The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has once again called on unregistered producers and production companies to immediately register with it to avoid criticism from the public about the videos, music or films they make.
The ministry’s call was made after constant criticisms on social media and online platforms in recent days over the meaning of a music video with a Khmer title that translates to English as “What is bad about Prey Veng residents?” It describes the people of Prey Veng as being poor and notorious thieves, robbers, gangsters and beggars.
Social media users viewed the content as a form of looking down on and insulting the residents of Prey Veng province.
Secretary of State at the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts Heu Virak said in a press conference held yesterday that after questioning the composer and singer who hails from the province and with the director of Morodok Media production, there was no ill intent on their part when they produced the song. They claimed the song was not meant to discriminate and look down on the people of Prey Veng.
However, he said the ministry has required them to publicly apologise and sign a contract promising to stop screening the music video on social media and other online platforms. They have also required Morodok Media production and all unregistered production owners to be properly registered with the ministry to avoid such mistakes in the future.
Soy Ratana, composer and singer of the Khmer song titled “Neak Prey Veng Akrok Trangna,” expressed regret and apologised for recording the song.
“My only purpose in writing this song was to end the discrimination made previously against Prey Veng residents. However, there was a technical error when releasing a special clip which had an actress acting as the mother in the music video who used severe words insulting the Prey Veng residents and this caused some confusion. I regret making that mistake,” he said.
On Friday, Prey Veng provincial governor Chea Somethy sent a letter to the Culture and Fine Arts Ministry asking to take action against Morodok Media production, which posted the music video.
He added, “The provincial administration considers the lyrics as insulting the honour and dignity, including causing the mental trauma, of the residents of Prey Veng province. This also creates discrimination against the people of Prey Veng and undermines Cambodian culture and traditions.”
He said the production company acted on the intent to incite discrimination and thus committed a felony. The provincial administration has has asked the production company to delete the video clips and issue a public apology.