Wednesday, 26.3.2008: Samdech Dekchor: Increasing Rice Price Is Caused By Dishonest Groups

Posted on 27 March 2008. Filed under: Week 553 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 553

“Kompong Thom: Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen considers the recent increase in the price of rice as strange, because ‘it is caused by opportunists and dishonest merchants. The most important thing is that these people want to shoot two birds with one arrow. The biggest bird targeted is Hun Sen.’

“In the morning of 25 March 2008, at the inauguration ceremony of Wat Seila Nimith in Kreal, Baray, Kompong Thom, Samdech Akak Moha Senapadei Dekchor Hun Sen, the prime minister of the Cambodian government, said that some people in Kompong Cham, Kampot, and Kandal believe, ‘Samdech Hun Sen makes the price of one kilogram of rice equal to that of one liter of gasoline, in order to help the people in the countryside. They believe that this is the reason that the price of rice increases. As for other people in a number of cities and provinces, they said that Samdech Dekchor makes the price of land rise, and people sell off all land; as the result, there is not much land left to do farming; therefore the price of rice soars.’

“In response to the problem, Samdech Dekchor said that he is not able to make the price of rice equal to that of gasoline, and that there are not enough investors to buy the more than 3 million hectares of farming land, which is the amount of land Cambodian farmers are farming. Land where the price is increasing is land in areas for the construction of factories and the establishment of special economic zones. Therefore it does not mean that the price of land rises everywhere, which would make people sell off their land and make the price of rice increase.

“Samdech Dekchor added that the price of rice should have increased in 2000 and 2001, when there were big floods in Cambodia. But at that time the price of rice stayed stable. This time, however, the price of rice is increasing, because the price of rice in Cambodia is lower than in other countries in the region [so there is demand in neighboring countries for Cambodian rice]. Even Malaysia is considering buying rice from Cambodia, while Thailand and Vietnam are already buying rice from Cambodia.

“Samdech Dekchor asked, ‘Does Cambodia lack rice?’ He continued, ‘A number of dishonest merchants are spreading rumors about the lack of rice on the market.’ Samdech confirmed that the government had stockpiled about 50,000 tonnes of rice to supply the demand of the market. Saying that there is a lack of rice on the market is an unfortunate rumor. In Cambodia, only the Khmer Republic regime encountered a crisis because of a lack of rice in the cities in 1972 and 1975, which required some people to buy rice and store it up, because the Republicans could not control the situation.

“Samdech Dekchor added, ‘If anyone is strong enough economically, please come to buy rice from Hun Sen at Riel 5,000 per kilogram. I will make you go bankrupt by selling you rice at Riel 5,000 per kilogram and letting you hoard rice, and then we will put our stocks on the market and sell them at a cheaper price, which will cause you to immediately become unconscious [get suddenly bankrupt]. Cambodia follows a free market economy, where a black market could not exist buying rice for stockpiling and then selling it secretly. He urged, ‘Please do not get cheated, because the rumor is wrong in both strategy and analysis. A black market has only illegal goods, such as guns, which are prohibited by law.’

“Samdech Dekchor proposed that people be calm in this situation, and the Ministry of Commerce has to go immediately to examine all rice mills which closed their operation, because they might be one of the main causes. If the rice mills keep stocks of rice and do not sell it, the ministry must take administrative measures soon against them as well as against rice stores in the markets. Samdech Dekchor ordered the authorities and especially the economic police to take strict measures against those who spread rumors to cause economic sabotage.

“Samdech Hun Sen continued to say that the problem of an increasing rice price is a trend of the global economy, and that the rising fuel price causes the increase in the price of many goods, including rice.

“The global economy is encountering and facing a crisis because the US economy, which is an engine of global economic growth, is suffering serious deficits. This seriously affects also the Cambodian economy, because Cambodia exports goods to the US at about US$3 billion annually, and the government is expressing its concerns.

“Samdech added that some people want the government to set the price of goods on the market, but he said, ‘To do so would be taking a long step backward, because it would just be an attempt to introduce a planned economy, and then a totalitarian regime would take over in Cambodia.’” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4550, 26.3.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Areyathor, Vol.14, #1317, 26-27.3.2008

  • Presence of Prime Minister in Sihanoukville Is the Sound of Bell Telling Other Provincial Governors to Be Careful [about land disputes]

Chuoy Khmer, Vol.2, #71, 25.3.2008

  • [President of Human Rights Party] Kem Sokha: Citizens Will No Longer Exchange Votes for Sarongs [Khmer skirts] and Monosodium Glutamate
  • Hun Sen Dared to Use Iron-Faced Court and Iron Fist [his decision] to Provide Justice to 150,000 People Whose Land Had Been Robbed by Officials and Oknhas

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #62, 26.3-1.4.2008

  • Samdech Dekchor [Hun Sen] Declares to Sell Rice at Riel 5,000 [approx. US$1.25] per kg to Wicked People [who provoke high price of rice]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1602, 26.3.2008

  • Most Workers Will Leave Factories in Phnom Penh because Prices of Goods Are Too High

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #123, 26.3.2008

  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Kompong Cham] Mao Monyvann: High Price of Rice Caused by Irresponsible Khmer Leaders
  • It Is Said [by a government official] that the Government Sold [former] Long Chhin Company Area at Nearly US$1 Billion to a Korean Company
  • Hun Sen Asks the King to Appoint Keang Vang [former Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Kampot who has recently defected to Funcinpec] to Be 4-Star General; Funcinpec Prepares to Commemorate Resistance Members in Angkor Chum District, Siem Reap

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6306, 26.3.2008

  • Microsoft Creates Partners for Market Development in Cambodia
  • Number of Tourists to Cambodia in 2007 Is More Than 2 Million; Number of Tourists from Vietnam Ranked Fourth [after South Korea, Japan, and US]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3422, 26.3.2008

  • Concerning High Price of Rice, Prime Minister Should Blame [Minister of Agriculture] Chan Sarun, but He Threatens to Arrest Other People
  • Sam Rainsy Party Will Hold Buddhist Ceremony to Commemorate Victims [of grenade attack] on 30 March
  • Khmer Rouge Tribunal Should Not Become a Place to Spend Money Funnily and Uselessly

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4550, 26.3.2008

  • Samdech Dekchor: Increasing Rice Price Is Caused By Dishonest Groups
  • Thailand Also Stunned at High Price of Rice [in Thailand during recent weeks]
  • Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs Confirms that 4,500 Cambodian Women Have Taken [Taiwanese] Nationality
  • Prime Minister of Qatar [Sheik Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Thani] Will Visit Cambodia in Early April

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #648, 26.3.2008

  • Trade Unions of More Than 150 Factories Will Hold Large Strike for Three Days Starting from 27 March [demanding pay rise and decrease of prices of goods – they have permission from the Ministry of Interior]
  • Sam Rainsy Will Run Opposition Party for All His Life
  • [Funcinpec secretary-general] Nhek Bun Chhay Hopes Funcinpec Will Get Not Fewer Than 26 Parliamentary Seats

Have a look at last week’s editorial

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2 Responses to “Wednesday, 26.3.2008: Samdech Dekchor: Increasing Rice Price Is Caused By Dishonest Groups”

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Correction (added in CAPITAL LETTERS), and our
apologies:

“Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #648, 26.3.2008
* Trade Unions of More Than 150 Factories Will Hold Large Strike for Three Days Starting from 27 March [demanding pay rise and decrease of prices of goods – they have NOT RECEIVED permission from the Ministry of Interior]

The increasing price of rice is proposterous! My family cannot afford the price of rice,and we are starving. My son has a starving disorder where the lack of rice is causing him to be in constant agonizing pain in his tummy. I am very concerned for the other poor families who are facing the same issue as my son and I, and therefore find the need to lower the price of rice.


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