Cambodia’s new puritans

The Cambodian government doesn’t just want to control what its citizens say and think; now it wants to control what they wear. On April 28, the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts launched a new department, the Disciplinary and Accolade Council, which will monitor social media for images of women who, it deems, are dressed too sexily.

Heading up this new puritanical council is Culture Minister Phoeurng Sackona, the front woman of the campaign. But clearly, the initiative is being led by Prime Minister Hun Sen.

On February 17, he instructed the government’s Cambodian National Council for Women to track down online vendors and “order them to stop live-streaming until they change to proper clothes.” Dressing provocatively to sell clothes, he claimed, apparently not understanding decades of advertising, “is a violation of our culture and tradition.”

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