Interior Minister Sar Kheng yesterday sent a request to Prime Minister Hun Sen for the banning of nightclubs and crematoriums located near schools.
During a meeting with hundreds of retired civil servants in Battambang province, Mr Kheng said the request was made to address concerns raised by parents.
“I made a request to Samdech Techo Hun Sen about nightclubs located near schools,” he said. “We must not allow any adult entertainment centres to operate next to schools.”
“If we do not do this, students will lose focus and, of course, go into a nightclub,” Mr Kheng added, noting it would be worse if the club has drugs.
In February, police arrested 311 people and confiscated more than 50 kilograms of drugs at the Rock Entertainment nightclub, which was located near a university. Mr Kheng said he doesn’t want students to enter a place like Rock Entertainment.
“Authorities must prevent this – do not allow any nightclub to be constructed near a school,” he said. “Students need a good environment to pursue their study. We must let them know that drugs are harmful.”
Additionally, Mr Kheng said crematoriums should not be built near schools because the smoke is harmful to the health of students.
“Most students are afraid of funerals – they will feel frightened when there’s a crematorium next to a school,” he said. “This will affect their study. We must also address this problem.”
Yong Kim Eng, president of the People Centre for Development and Peace, yesterday welcomed the move to ban the establishment of nightclubs near schools.
“I believe that students would abandon their classes if there’s a nightclub next door,” Mr Kim Eng said. “I hope the authorities will take action and prevent the trafficking of drugs in nightclubs.”
However, he said that it would be difficult to remove all crematoriums that are located near schools because some rural schools are located next to or inside pagodas.
Suos Chanthy, a student, said there is a nightclub near her Bak Touk high school and music coming from it causes disruptions.
“I don’t think we can listen to our teacher well when people outside of school play loud music,” Ms Chanthy said. “Nightclubs are designed to be distracting – it’s hard for students like us to not want to care.”