Ministry Official Says Pornography Pays the Bills

A top official at the Ministry of So­cial Affairs on Thursday de­fend­ed his job as the publisher of two of Phnom Penh’s leading porn­o­graphic magazines, saying his fam­ily could not survive without them.

Lim El Djurado, 53, who publishes and writes “Teenage Stimulation” and “Rooster,” said he could not live on his salary as the dir­­ec­tor of the ministry’s Department of Plan­ning and Statistics alone. “So there is only the pen,” he said.

He declined to say how much he earns at the ministry. But, ac­cording to calculations, if he were to make 100 percent pro­­fit on the magazines, which cost be­tween 1,500 riel and 4,000 riel, he would receive $1,937 each month. “I spend Saturdays and Sundays writing in order to earn in­come for my two daughters to go to university,” he said, ad­ding that they help design and layout the magazines.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered the Ministry of In­­­­formation to invalidate the li­cen­ses of pornographic magazines, and for them to be confiscated from newsstands.

But Lim El Djurado says his mag­­azines are works of literature. “I don’t like to write [about] politics but culture and literature,” he said. “I just feel shocked and afraid when somebody says we are doing something wrong for so­ciety.” And besides, he added, “I don’t know what to do on Saturdays and Sundays.”

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