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Cambodian PM bans beauty pageant


September 27, 2008
Cambodian PM bans beauty pageant
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday renewed his ban on beauty pageants in the Southeast Asian country, calling a previous beauty contest "bad luck", reported AFP.

Hun Sen said the Miss Cambodia pageant in 1993 was "bad luck," pointing to the fact the capital's historic Tonle Bassac theatre burned down the year after it hosted the contest.

"Don't spend (money) on a Miss Beauty contest. Don't hold it," he told officials during the first meeting of his government's new cabinet.

Hun Sen urged people instead to "please go ahead with boat racing."

The premier cancelled plans for a Miss Cambodia pageant in 2006, calling it a waste of funds that were better spent on farming. He also said he would not allow such a contest until poverty in Cambodia was reduced by more than half.

More than 30 percent of Cambodians live in grinding poverty in the tiny country of 13.4 million people. There has not been a Miss Cambodia contest since the 1990s.

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