Archive for April 29th, 2007

Saturday, 28.4.2007: Khmer Oil Experts Will Discuss in US Tomorrow

Posted on 29 April 2007. Filed under: Week 505 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 505

“Khmer oil experts will meet in the United States of America tomorrow to discus oil resources. The discussion is held while the Prime Minister got angry at the expressions of doubt, whether financial resources of billions of dollars per year from oil will reach the poor citizens’ hands, or whether the money from this very rich resource will become a curse for the citizens.

“Mr. Sean Pengse, the president of the Cambodian Border Committee based in France, a former Minister of Industry, Mines, and Energy, who is also an expert about oil, will hold a conference on oil and poverty alleviation in Cambodia on Sunday 29 April 2007, in Maryland, USA. The conference with other oil experts focuses especially on the question whether the money of billions of dollars per year from oil can alleviate poverty in Cambodia.

“Mr. Sam Rainsy, the president of the opposition party in Cambodia, Mr. Joseph A. Mussomeli, the Ambassador of the United States of America in Cambodia, and many other experts said that if the current leaders do not manage the oil output well, it will make the poor citizens even poorer and poorer, and the oil output will become the citizens’ curse. This concern made Prime Minister Hun Sen angry, and he said that Cambodia is not stupid unless it would find paper to wrap up gold.

“Mr. Hun Sen responded to the opinions of concern when he attended the review of work accomplished in 2006 and the goal of work for 2007 at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport at Chaktomuk Theater in Phnom Penh on 24 April, ‘I have heard the repeated words of much concern when there is income from oil – very much concern. I say, however, it would be a concern if there were no oil. One should not worry when there is oil, some People still speak about it like in Nigeria, where there is an oil curse – and so on. These days, I can feed children [support the Cambodian citizens] by catching small fish and small crabs, but not gold. One will not be stupid until one knows how to use gold to feed the children – it is day by day a concern.’

“Mr. Sean Pengse told Radio Free Asia on Friday that the concern of Khmers in the country is about corruption, and so far the Hun Sen government has not adopted the anti-corruption law, so that the law could be enforced effectively and transparently. Mr. Sean Pengse said, ‘All oil exploration must be undertaken responsibly under the Ministry of Industry. In other countries, ministries of industries do this. But in Cambodia, Mr. Sok An, who is not an expert nor a technical person, does this work, and all workers had no special technical training.. What will the Ministry of Industry do then? Therefore, many experts say Cambodia has oil – and only two or three persons will get benefits… they fear this already, not only we do.’

“Mr. Hun Sen said, ‘The most important thing to be worried about is to have no oil. They should not worry instead of us. Thanks to those who worry instead of us. Another of their worries is that if Hun Sen gets oil, he will no longer listen to advice from Western countries. Because nowadays I can feed the children only by catching small fish.’

“Mr. Hun Sen’s boasts seems to imply that the citizens are stupid and do not know anything, while the government borrows from foreign countries millions of dollars per year. So the government owes foreign debts of billions of dollars.

“The International Monetary fund said that so far, Cambodia has survived by relying on foreign aid of up to approximately 50% of the annual national budget. A report of the World Bank, which was released in 2006, said up to 2005 Cambodia has owed foreign debts of approximately US$3.2 billion in total.

“Focusing on the concern about oil, Mr. Sean Pengse and some technical officials had the idea to discuss with each other in the United States of America, especially with Khmer-Americans in some states, focusing on whether money from oil can help alleviate poverty in Cambodia.

“This special meeting will be held tomorrow from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the United States of America in a meeting hall in the state of Maryland.

“The concern about the oil has increased after the government had announced that the oil exploration off the Cambodian coast in late August 2006 had turned successful.

“Mr. Hor Namhong, the Khmer Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, recently told The Cambodia Daily that Vietnam and Cambodia will work together to map the areas of natural deposits in order to exploit them, including iron, and bauxite or aluminum. The Vietnamese oil experts will meet the Cambodian side to start the study at the sea and at the Tonle Sap Lake.

“Mr. Sean Pengse said between 1972 and 1975, when he was Minster of Industry, Mines, and Energy of the Khmer Republic, the government of that time allowed a French company to do a pilot research for oil drilling, and they dug three wells:

1. Near Koh Krachak Seh island or Koh Polopongjan
2. At Koh Ach Seh or Koh Polovay
3. At Koh Tang Island which is now in the realm of Sihanoukville

“These days there are two companies doing the research, and they have drilled ten wells, in order to explore oil in Section A.

“Mr. Sean Pengse said that Cambodia will have to spend more money for the serious protection of the environment when oil is actually being drilled, especially for the drilling to explore oil at the Tonle Sap Lake.” Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #386, 28.4.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 28 April 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1325, 28.4.2007

  • Khmer Krom Association Plans to Meet Samdech Hun Sen [over difficulties of Kampuchea Krom Khmers in Vietnam]
  • North Korea to Support Cambodia to Be Non-Permanent Member of UN Security Council

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6025, 28-29.4.2007

  • Ministry of Interior Police Arrest Man Who Threatened to Destroy [015-016] Phone Stations in Romeas Haek [Svay Rieng – if Riel 2,500,000, approx. US$625, not given to him]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3144, 28-29.4.2007

  • Mr. Kong Korm Urges Chea Sim to Build an Atmosphere of Cooperation and Coordination for Commune and Subdistrict Decentralization and Deconcentration
  • [former Khmer Rouge S21 prison commandant] Duch Told [former correspondent of the Far Eastern Economic Review] Nate Thayer that Nuon Chea and Son Sen Ordered Him to Torture and Kill Prisoners in Tuol Sleng Prison
  • Hun Sen Plans to Provide Some Bodyguards to Private Companies [to reduce his financial burden]
  • Obstacle That Blocks Khmer Rouge Tribunal Is Caused by Ky Tech [President of Cambodian Bar Association] Who Considers Money [for registration of foreign lawyers] to Be Very Important
  • US Criticizes Cruel Suppression by [Cambodian] Authorities of Kampuchea Krom Khmer Monks’ March

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4270, 28.4.2007

  • Gasoline Price in Koh Kong Goes Suddenly Up to Riel 7,000 [US$1.75] per Liter
  • Singapore Plans to Buy Sand in Large Quantities from Cambodia
  • Director of B.B Group Loses Baht 90,000 [approx. US$2,580] and Some Properties in Tokyo Hotel [Phnom Penh]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3022, 28.4.2007

  • Samdech Euv [Father King] Says if Samdech Krom Preah Returns to the Country, Norodom Ranariddh Party Will Get More and More Supporters
  • 40 Sawmills in Ratanakiri Are [operated illegally] Under Protection by Officials

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #386, 28.4.2007

  • Khmer Oil Experts Will Discuss in US Tomorrow
  • Tioulong Saumura [former senior officer of the Cambodian National Bank, Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Phnom Penh, and wife of the Sam Rainsy Party president] Says Criminals in Cambodia Do Money Laundering through Buying Land and Building Expensive Housing
  • Nhek Bun Chhay [Secretary-General of Funcinpec] Prepares to Sell Funcinpec Offices Countrywide at Auctions [according to a source from a Funcinpec Standing Committee members]

Go to last week’s editorial

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