[tz] oral history contribution to the time zone history of Cambodia

Alois Treindl alois at astro.ch
Thu Aug 8 13:32:11 UTC 2019

TZ has this information in file backzone

# From Paul Eggert (2014-10-11):
# See Asia/Ho_Chi_Minh for the source for most of this data.  Also, guess
# (1) Cambodia reverted to UT +07 on 1945-09-02, when Vietnam did, and
# (2) they also reverted to +07 on 1953-11-09, the date of independence.
# These guesses are probably wrong but they're better than guessing no
# transitions there.
Zone    Asia/Phnom_Penh 6:59:40 -       LMT     1906 Jul 1
                         7:06:30 -       PLMT    1911 May 1
                         7:00    -       +07     1942 Dec 31 23:00
                         8:00    -       +08     1945 Mar 14 23:00
                         9:00    -       +09     1945 Sep 2
                         7:00    -       +07     1947 Apr 1
                         8:00    -       +08     1953 Nov 9
                         7:00    -       +07

A good friend of mine born in 1951 in Phnom Pen is the adoptive daughter 
of late Cambodian ruler Prince Sihanouk.
Being very interested in astrology, this friend of course much engaged 
in knowing the correct time zone for her birth.

The information above would set it at 8h east of GMT for 1947 - 1953.

My friend writes (and I have bolded the essential phrase):

According to my father xxxx, during the French protectorate, Cambodia’s 
legal time was that of Hanoi. [..]

My [adoptive] father Sihanouk confirmed the above in 2011 when I drafted 
my essay on King Sihanouk. I needed to ask him many questions, including 
details regarding our time zone, especially 5-6 August 1951. [...]

King Sihanouk said that, during the Japanese occupation, starting with 
what historians refer to as “le coup de force du 9 mars 1945”, Cambodia, 
like the entire French Indochina, used Tokyo time zone. After Japan 
surrendered, 2 September 1945, Cambodia fell under French rule again and 
adopted Hanoi time zone again.

*However, on 7 January 1946, Sihanouk and Tioulong managed to obtain a 
status of “internal autonomy” from the government of Charles de Gaulle. 
Although many fields remained under the administration of the French 
(customs, taxes, justice, defence, foreign affairs, etc.), the Cambodian 
administration was responsible for religious matters and traditional 
celebrations, which included our calendar and time. The time zone was 
GMT + 7 and _no_ DST was applied.*

After Sihanouk and Tioulong achieved full independence, on 9 November 
1953, GMT + 7 was maintained.

-- end quote


In view of this, I would tend to eliminate the line
                         8:00    -       +08     1953 Nov  9
Of course, it is here like in many other cases the question what TZ 
wants to represent: offical time maintained by the colonial 
administration, or 'time on the ground' used by the local population for 
their own records, like a royal birth event.

I do not expect action by Paul Eggert, as this is only backzone 
data.Still. I consider it worthwile to be recorded in the TZ mailing ist 

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