Cambodia: Ministry outlaws obscene songs

15 April 2009
The Cambodian Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has outlawed all songs with ‘rude or obscene meanings’. According to the minister of women’s affairs, Ing Kantha Phavi, it could ‘help to reduce the number of rapes and other sex crimes in the Kingdom.’

In an interview with Phnom Penh Post, she said that a cross-ministerial committee had been set up to look at songs and videos to encourage traditional cultural values and the promotion of women.

The ban has been supported by the president of the Khmer Arts Association, Ieng Sithul, who is quoted to say that he encouraged singers and artists to compose songs by using polite language:

“Even though they are good at expressing their feelings to their audiences, they must consider the words they use in order to avoid denigrating our culture.”

According to the article, written by Sam Rith, under the country’s latest ban, all music vendors, artists, singers, comedians, pop musicians and band members must cease selling, producing, playing or singing any songs that could seriously damage the country’s traditions, customs, culture or honour. The ban also applies to business people who lease loudspeakers through which music is played.



Phnom Penh Post – 18 March 2009:

Ministry bans ‘obscene’ songs to save traditions

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