Many entertainment venues are feeling the pinch following recent police moves to bar sexily dressed females, who act as "drinking partners", from loitering in front of the establishments.
"The economy is bad. The government should not have added salt to our wounds," says a manager at one of these places.
Identifying himself only as Keng, the man says female drinking partners are a selling point.
"When people drive past our venue and see beautiful women, they want to drop by," Keng says. "When you open a shop, you need to show your products or else your potential customers will never know what you have to offer."
Keng insists that his venue has strictly banned prostitution. "We dismiss any drinking partner who offers sexual ser-vices," he points out.
The 10 women working at his place are expected to entertain guests by having a friendly chat and singing karaoke with them.
Noo, a 23-year-old woman, wears black hot pants and a body-hugging blouse with a wide neck when she wants to attract customers.
"But I have a shawl to wrap around my body," she says. |"I think it should be okay for me to sit out to draw customers in. If there's no customer, who will give me a tip?"
At another pub, a part-time drinking partner says she should be allowed to attract passers-by because this is her livelihood. "I work here because I want to earn extra money," she says. She has a regular job in the daytime.
However, another drinking partner says she feels embarrassed to wear sexy outfits and sit in front of her employer's venue. "But my family is poor. I have to make money," she adds.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a man admits that scantily clad women in front of entertainment venues often prompt him to drop in.
"And I think the women should be allowed to do so. Their clothes are not too revealing and they do not make any indecent moves," he adds.
The Metropolitan Police Bureau has been toughening its stance against entertainment venues that have sexily clad women hanging around out front because many of them wear nothing more than underwear and see-through dresses.
Also, some drivers reported that they were worried about car accidents given that sexy women could distract motorists. -The Nation/ANN