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Ministry Orders Closure of Soap Opera on Cultural Grounds

The logo of Cambodian Television Network.
The logo of Cambodian Television Network.

The Ministry of Information has ordered the closure of a popular soap opera, after it depicted a scene where rich men were bidding money for a woman on display.

In a letter to the Cambodian Television Network, the ministry said the show, “Strange, Predestined Couple,” had gone against Khmer tradition and hurt the image of Khmer women.

“It is like the auction of objects and animals, which completely opposes good Khmer tradition and custom,” the letter said. “So the TV series must be taken off the air immediately and forever.”

The scene in question shows a group of masked, wealthy businessmen bidding for a beautiful woman. A man takes her for $5 million.

CTN officials could not be reached for comment, but the writer of the show, Pann Phuon Bopha, a woman and longtime playwright, said she had heard the news and found it discouraging.

“How can we help restore our dying film industry if we don't have freedom of expression?” she said.