“And Miss Cambodia for the year 2000 is…nobody!”
That’s the word from the Ministry of Culture, which blames the nation’s flood problems for the postponement of the Miss Cambodia pageant until Feb 17.
But equally to blame may be the ongoing disagreement between government officials and television executives over the amount of so-called “Thai culture” contained in entertainment shows.
TV3 was supposed to sponsor the pageant, but Hong Soth, director of the art department for the Ministry of Culture, makes it clear he is not thrilled with TV3.
He says he sees “hundreds of mistakes” made by actors and actresses in the concerts shown Saturday and Sunday on TV3.
“TV3 and TV5 are both owned by Thai businessmen, so we have to be careful,” Hong Soth said. “Young people are poisoned by what is new to them, and they forget what belongs to their own country. If we are not careful, our culture will be erased.”
Fai Sam Ang, program director for TV3, said his station respects the government and would help provide cooperation to promote Khmer culture.
“In TV3, there are no Thai arts or program organizers,” Fai Sam Ang said. “We are all Khmer here. We work very hard to promote our arts and culture.”
As for the flooding, “the people in some provinces cannot get their children ready for this year’s pageant because they are busy helping themselves recover,” Hong Soth said.
The delay means the pageant will now be held in the renovated Chaktomuk Theater. In the meantime, TV3 will sponsor the Miss Phnom Penh pageant on Dec 27-28.