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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

My Perspectives on Unemployment in Cambodia

Cambodia is developing at a fast pace, but let's see how the unemployment here really is. After losing a job since April 2016, I've been experiencing a big loss and failure to start new career. What's matters? Let's me briefly write down my own experience.

The first challenges to find new job in Phnom Penh is networking. Most jobs here are well-known for networking other than outsourcing to look for new candidate. Some jobs is not shown to public or some shown to public, but still asking for networking to find new staffs, so most opportunities go to people with good networks. What's really networking? Networking refers to people known in the cycle of close communication within the group of people. The reason I fail to do network because I don't like out-going events often. However, does it really mean lonely person cannot work? It seems error in this system based on my own perspectives. I have more than five year working experience and two bachelor degree, but some companies doesn't look at my job application at all. It doesn't mean I am proud to have this, but just wonder. After sending out, what I get most is silence, except few companies giving me a chance for interview. Similarly, I fail without knowing the real reasons behind. Is anything error because of I stop working too long? That's the question. I have heard that people don't work for a period of 1 year up will not consider for new job opportunity as those companies said they are not qualified anymore. How about their education more than 22 years and more years of experience before vacation? Do you really agree on this point that people spend more than 20 years within education and work lost their knowledge and capabilities within 1 year? Are they really not qualified or is HR system in Cambodia error? How about their blank period they use for review their knowledge and experience as well as to think about new opportunities? I just wanna drag attention on this ideas whether  there is any fix to this system or job market in Cambodia is too small for our human resource. Cambodia is not smart to manage their own labor force at all; they don't manage well on their existing resource for developing, but just said Cambodia need human resource most for specialized labor skills such as construction, engineering and so on. Every year thousand of young labor forces go to other countries for job opportunities and totally more than 1 million people go overseas to work by today. Is it really good to move out? Cambodia doesn't create opportunity for people who lost their way on the employment. I don't see much support and effort from our government to solve this issue well. When people don't work, it is not only meaning that that person or family having an issue, but the society who wastes their human resource or labor force with specific skill to run their economic activities.

The second challenge on employment is appearance I think. I just realize it is harder if you look not well because people in Cambodia nowadays still value the outer appearance other than inner soul of people. They judge others based on their own ideas starting from the appearance. If someone doesn't look good, not much value is given to those people. It should be one lesson on this issue as it happens in other countries. One guy didn't look good, but he had million of dollars to buy a car. The service officer looked down on him. Later, he came to buy that most expensive car to use in his farm. That's the lesson that we can learn that Cambodian society should change this concept. I am not 100 per cent saying you are wrong, but it seems just error. I think this concept that value more on appearance is killing good human resources in Cambodia. Or does Cambodia maybe have too many labor force over its need?

The last challenge is corporate culture, job announcement and form. Some jobs require to change religion like from Buddhism to Christianity. I don't think Cambodia has taken good action to response to this issue. Cambodia is said to have freedom of religion, but this country is allowing others to change their own religion like from Buddhism to Christianity and Buddhism to Islam while it is compulsory that Khmer cannot reject if they want the offer. Other things is working hour. Labor law stated only 40 hours per week, but different institutions has different working hour that mostly over 40 hours per week including force over time without proper compensation. Ministry of labor never monitor well on this issues. Some companies require additional language from their own countries like Thai, French, Vietnamese, Chinese..... while most customers can use English and Khmer so well. Talking about job announcement is too much to describe. One simple position, but seeing only job description is less attractive and too much duties that candidates are fear to apply while the real job is not that difficult. Some jobs require 1 experience up that doesn't give opportunities to fresh graduate who has no experience to apply at all. Besides job application, the form has to be completed. We already details in CV, but still we need to spend much time on forms. It's strange and waste of time. In addition, salary is the main issue here. I started my salary 250$ since 4 years ago, but today some companies offer me close to 250$ for just changing position within the same industry and take a vacation for 4 months. What I mean is does the government take action for any update to job condition in Cambodia? Is it too much on this issue? Value of human resource in Cambodia is never updated in term of salary while pricing for products and service is updating everyday. Even the school fee is higher and higher every year, but starting salary for bachelor graduate is still less than 200$ or around 250$. Just based on my experience, it is so important to raise concerned for motivation of human resource in Cambodia. Although it is free market, we should not let thing happen in this way because this is 2016 that the world is changing including Cambodia.

Last but not least, unemployment in Cambodia is really hot issues that the government should help their own human resource or labor force to get better condition in the job market or to create opportunities to deal with those who lost their employment because of business politics. Writing this is I am asking for help to deal with issues that link to my own experience. I strongly hope Cambodia for better and better.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Original Music and Song from Cambodia 2016

Cambodia is among the old culture in South East Asia. What can we see from this country? It should be noted that this small country used to dominate the almost the whole territories in mainland South East Asia and gave life to many new cultures on its old territories and culture. Cambodia was the key contact between South East Asian Kingdom to the world since the first century AD. The residents here has been so creative since then due to good communication and cultural exchange through trade and relationship to larger kingdom around the world. The first most famous international port of Cambodia was O Keo Port (Oc Eo) in Southern Vietnam today and what we have been hearing the most is the traditional music flourished in the peak of Angkor Khmer Empire that until now music is the still the part of life in this country. The tastes of music are traditional and modern (oldies and original). The traditional music mainly serves for the traditional ceremony, wedding, and so on; the oldies music reflects the creativity of first modern music to Cambodia after French Colonialism until mid 1970s while the new modern original music has just been revived by young Cambodian recently.

The original music in Cambodia today has been getting influence from its oldies modern music, world music today and their own creativity in music talent along with good musical training and lesson. We have seen many private schools now offers classes for young Cambodian to have a chance to learn and advance their musical skill to challenge the world that Cambodian music is not really copied from the world, but we get influenced. Cambodian music got its peak once before the war and had many talented musician and lyricists. Most famous celebrity before the war are Has Salorn, Voy Ho, Sinn Sisamouth, King Norodom Sihanouk, Svay Som Oeur, Om Dora, Kim Sam El, Som Sakhorn, Sos Math ... There are thousand of song with original oldies music:

- ផ្ការីកលើមេឃ (Blossom in the Sky by Ros Sereysothea)

- រាំកម្សាន្ដចិន្ដា (Dance for Your Happiness by Pen Ran)

- ទ្វីស ទ្វីស ខ្ញុំ (Oh! My Love! Twist! Twist! by Chum Kem)

- ខឹងព្រោះស្រលាញ់ (Angry Cos of Love by Sinn Sisamouth)

- រាត្រីសេកុង (Sekong Night by Huy Meas), etc.

For the attention, what kind of original music today do young Cambodians get to their fan? Haha.... They are really cool! You Know! The creativity in original music and song is getting attention from Cambodian fan so much because we really hate the word "Copy", especially music from neighboring countries like Thailand and Vietnam. Honestly, those influenced song are not really copied, but just cover and sometimes we saw different meaning of the song. It means mostly we got influence in term of music. Not only today, but the past each country exchanged their taste of music cos it's new and modern; everyone just wanna learn how to do it. Something new coming, they cover with their own style. Anyway, we are really sorry that we want more original music and song because talent is here in Cambodia today. Why does we need to get influenced so much? Let's strive to create our own music! Hehe...... Yeah! Young Cambodians this year get high score from fan because their music shows the creativity and nature of Cambodian musical tastes playing with western instruments; sometimes they remix with traditional and oldies music. Wow! So interesting! There are some famous songs with original music today such as:

- ចង់ក្បែរ (Wanna Be Close by Mam Picherith),

- អស្ចារ្យណាស់កម្ពុជា (Amazing Cambodia by ADDA Angel)

- លួចស្នេហ៍ដួងច័ន្ទ (Love Crush - Remix Oldies and New Style by Tena)

- ទីនេះមានមនុស្សខូចចិត្ត (Broken Heart Person is Here by ADDA Angel and Heng Pitou)

- ម្នាក់ឯងរហូត (Forever Alone by Ma Chanpanha)

- ខ្ញុំជាអ្នកខេត្តបាត់ដំបង (I am from Battambang by Neebernea or Eam Vanny)

- ឆឺត! ឆឺត! បុណ្យភូមិ  (Happy! Happy! Phumi New Year! by Khmeng Khmer)

- ទង់ជាតិខ្មែរ (Oh! Khmer flag by Small World Small Band)

- វិលវិញមក (Please Come Back by Pheng Suly)

- រៀបការនឹងបងបានទេ (Marry Me by Oun)

- រាំញីកែងជើង (Dance with Your Heel by G-Devith and Pich Sorphea)

- ច្រណែនគេដែលមិនមែនជាខ្ញុំ (Jealous that You are Not Me by Run Syra)

- នឹកអូនបានត្រឹមស្រមៃ (Miss You only in the Dream by Oung Soria)

- ឃ្លាតពីគ្នា (We Are Getting Away by Patthana Narunrath ft YT)

- ទឹកចិត្ត (Our Heart by Ponleur and Socheat), etc.

Original Music by Cambodian youth in 2016 is the good start for Cambodia to stronger its musical talent and fame like South Korea. Cambodia is surely improved from time to time and the golden age of music is getting back to its way. Thanks to all Cambodian youth and professionals who keep it up for better Cambodia with original music! Su su! :)

By: Pok Panhavuth