Monday, 26.6.2007: Camko City Announces $2 Billion Capital for Sister City Development, but It Uses Khmer Citizens’ Money

Posted on 26 June 2007. Filed under: Week 514 |

The Mirror, Vol. 11, No. 514

“A [South] Korean company, which announced to invest approximately $2 billion in Cambodia, giving the image that this will be foreign investment, finally will use the money of Khmer citizens to build a city. An economic analyst said that such kind of an investment game would not be accepted by any country except Cambodia.

“At the Council for the Development of Cambodia, capital of approximately $2 billion had been announced, and this figure was used to be included in the development report, describing it as part of Cambodia’s economic growth, but finally this development company makes cake without flour, because it conducts the development of a sister city by starting to announce the sale of houses and land to Khmer citizens to get money to construct the buildings. Thus, it now advertises the sale of flats and of condominiums to start on 25 June, and those who visit the scheme of the sister city would sign contracts to buy such condominiums, and the company would later provide them. However, the condominiums do not yet exist; therefore, money has to be deposited so that the company uses the money to construct the condominiums.

“The plan of the sister city looks to be real, as Khmer citizens assume that the Korean company really brings $2 billion to build a city in Cambodia; in fact, the plan is just empty of any capital, the real money is the money of domestic Khmer citizens. The announcement is for the sale of houses that do not yet exist to Khmer citizens, so they will deposit money that will be used to build houses for them. Hence, the company comes to develop Cambodia using Khmer land, collecting money from Khmer citizens, to build houses and then sell them to Khmer citizens. Such kind of development cannot be accepted by other countries, but for Cambodia it is made available.

“According to the scheme and the model of the houses which look even more luxurious than buildings in America and France, it is announced that the sister city will cost $2 billion. However, the Korean investor does not bring $2 billion to construct the buildings, but they collect the money from Khmer citizens to construct the buildings, by selling houses that do not yet exist to Khmer citizens.

“So far, Khmer businesspeople or local companies also announce the sale of houses, or to build houses for sale, but they make such announcements after the constructions are 70% completed; they do not sell only the plan and demand Khmer citizens or customers to deposit money, so as to use the money from their customers to build houses. Therefore, the Korean company that announces the construction of a sister city should at least invest half of the capital to build the city, so the construction of houses is 50% completed before it advertises the sale of houses and collects deposits from the citizens who are their customers.

“However, it is funny that while not one flat has been constructed, the company announces the sale of flats to collect money; this is equal to making cake without flour, because it just shows the plan to the customers, and it announces the sale of houses and collects money. However, the government likes such kind of investors and allows them to enter the country, because they know how to go along with the way in which things flow in Cambodia, as long as Khmer officials and Khmer leaders get money or benefits from them.

“As for Japanese investors, if they come to invest that means they really come, they really bring money to do business; therefore, Khmer officials do not benefit from them, therefore Japanese investors did not come to Cambodia. For that reason it is difficult for Cambodia to attract Japanese investors, because they do not want to make cake without flour, or to farm on Khmer citizens’ backs like Chinese and Korean investors do.

“An economic analyst said that the Korean company which plans to constructs Camko City also opens a bank with the name Camko. The bank is located in [National Police Director-General] Hok Lundy’s villa on Norodom Boulevard. It is not known whether Hok Lundy holds shares of the bank, or whether he sold or rents the house to the Korean company, but Hok Lundy and the company are very close to each other.

“The economic analyst said that in other countries, the buying and selling of immovable property is very carefully monitored for fear of money laundering through such transactions. Also in Cambodia, it is easy to use much money for money laundering. Consequently, it is also necessary to be cautious about the Camko Bank, because this bank is for collecting the money from the sale of immovable property in the Camko Sister City; different images can be used to conduct money laundering under the pretext of trade in immovable property.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3193, 25.6.2007

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 25 June 2007

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.6, #1374, 24-25.6.2007

  • Truck Loads of Prohibited Eggs Imported [from Thailand] to Battambang; Officials Do Not Check Them

Khmer Amatak, Vol.8, #488, 25.6.2007

  • US Warns Yuon [Vietnamese] Leader Off Human Rights Violation in Kampuchea Krom [in part of the Mekong Delta area in Vietnam]
  • People Want to See that Cambodia’s Family Trees Dare to Challenge Global Witness

Khmer Mekong, Vol.5, #282, 22-23.6.2007

  • Oil Income: World Bank Suggests Use of EITI System for Transparency; Samdech Hun Sen Says Don’t Worry Too Much
  • Vietnamese Businesspeople Rush to Buy Luxury Wood from Cambodia

Khmer Mekong, Vol.5, #283, 24-26.6.2007

  • Bad Governance May Be Obstacle to Japanese Investors
  • Customs Law Adopted, but There Is No Hope that Customs Officers Reduce Corruption

Koh Santepheap, Vol.40, #6074, 25.6.2007

  • Three Men Clear Forest to Claim Hundreds of Hectares of Land in Krakor District, 300 People Give Thumbprints Complaining to Provincial Governor [Pursat]
  • UNESCO Denies Involvement in Selection of Seven New World Wonders [by voting through Internet]
  • 40th Anniversary of Cambodian and Vietnamese Diplomatic Ties; Samdech Heng Samrin: Vietnam Helped Cambodian People from Dying

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.14, #3193, 25.6.2007

  • Camko City Announces $2 Billion Capital for Sister City Development, but It Uses Khmer People’s Money
  • Kun Kim, President of Advisors to Hun Sen, and Chan Sarun [Minister of Agriculture] Are Deeply Involved in Forest Crimes [according to Global Witness report]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4319, 24-25.6.2007

  • 53 Pieces of Luxury Wood Seized [by military officials] and 3 Cars Passed to Forestry Administration Officials [Kompong Cham]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.14, #3070, 24-25.6.2007

  • Reduction of Khmer Staff’s Salaries May Cause Khmer Rouge Tribunal Deadlock Again
  • Samdech Krom Preah [Norodom Ranariddh]: ‘If I am not there, Hun Sen and Sam Rainsy Will Be Two Tigers Biting Each Other, Competing to Dominate the Same One Mountain’

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #435, 24-25.6.2007

  • [Minister of Agriculture] Chan Sarun Says if Seng Keang Company Paid Tax Legally, Ministry of Economy Would Get Income of $5.4 Million per Year [according to Radio Free Asia]
  • Keat Kolny [Minister of Economy and Finance Keat Chhon’s sister] Sues Ten Lawyers [who protect ethnic minority villagers over land disputes in Ratanakiri]

Go to last week’s editorial

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4 Responses to “Monday, 26.6.2007: Camko City Announces $2 Billion Capital for Sister City Development, but It Uses Khmer Citizens’ Money”

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Come to Canada and you will see companies are selling houses 2 to 3 years before they actually build them. This is how they do business in housing industry in the world. You buy it and you pay less.

Is not true Tony, I also live in Canada (Ottawa area).
You might sign the contract one or two years before the house is built because of the volume or number of the houses to be built but you don’t pay a penny not until the contractor give you the key.

When you buy a house in Canada and United States, the buyer will always signed a contract with the House seller representative and the Bank who is giving the buyer the loan. Before the Bank gives the buyer a loan, the Bank:
1) Has to check the buyer credit history, if this buyer is capable of paying back their loan (The buyer must has a steady incomes, has a good credit line, the bank check to see if the buyer has any others loan, criminal records and looking for any indications of failure ….Etc). If one of these criteria does not apply to them, then the Bank will refuse the loan and even to go the second option.
2) The Bank will so do a background check on the House Builder before giving the loaner approval. For this reason must bank will ask the buyer to pay a notary fee or a lawyer fee depending in which province you are buying. It may cost the bank or the buyer from $1000 to $3000. Some bank has its own lawyers. With information from the lawyer, the Bank will evaluate if this company has enough money to continue and finished its projects or not. Because the House Builder may has credits problems and can claim a bankruptcy at anytime, the bank may losing money from the loan …

If the contractor (the house builder) would claim the money from the buyer the bank would not allow it to happen.

For my own opinion, the reporter is right with this quote: “However, the government likes such kind of investors and allows them to enter the country, because they know how to go along with the way in which things flow in Cambodia, as long as Khmer officials and Khmer leaders get money or benefits from them.” And “As for Japanese investors, if they come to invest that means they really come, they really bring money to do business; therefore, Khmer officials do not benefit from them, … “ Only those few Khmer Officials (Hok Lundi and others high ranking people : Power corrupted Power obsolete) will benefits from this construction. And most of people in Phnom Penh will suffer enormously from it. It is already showing the bad side of it already. Some where in suburban of Phnom Penh, people get expropriated and forced to leave the house or the land otherwise will be beaten or killed just because of this mega construction project.
If I have one question to ask, I would ask the government: How do you plan to move 1 million people or more! Who is living in Phnom Penh right now to where and with what money? What do you do if people do not want to be moved? There are many more questions to be asked….

I believe in democracy….
Please, help protecting Khmer race!


I don’t know whether in Canada or Usa, companies are selling houses 2 to 3 years before they actually built them( because i have never been there); or somehow it might be different from area to area in the same country due to the company’s system. But what i want to share with you guys here is that i cant see anything bad about this plan. Can you tell me what is good to khmer economics when the inventing companies bring their own money to invest? They bring money to invest and after that they will collect the money back too. On the other hand, if the company collect the money first but with low rate( discount rate) it will give benifit to those who dont know how to use their money effectively. in short, it just likes the company is helping people to use their money in investing. Moreover if we consider the national balance, there is also no different between the two kinds.
this is just my useless idea. I hope to get more ideas from all of you.

I think that’s horrible that they’re using the citizen’s money to build this. Its impossible to take 2 billion USD from people that don’e even have that much. At first when i saw it on youtube, I thought this was great and that Cambodia was finally going to come out of the shadows of their past, but reading this makes it worse. Is this info really legit?

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