Government’s Microfinance Call Message to End Today

After almost a month, a state-mandated audio message about microfinance that has been the standard calling tone for mobile phone users nationwide will end today, according to Telecommunication Regulator Cambodia spokesman Im Vutha.

The message was part of the government’s wider campaign to inform the public that microfinance institutions are privately owned, not state-run.

“On [March] 20, we will inform [mobile phone operators] and tell them to make it stop,” starting tomorrow, Mr. Vutha said on Sunday.

All operators had already been informed via email and would receive a formal letter today, he added.

“We think that running the announcement for this period of time is enough,” he said.

Prime Minister Hun Sen last month announced a “whole year” campaign to stop the public from being misled by politicians claiming they would cancel private debts if elected.

He urged media outlets and mobile phone companies to help spread the government’s message.

Information Minister Khieu Kanharith said earlier this month that the message was getting old fast, however, and suggested the broken-record approach be phased out fairly quickly.

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