The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts on Monday summoned the owner of Morodok Media Production for questioning related to a music video said to contain content insulting to the Prey Veng community.
The owner was summoned at the request of Prey Veng provincial governor Chea Somethy. Production managers, however, say the video was meant to educate and not discriminate.
Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts spokesman Long Bunna Sireyvath said the ministry’s Disciplinary and Accolade Council (DAC) has asked the producers to clarify the song’s intent.
He said Morodok does not have a business or video production licence. Therefore, DAC is ordering the producers to issue a public apology and sign a contract to stop making socially harmful videos. The DAC has also instructed Morodok to seek a licence and business registration.
“Generally, if you want to produce movies, you have to register with the Ministry of Commerce and obtain a licence from the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts’ Cinema and Cultural Diffusion Department to operate legally.
“Those who want to produce video clips must seek permission from the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts,” he said.
Morodok Media Production General Manager Chhoun Soklim said on Monday that the video was not intended to insult or demean the Prey Veng provincial community.
He said he would not speak improperly about Prey Veng people because he and other songwriters are themselves from the province.
Soklim said the song is a response to people saying those in Prey Veng are beggars, thieves, robbers and poor people. He said he wrote the song to educate listeners not to hate the people of Prey Veng because they are also Khmer.
“I’ve already clarified that we had no bad intentions and I have already apologised to the public and identified myself as also from the province. However, I have agreed to delete the song from our page and I have made amends already,” Soklim said.
Somethy’s letter from last Friday requested action to be taken for the music video entitled: What is bad about Prey Veng people?
“The video was posted on Facebook and YouTube to tell listeners that all Prey Veng people are bad,” the letter stated.
The letter described the act as a serious insult to the dignity of the Prey Veng community and can cause discrimination and cultural degradation in Cambodia.
The three-minute video clip describes a family from Prey Veng going to meet their son’s fiance from a Phnom Penh family.
The woman’s mother tells them to leave her house after finding out that the man is from Prey Veng and insults them by calling Prey Veng people thieves, robbers, stabbers and beggars.