With Election Day approaching, Cambodian-Americans will have a chance to have their voice heard in the US, an election official says. In a Skype interview with VOA Khmer, Neth Monorom, who works in the Los Angeles county office of voter registration, said Cambodians in the US have “many voices,” whether they are Democrats or Republicans. But there are many local issues they can determine as well, he said. “If we don’t vote, they will just raise the water and power bill, and every month, we keep paying and the price keeps rising,” he said, by way of example. Neth Monorom has been working with the county of Los Angeles, which is home to 100,000 Khmer speakers, in order to get them to vote. Only about 4,000 Cambodian-Americans came out to vote in 2008. That’s because, in part, they don’t trust the government, Neth Monorom said. “That’s why they don’t make an effort to vote at all, so I go to Cambodian communities to help bring Cambodians to register,” he said. This year, there are enough Khmer speakers in Los Angeles county to warrant Khmer language voting materials and translators at some polling places. Voting by mail is also possible, Neth Monorom said. (Sok Khemara, Washington)
Mourners of former king Norodom Sihanouk say they want to see the resumption of the late king's once popular National Congress, a public forum where people could voice their grievances and raise problems for the state authority to solve. While the body of the former kings lies in state inside the Royal Palace following his death earlier this month, many of his subjects still remember the congress, one of him best-known legacies. VOA Khmer's Say Mony reports from Phnom Penh.