University of Puthisastra (UP) recently hosted a Youth Public Speaking Contest on the topic “Should the tobacco tax be increased?”. The four invited judges, Dr Chea Sin (Dean of Pharmacy, UP), Dr Mom Kong (Director, Cambodian Movement for Health), Dr. Ray Rany (Director of Tobacco and Health, Ministry of Health) and Miss Choung Chanboramey (President of UP student senate) had previously shortlisted 10 finalists from among the 71 entries from students who came from many different schools and universities around Phnom Penh and provinces.

The successful students in the semi-final were:

  • Heng Sophearum (Royal University of Phnom Penh)
  • Sim Sreyleap (Net Yang High School, Battambang)
  • Ly Rattana (University of Health Sciences)
  • Pailin Leakhena (University of Indrawichea, Siem Reap)
  • Roth Channet (University of Puthisastra)

The event was held in Hall B and a large media contingent were present, along with many students and staff from UP. Each of the 10 students spoke on the topic for up to 5 minutes, highlighting the myths and facts about tobacco tax, exploring the issues, and putting forward convincing arguments to the judges. The top 5 will now go on to compete in the finals in front of a large audience and invited dignitaries from the Ministry of Health and other institutions. The Final will be held on 23 May from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm at Cambodia-Korea Corporation Center. All UP students and staff are invited to attend this event which will be broadcast live through UP and CMH Facebook pages. The prizes for the top 3 winners are 2 million riels, 1.5 million riels and 1.2 million riels, plus a medal and the appreciation certificate issued by UP.