Politician’s Facebook Post On Catastrophe Sends Thousands To Farm For Refuge

Politician’s Facebook posting on possible flood catastrophe sent thousands to a farm house in Siem Reap

Thousands of people left their homes in Siem Reap to gather at a farm house in preparation to face a world’s catastrophic flood, after heeding to a Facebook posting of a local politician.

They flocked to the farm house, south of Kulen mountain after reacting to the August 23 Facebook post of president of League for Democracy Party (LDP) that the only safe place from the event was his farm house, south of Kulen mountain.

Urgings by the authorities for them to return home fell on deaf ears and they requested the party leader to stop spreading misinformation, according to khmertimes.com.

As of Saturday, more than 15,000 have gathered at the place and they have even urged Cambodians who love abroad to join them.

Disband Now

The portal quoted Khim Finan, district governor of Banteay Srei district in Siem Reap province, as saying provincial officials have visited the farm on Saturday and requested the party leader to disband the gathering but the politician said he sould only that on Tuesday.

Deputy governor Ly Somreth said Veasna had panicked the people in large numbers.

“When someone says something on social media, people should carefully think whether it makes sense or not. It is incredible to see this many number of people choosing to believe a lie like this,” he noted.

He also expressed his dismay in people spending shutting down their business and leaving their homes with family and children, putting their life at risk and discontinuing the children’s education.

Disease Fear

“With such a massive gathering of people, what will happen if they contract diseases like Covid-19,” he noted.

However, some are making money out of this false “catastrophe” news.

Hang Chakra, a 37-year-old taxi driver, said he is transporting residents from Samlot district in Battambang province to the farm and has been earning about $200 a day since the flow of people started.

Chakra said between 200 and 300 people were arriving at the farm in taxis.

Spokesman of Ministry of Labour Heng Suor said, “I would like to call on the workers who are staying and working in South Korea not to indulge in the superstitious propaganda of an individual.”

“Quitting your job and returning to Cambodia abruptly affect the reputation of Cambodian workers, who have always been respected and loved by Korean employers.”

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