The Information Ministry yesterday banned owners of all radio and TV stations from broadcasting the song Kru Bongrean Sroverng Sra, which translates to drunken teacher in English, claiming it dishonoured and insulted teachers.
Information Minister Khieu Kanharith issued a letter to all TV and radio station owners saying that the song, by Jane Saijai, had content that insulted teachers by claiming that they drink every day and show up to work drunk, failing to do their jobs properly.
He said the content of the song contradicted the attitudes and moral values of teachers, and had seriously affected their honour and dignity, in turn affecting society.
“In order to avoid negative effects, the ministry would like to inform all TV and radio station owners to stop broadcasting the song Kru Bongrean Sroverng Sra of Town Production,” the letter said.
Town Production songwriter Yem Tasrong, who wrote the song, said he had no intention of dishonouring teachers through the lyrics and had no response to the ban.
“I would like people to listen to this song from the beginning to the end and judge by themselves,” he said.
“For me, there is nothing to explain, but I just want to confirm that my songwriting is related to society, and that I had no bad intentions.”
Ouk Chhayavy, president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association, said that Mr Tasrong may have based his song on his own experiences, but that does not reflect all teachers across the kingdom.
“The Information Ministry should tell songwriters that when they compose a song, before selling it on the market, it should be submitted to the ministry first to be screened,” he said.
In July 2016, the Information Ministry banned all radio and TV stations from broadcasting several other songs from Town Production following criticism from the public that their content affected morality in the nation.