten and never known hunger until she came to work in Malaysia in April.

In the six weeks that she worked as a maid for a Malaysian family, she says she lost 10 kilograms while toiling 20 hours a day with little to eat. Often she was slapped and punched by her employer, she says.

“I was so hungry that I even ate chicken bones,” a sobbing Hok Pov, 31, said at the office of Malaysian rights’ group Tenaganita that rescued her in June with the help of police.

“There was always lot of work to do and I had to suffer beatings. Once I was slapped so hard that my tooth fell off. Who can bear this?” Hok Pov said in her first media interview

She is among 41 Cambodian maids rescued this year by the group, highlighting the frequent abuse and exploitation of foreign domestic workers due to inadequate laws .

Concerns of abuse of Cambodian maids came under the public spotlight after a Cambodian maid was found dead last month outside the home where she worked, while another was rescued by Malaysian police after she was allegedly abused and had her head shaved bald by her employer.

According to the embassies of Indonesia and Cambodia — which have supplied the bulk of more than 230,000 foreign maids in Malaysia — about 2,000 women come forward every year with complaints of abuse.

Although that’s a tiny fraction of the total number, rights groups say every instance of abuse shows Malaysia in poor light and emphasizes the government’s uncaring attitude to the problem.

Malaysia’s rising prosperity has meant that fewer locals want to do menial, low-paying jobs. The gap has been filled by foreigners, mostly Indonesians who can be seen on construction sites, palm plantations and in homes as maids.

But a string of high-profile abuse cases, including deaths, led Indonesia to ban its women in 2009 from working in Malaysia. The number of foreign maids fell from 280,000 three years ago to about 230,000 today. Some 50,000 of them are Cambodians, of which 30,000 came this year alone.

Stop sending maids here
The government says it condemns abuse of maid but has not done anything to review the laws to protect them. Malaysian immigration officials in charge of foreign domestic workers couldn’t be reached for comment on the issue, despite repeated attempts to contact them.

Tenaganita director Irene Fernandez said that maids who come from poor countries are all vulnerable to abuse, except for Filipinos who are better protected by their government.

She said abuse is institutionalized here as maids aren’t allowed to retain their passports and get no days off in a week.

“Instead of addressing the root problem of putting an end to abuse, the government is turning to other poor countries vulnerable to abuse to source for maids,” she said.

Tenaganita is urging Cambodia also to stop sending maids to Malaysia until the government puts in place tougher laws, or at least an agreement that protects the maids from abusive employers. Indonesia has negotiated such an agreement and is expected to lift the ban on its maids soon.

To ban or not to ban
Hok Pov, who said her hair was cut short like a boy’s, was promised a monthly salary of RM650 — double her wage as a factory worker in Cambodia. She has not received any money from her employer.

“I just want my salary and get out of here. I don’t ever want to come to Malaysia again,” said Hok Pov, who is married and has an 8-year-old son.

“They are rich, educated and religious people but why don’t they have any compassion for the poor like me? I have no one to turn to. Every night I cried myself to sleep. It was one and a half months in hell,” she said.

Tenaganita official Liva Sreedhana said it was difficult to file criminal charges against Hok Pov’s employer as she has no physical injury or scars to show, and only has her words.

The group is now negotiating with the employer, who is refusing to give Hok Pov any money and is dodging meetings.

Men Chaveasna, who also lives in Tenaganita’s shelter with Hok Pov, completed her two-year work contract last August but never got her wages.

Her Malaysian employer bought her a flight home and ditched her at the airport.

Chaveasna, 30, who came to Malaysia to work to support her farmer parents, won a case in the labour court this year to demand wages totaling RM7,700 owed to her. But her employer appealed to the high court and the case is pending.

“It is better not to work in Malaysia because we may not get paid,” she said. “There are many new factories in Cambodia and I can find jobs back home.”

Cambodian Ambassador Norodom Arunrasmy said that Malaysia is the only country that recruits Cambodian maids, giving the poor a lifeline.

She said the Cambodian government was in the process of drafting a new law to protect its maids, including screening the employer to ensure the girls would be properly housed and not overworked.

“To ban or not to ban would be up to the high decision of my government … but they [the government] also know that our people need work and jobs in order to survive,” Arunrasmy said in an e-mail.
Read more!

Cambodian girl dies from H5N1 infection

Aug 19, 2011 (CIDRAP News) – Cambodia's health ministry has confirmed that a 6-year-old girl died from an H5N1 avian influenza infection, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced today.

The girl, from Kampong Cham province in eastern Cambodia, got sick Aug 7 and was first treated by local healthcare providers, the WHO said. After her condition didn't improve she was admitted to Kantha Bopha Children's Hospital in Phnom Penh on Aug 12, where she died 2 days later.

Her infection and death raise Cambodia's H5N1 toll to 18 cases and 16 deaths, the WHO said.

Cambodia has reported eight H5N1 cases this year, all of them fatal. Though a recent report from German researchers noted that the overall case-fatality rate for the disease has declined over the past 5 years, it has been lethal in Cambodia, which reported its first cases in 2005 and has had only two patients who survived their infections.

Cambodia's latest case raises the world's H5N1 total to 565 cases, which include 331 deaths.

An investigation into the source of the girl's illness suggests that she had been exposed to sick poultry. There were recent reports of poultry die-offs in the girl's village.

National and local response teams are conducting an outbreak investigation, according to the WHO report. So far none of the girl's contacts have tested positive for the H5N1 virus.
Read more!