«Phnom Penh, May 27, 2005, from the AKP [=Agence Kampuchea Presse]
The National Information Communications Technology Development Authority anticipates that the entire government will be using Khmer-language software applications based on freely available Open Source code by the end of 2005, NIDA Deputy Secretary General Noy Shoung said Thursday. Open Office applications with Khmer menus and an e-mail program called Moyura [basically a tweaked version of Thunderbird -SB] are already being used in the ministries of education and labor and in 14 provincial government offices, he said. A draft plan for designing a Khmer-language font, pending approval, calls for the government of switch from Microsoft Windows and office applications to Linux and OpenOffice. Accession to the World Trade Organization has prompted the move to free software and Linux because the government will soon be bound to comply by international intellectual property regulations. "Basic proprietary software for each computer costs in excess of twice the annual average per capita income in our country", the Open Source draft plan states. The government is also developing the software so non-English speakers can access the Internet and use computers. A keyboard in Khmer is not yet available. The software has been developed with the cooperation of local NGO Open Forum of Cambodia. --AKP»
Don't be surprised if, in a few years, you start running into Unix programmers with names like Chamroeun or Sreymom or Sam'oeurn!