Paralyzed Singer Sends Message to Her Fans

Unable to get out of bed or walk by herself, popular singer Pov Pan­hapich—half-paralyzed and seeking medical attention in Vietnam since she was shot in broad daylight six months ago—sounded like her old self recently on an au­dio tape sent to her sister.

Pov Panhapich, 23, who was shot once in the hip and once in the neck by a young man on a motorbike on Norodom Boulevard Feb 23, re­cord­ed a message for her sister, Pov Chan Sotheavy, and the people of Cambodia.

“I have an illness. I would like to send my regards to all the people living in Cambodia,” she said on the tape, her voice soft and sweet.

She said she missed her sing­ing career, and sang a slow, ro­mantic ballad about the beauty of a sunset.

Pov Chan So­theavy said by telephone Tues­day that her sister want­ed to provide Cam­bodians with evidence that her health is improving.

“Our family is worried. Half her body from her chest to her foot can­not move. She is paralyzed now,” Pov Chan Sotheavy said.

But Pov Panhapich’s prognosis is not as bleak as before, when she was on a respirator and could only twitch her hands, said her sister.

“She talks. She eats and moves both her hands,” said Pov Chan So­theavy. “We are not hopeless that she will be paralyzed forever. We always have hope that someday…a good fate will come.”

Pov Panhapich and her mother have moved into an apartment near the medical center in Vietnam where she is being treated, her sister said.

In March, police in Battambang province arrested four suspects in the shooting for allegedly possessing illegal weapons.

Interior Ministry penal police chief Mok Chito said Tuesday the four suspects had not confessed to shooting the singer.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court Chief Prosecutor Ouk Savuth confirmed that the four were charged with possessing illegal weapons, adding that the court is investigating their possible involvement in the shooting.


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