The son of an acquaintance was nearly sideswiped recently by a huge black SUV at 0300hrs as he crossed a major road in Phnom Penh on foot. He had the temerity to slap the vehicle as it sped by, whereupon the car stopped, a bodyguard got out and chased him into a nearby restaurant and shot him through the buttocks.
This is a symptom of the way Cambodian society is structured – hierarchical, violent, symbol-conscious (the SUV was a symbol of the high status, which was transgressed by the pedestrian – it all follows from there).
Can it change? Of course. But not just yet.