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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Hospitality Technology Solutions Provider FCS Announces Partnership With Quoc Khoa Networks In Cambodia

Deal gives Cambodia hoteliers easy access to world’s leading hotel technology suite

Cambodia (WiredPRNews.com) FCS, a leading global provider of comprehensive hospitality technology solutions, announces an official partnership with Quoc Khoa Networks Limited, a new Value Business Partner in Cambodia. Quoc Koa focuses on the hospitality industry and, through the new agreement, will now offer the full suite of FCS solutions to international hotel chains and local properties in the Cambodian market.

In recent years, tourism has been the second largest source of foreign currency for Cambodia. During the first eight months of 2011, international tourist arrivals to Cambodia recorded an increase of 15% compared to the same period in 2010. Meanwhile, domestic tourism has also increased remarkably. The new partnership between Quoc Khoa Networks and FCS will strengthen the positions of both companies as providers of leading world-class hospitality solutions that are designed to help area hoteliers cope with this tremendous growth.

“The partnership with Quoc Khoa Networks enables FCS to expand our business horizons in the region, as part of our global strategy to provide the best hospitality solutions that enhance guest experiences while maximizing hotel operations and productivity,” says Theekha Leelaadison, FCS’ country manager for Cambodia. “Together with Quoc Khoa Networks, we will continue to provide innovative user experiences for hotel guests, ensuring that FCS solutions are an integral part of all hotel environments while addressing the significant growth of Cambodia’s hospitality market.”

Partnering with FCS, the world’s foremost provider of hotel technology products and services, is a major milestone for Quoc Khoa and goes a long way toward achieving its target position as the preferred one-stop-shop for any IT and telecommunications needs of Cambodia’s business community.

“We are proud to be working with FCS to jointly develop the hospitality market,” says Bui Duy Quoc Thang, general manager of Quoc Khoa Networks. “We believe that the revenue generated from FCS solutions will contribute 25% to this goal for our company. In addition, we are committed to enhancing guest satisfaction with guaranteed quality of service via FCS’ innovative and reliable hospitality products.”

For more information on the comprehensive FCS suite of hospitality technology product solutions, please visit www.fcscs.com.

About FCS Computer Systems | FCS Computer Systems (FCS), founded in 1982, is a comprehensive hospitality solutions provider with presence in more than 20 countries worldwide. With nearly three decades of experience, FCS has provided extensive solutions to more than 4,000 hotels with over 6,000 installations in 32 countries. FCS leads the way in hospitality expertise with a complete suite of innovative solutions and services. These hospitality solutions include: universal billing systems for multi-services and multi-property management; universal interfaces to industry leading PMS and PABX systems for guest information; enhanced voice mail system for guests and staff; sophisticated call center management solutions for guest service request and inter-department work order management, enhanced preventive maintenance and ad-hoc engineering systems, guest self-service portals via smart phone devices (such as iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry), and IP phone display applications, among others. FCS solutions also support over 30 mobility interfaces for distributing information through a wide variety of handheld devices and printers. For more information, please visit www.fcscs.com.

About Quoc Khoa Networks Limited | Quoc Khoa Networks is a subsidiary of Asia Net Group, specializing in IT and telecommunications systems and solutions. It has seven years of experience in supply and maintenance for telecom products and services, including voice and data. Quoc Khoa Networks is one of the top 10 companies in Cambodia and is widely recognized by hotel and resort guests. For more information, please visit www.quockhoanetworks.com.
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Job agencies complicit in Malaysian abuse of Cambodian maids

Beaten and robbed … Orn Eak has returned to her village home and her five-year-old son but is still scarred by her mistreatment in Kuala Lumpur and Phnom Penh. Photo: Lindsay Murdoch



Beaten, starved and treated as a slave in a Kuala Lumpur apartment, Cambodian maid Orn Eak says a one-metre snake ended her almost two-year nightmare in Malaysia.

''When the snake crawled into my employer's apartment she blamed me and kicked me out,'' says Orn Eak, 28, one of thousands of Cambodian domestic workers who have been exploited and abused in Malaysia, some of them girls as young as 13. ''I got the blame for everything, including the death of my employer's elderly mother.''

Orn Eak's body is covered in scars from beatings by a Kuala Lumpur woman aged in her 30s who employed her through a Cambodian employment agency in early 2010.

Orn Eak, who is single, with a five-year-old son, says she joined 30,000 other young Cambodian women and girls working as maids in Malaysia because her mother was struggling to survive in their village in Cambodia's Kompong Thom province, where she lives in a bamboo hut with a dirt floor and leaking roof.

In Kuala Lumpur, Orn Eak had no days off and worked from dawn into the early hours of the next morning caring for her employer's disabled mother, who was in her 70s.

Orn Eak claims the old woman once kicked her in the head after she had delayed changing her clothes while she briefly went to the toilet. Orn Eak says her employer did not speak a word to her for months.

She says she was frequently beaten and scratched and was often hungry, surviving with food she bought with money two members of her employer's family gave her for Chinese New Year.

Nine Cambodian domestic workers died in Malaysia in 2011, according to human rights and non-government organisations.

Choy Pich, 19, was reportedly beaten by her employer and dumped outside his house. She died of pneumonia.

A Malaysian opposition MP, Charles Santiago, has accused the government in Kuala Lumpur and police of ''totally disrespecting'' Malaysian laws by conducting, at best, only cursory investigations into the deaths.

Human Rights Watch, which has interviewed 80 Cambodian maids, their families and government officials, says common abuses include excessive work hours with no rest days, lack of food and irregular or non-payment of salaries, which are as low as $US133 a month.

Usually the maids' passports are taken away from them.

Many have reported sexual abuse, restrictions of movements and bans on contact with other maids.

Last October, after reports in the Cambodian media about the mistreatment of women and girls as young as 13 in Malaysia, the Cambodian government announced a ban on sending maids to the country.

But unscrupulous recruitment agencies have ignored the ban, human rights and non-government organisations say.

Orn Eak's mistreatment worsened after her employer's mother died in hospital.

''My employer said I was not doing a good job and as punishment she only allowed me to eat one packet of dried noodles a day for six weeks,'' she says. ''I felt homesick … I missed my son and mother very much but I knew I had to keep working for them.''

But Ee Tha, 55, says she received only two payments over almost two years from her daughter's Malaysian employer totalling $US270.

The employer deducted Orn Eak's flight home from her salary, which was supposed to be $US180 a month.

When Orn Eak arrived back in Phnom Penh in November, a woman picked her up at the airport and took her to the employment agency's compound.

''I told the story about the snake to a director of the company … she told me to sit in a chair,'' Orn Eak says. ''Five men came into the room and beat me … they pushed my head into a glass door and kicked me on the ground.''

Ee Tha received a message to come to Phnom Penh to take her daughter home.

''When I saw that my daughter's face and body were cut and bruised my heart dropped to the floor,'' Ee Tha says.

''I said to her, 'I'm your mother', but she did not recognise me … I burst into tears,'' Ee Tha says.

After Ee Tha refused to leave the employment agency's office with her daughter until she was given the money she was owed, an agency director finally handed over $US1200 - meaning Orn Eak earned only $1470 for almost two years' work, half what she had been promised.

Orn Eak has suffered depression and other undiagnosed illnesses since she returned to live in the village.

Social workers have verified her claims of abuse through medical and other checks.

''I have gone to the temple every day and prayed and prayed that my daughter would be OK after all this but she still has not recovered,'' Ee Tha says.

The government in Phnom Penh has been strongly pushing migrant work abroad as a strategy to increase foreign remittances, cope with unemployment and alleviate poverty.

But Human Rights Watch says the government has abdicated responsibilities for safeguarding migrants to private employment agencies, some of which are reportedly owned by, or affiliated with, government officials.

The demand for Cambodian maids in Malaysia has sharply increased since 2009 when the Indonesian government responded to several high-profile abuse cases by imposing a moratorium on its citizens working as maids there.

The ban was lifted on December 1 after an agreement under which Indonesian maids would do 200 hours of training before coming to Malaysia.

Indonesians will also be able to keep their passports and will be given a weekly day off.

But there are no safeguards for the abuse or exploitation of Cambodian maids.
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Indonesian Observer Team Will Head to Cambodia-Thai Border

In the wake of recent developments related to the border dispute between Cambodia and Thailand, Foreign Affairs Minister Marty Natalegawa said on Monday that Indonesia would continue the long-delayed plan to send an Indonesian observer team to the border.

“I can confirm this thanks to the positive outcome of discussions between the Thai and Cambodian governments,” Marty told the Jakarta Globe.

“Both countries reaffirmed their wish to have an Indonesian observer team in the 4.6-square kilometer provisional demilitarized zone as a follow up to the International Court of Justice ruling,” he added, referring to the disputed area surrounding the centuries-old Preah Vihear temple, to which both countries have claims.

The International Court of Justice defined in its July verdict a provisional demilitarized zone from which both countries must withdraw military personnel.

Marty said that Indonesia, Thailand and Cambodia would try to update the terms of references on Indonesian observer team’s deployment “to reflect the latest development.”

“One possibility is that the Indonesian observer team will work jointly with the Thai and Cambodian teams in carrying out their mission. The team will have a new task to ensure compliance in observing the provisional demilitarized zone,” he said, adding that Thailand and Cambodia had agreed to set up a joint working group to further cooperation.

In the previously agreed terms of references, Indonesia would send two teams on both sides of the border, each with 15 unarmed observers to ensure the cease fire is maintained, but the plan has been dormant since.

“Both Thailand and Cambodia expect that Indonesia continues its role [in the dispute] even after Indonesia’s chairmanship of Asean [concludes],” Marty said.

Indonesia held the rotating chairmanship of Asean last year when the dispute was escalating, and with UN backing, it acted as mediator to the two countries. Cambodia now holds the 2012 chairmanship of the 10-member states regional bloc.

The plan to send Indonesian military observer teams resurfaced at a news conference on Monday, when Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro revealed it after a meeting with the ministry’s top officials and brass.

“We will send our soldiers to the border of Thailand and Cambodia. Our troops have been trained and they will be stationed on certain points,” Purnomo said, referring to the training programs at the newly established Indonesian Peace and Security Center in Sentul, West Java, where Indonesian soldiers are trained prior to joining UN peacekeeping forces.

Armed Forces Chief of Staff Adm. Agus Suhartono added that the country’s military observer team was ready for deployment as soon as the terms of references were updated. “We will see if the previously agreed 30 personnel for two teams will still be enough or we will need to figure out a new number,” Agus said.

“In principle, the Indonesian team will only be present as observer if we were asked and endorsed by the two countries in dispute,” he added.
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Cambodia sticks to DOC on S China Sea dispute

As the chairman of ASEAN this year, Cambodia vowed to safeguard the Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) and the guidelines of implementing the DOC, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Tea Banh said on Tuesday.

"We are all aware of the DOC that was signed in Phnom Penh between ASEAN and China at that time Cambodia was ASEAN chairman in 2002," he said in a forum on Cambodia's roles in promoting security cooperation in the name of the host of ASEAN Defense Ministers' meeting and other meetings in 2012.

"Now, it is the 10-year anniversary of the DOC," he told about 100 participants who are foreign diplomats and military attach of ASEAN countries and dialogue partner countries.

"We must safeguard the DOC achieved in Phnom Penh and achievement made in Indonesia in July, 2011 that created guidelines and implementation principles for the DOC," he said.

The minister said that Cambodia would urge for cooperation from all ASEAN members and China in order to achieve the draft Code of Conduct (COC) in 2012 in the spirit of cooperation and friendship.

"As ASEAN chair, Cambodia has a clear principle: minimize dispute and increase cooperation towards establishment of ASEAN Political-Security Community by 2015," he said.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
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