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“Big Sister” Bun Rany gets the upper hand in deciding what songs Cambodians can or can’t listen to

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Sam Heang 

Cambodia bans songs deemed to incite marital infidelity

Thu, 28 Feb 2008

Phnom Penh – The titles of the three songs banned from public broadcast for inciting infidelity say it all, according to Cambodian government and cultural officials, local media reported Thursday. The offending songs:

  • If I Can’t Be First Can I Be Second?,
  • Love Another’s Husband and
  • May I Have a Piece of Your Heart Too?

have been banished from the nation’s thousands of karaoke restaurants, Khmer-language Koh Santepheap reported.

We are searching for other songs which affect people’s honour, especially that of women,” the paper quoted Phnom Penh governor Kep Chuktema as saying.

The three songs are all written to be sung by women, but pop music analysts said Thursday they are relatively obscure tunes.

The ban is a further step by the government to crack down on unfaithfulness and “uphold cultural values.”

Cambodia passed a controversial monogamy law in September 2006 which would see adulterers punished by up to 250 dollars in fines and a year in jail, though only one case has so far gone to court.

Although an outwardly conservative culture, the practice of keeping second wives, or mistresses, remains common, and many karaoke girls seek out “sweethearts” to supplement their earnings.

People can still play the songs in private – this is only a public ban,” one official said on condition of anonymity. “I don’t think music has much to do with it, but it’s an official request.”


Written by Kolbot Khmer

February 29, 2008 at 3:35 pm

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