Thursday, 22.5.2008: Chea Sim Makes Pressure to Remove Sok An and Cham Prasidh from Their Positions after the Fourth Term Election

Posted on 23 May 2008. Filed under: Week 561 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 561

“According to some Cambodian People’s Party [CPP] officials, there have been strong arguments between the president and the vice-president of the CPP over the intention to remove Sok An and Cham Prasidh from their fixed positions of ministers after the fourth term election.

“This source said that Chea Sim, the President of the CPP, had told the CPP Vice-President Hun Sen to take actions to remove the Senior Minister in Charge of the Council of Ministers Sok An, from his position, which he has held for many years and for many terms, and which is full of corruption, and also the Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh, whose name in Chinese is Yu Tek Hua [phonetic]. This would bring some new blood, and some change among members of the CPP for the coming fourth term government.

“These requests had first been strongly opposed by Hun Sen in order to protect his in-law [there is a family link by marriage between children of the Prime Minister and of the Senior Minister in Charge of the Council of Ministers] so that he continues to hold the controls of the main state machinery of the government. The Council of Ministers has the right to make initial decisions to accept money from foreigners, and to give the right to foreign companies to do businesses in Cambodia, and this institution has also a big power in land management. As for the Ministry of Commerce, it is seen that it functions in the second important role – after the Council of Ministers – as it can earn income form everything that comes in, and it is called a lucrative ministry.

“Previously, some people remarked that the Ministry of Commerce of Cambodia was shrunk to be the ministry of Cham Prasidh’s family. It was seen that some important departments in the Ministry of Commerce were controlled by Cham Prasidh’s family and his relatives alone, including his sons and daughters, his nephews and nieces and cousins. Because of these reasons, the current Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh became miraculously a millionaire who has expensive villas in the city, in the suburbs, and at the coast, while some Khmer citizens can hardly buy rice to fill their rice cooking pots.

“As for Sok An, he is one level more special than Cham Prasidh. According to some ministers in the Council of Ministers, they said that in this ministry, many important positions belong to Sok An’s children and nephews or nieces who have just graduated. As for other staff, they were changed to any place where they cannot earn much. Moreover, Sok An has gained much benefits, called commissions, from foreign investors who want to invest in Cambodia.

“There was a report that last year Sok An collected tens of thousands of dollars monthly from some areas for which foreign companies had entered into some contracts with the government, but then left those areas unused, like the Koh Puas [Snake Island] island which had been contracted to the Malaysian Ariston Investment Company; but when Ariston was late and failed to make the planned investments, much money had already been collected and stuffed into Sok An’s drawer. In this case, one wonders if this happened just with the Ariston Company alone; Sok An eared tens of thousands of dollars per month – so how many other companies in Cambodia have a similar situation to that of the Ariston Company, and how many millions of dollars did Sok An earn from these cases?

“However, based on the information source from some CPP officials, in fact, the money earned by the Minister in Charge of the Council of Ministers, as well as that of the Minister of Commerce Cham Prasidh, is not just for them alone: one third of the money is delivered to Hun Sen, to be spent as he decides.

“By now, because of the unbalance of sharing of benefits using the power of the ministries, Hun Sen also started to attack this situation indirectly in a speech, saying that now the houses of some ministers are no longer houses; they all became villas.

“To sum up, it is noted that both Cham Prasidh and Sok An are the pipe to pump in and to collect money for Hun Sen. Now, Chea Sim claims therefore a reassignment of Sok An and of Cham Prasidh from their positions, which they have held for many years, and this shows that the party president is presenting his real intention: to cut the economic blood vessel of Hun Sen, who is his strong opponent within the CPP. To be fair towards Chea Sim and his group, Hun Sen should now make some contribution, to respond to Chea Sim’s intentions.

“It should be mentioned that although Hun Sen and Chea Sim are the two main sides – one side is Chea Sim and the other is Hun Sen – inside the CPP, we cannot overlook Heng Samrin, the former President of the People’s Republic of Cambodia, and now the Honorary President of the CPP. Because in the party, Heng Samrin, who is known as the ‘Old Respected Leader Achar Vech,’ has also many honest people which are not much lower in rank than those of Chea Sim and Hun Sen. Heng Samrin’s and Chea Sim’s group have many points in common – both groups are victims of the injustice of Hun Sen’s group, that means high and important positions are held by Hun Sen’s people, but for lower positions, Hun Sen leaves them for Chea Sim’s and Heng Samrin’s groups.

“This is the reason why Chea Sim, who has been patient for many years, dares to protest against Hun Sen by requesting the removal of Sok An and of Cham Prasidh from their lucrative positions, to let other people from Chea Sim’s line to hold these positions in the coming fourth term government.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3466, 22.5.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Thursday, 22 May 2008

Cambodge Soir, Vol.1, #33, 22-28.5.2008

  • ‘Inflation Will Push More Citizens to Vote’ [because it is the only opportunity for them to put pressure on parties to help solve this problem – says executive director of the Committee for Free and Fair Elections – COMFREL – Mr. Kol Panha]

Deum Tnot, Vol.1, #17, 22-23.5.2008

  • Gaps in the Election Law Make Some Parties to Have Access to Media to Propagandize All the Time

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1647, 22.5.2008

  • The Cambodian People’s Party Restates that There Will Be No Coalition Government with the Sam Rainsy Party
  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Granted an Audience to a South Korean Bank President [on 20 May 2008 over the creation of a Woori Bank in Cambodia]
  • Thirty Percent of Ratanakiri Children [of minority tribespeople] Do Not Have Access to a School
  • The United Nations Secretary-General [Ban Ki-Moon]: Burma Allows Foreign Helicopters to Transport Aid into the Country [he said on Tuesday]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #159, 22.5.2008

  • [Sam Rainsy Party president] Sam Rainsy: Everyone Must Seriously Consider the Publication of The Guardian [reference to a publication, “mirrored” also here on 20.5.2008]

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #21, 21-23.5.2008

  • The National Election Committee [NEC] Invited All Directors of Radio and Television Stations to Explain to them the Publication Regulations during the Election Campaign
  • Female Immigrants from Southeast Asia Face Difficulties in Taiwan

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6351, 22.5.2008

  • Cambodian Rice Price Increases 13% while in Vietnam It Increases 27% and in Thailand 23%
  • Russian Investor Wants to Create Factories and to Export Cambodian Agricultural Products [according to a meeting between the Rural Development Bank president and the government advisor Mr. Son Sokun, and Mr. Gugarevich Juri Vladislavovich]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3466, 22.5.2008

  • Chea Sim Makes Pressure to Remove Sok An and Cham Prasidh from Their Positions after the Fourth Term Election

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4595, 22.5.2008

  • Tens of Thousands of Teachers Got Only 488 Uniforms [after the Royal Government had organized a ceremony to show uniforms for teachers, with rank signs on them, on 17 May 2008]
  • Myanmar Does Not Accept Aid Sent by US Soldiers [according to a broadcast by state media on Wednesday 21 May 2008]

Sralanh Khmer, Vol.3, #660, 22.5.2008

  • Phnom Penh Authorities Are Hunting for Brigadier General Chea Ratha
  • Khieu Samphan Was Sent to Hospital [because of high blood pressure] while His Comrade [Ieng Thirith] Goes to the Court Dock

Have a look at last week’s editorial: How NOT to avoid critical reflection

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