Archive for August 14th, 2009

New Dragon Bridge of the Council of Ministers Worth More Than US$2 Million Was Demolished though It Had Never Been Used – Friday, 14.8.2009

Posted on 14 August 2009. Filed under: Week 625 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 625

“A dragon bridge of about 100 meters built from sand stone worth more than US$2 million was totally demolished last week, even though it had not yet been used. Some days after the demolishing of the dragon bridge, two stone posts in front of the new Council of Ministers building were also demolished without specifying any reason.

“The dragon bridge was built with a beautiful design to connect the staircase of the building of the Council of Ministers to the double roads in front of it. This demolition wasted millions of dollar and raised questions among the public. Some people asked to which extent those responsible for these reconstructions will be blamed.

“The demolishing of the dragon bridge and the stone posts at the Council of Ministers, which cannot be hidden from the public, brought much criticism from many circles, including from a senior official of the Sam Rainsy Party.

“A parliamentarian from Phnom Penh and senior official of the Sam Rainsy Party, Mr. Son Chhay, told Khmer Machas Srok about the demolishing, ‘In fact, we see that there has been strong criticism of the whole building.’ He added that the construction of this good building is paid for by loans from the Chinese government, which is a shame. Asking for a loan for this construction is a shame; moreover, there are quality problems and it is not known well what the irregularities are.

“Mr. Son Chhay went on to say, ‘As far as I know, that dragon bridge costs US$2 million, and it was built from sand stone. We do not know anything more, but normally, before any such constructions start, construction plans must have been organized, and there must have been technical discussions and discussions about esthetics.’ He added that the demolition is regrettable, as it wasted national resources and the money used for the construction was loaned.

“Mr. Son Chhay said that the government’s construction plan is paid for by loans from the Chinese government of more than US$36 million, and approx. US$32 million had already been spent; it is simply because loans are not yet used up and that is why they demolished the dragon bridge and those stone posts.

“Mr. Son Chhay added, ‘We regret it, because we are poor; we must not waste loans, it is not like when we draw pictures and then erase them again – here something was constructed and then demolished again. We have to think about the necessities we want to achieve before they are created. If something has already been constructed, we have to keep it, but not to demolish it. We still wonder what will be the explanation of the Council of Ministers.

“Phnom Penh residents and other people who travel along the Russian Federation Boulevard are wondering about the construction of another building for the Council of Ministers next to the building which has already constructed. They wonder, because the government does not explain it to the citizens.

“However, Mr. Hun Sen stated on 5 August 2009, when he handed degree documents to students at the National Institute of Education in Phnom Penh, that another building, being constructed next to the new Council of Ministers’ building – which has already been built – is an international conference center, and the plan was designed by himself. Mr. Hun Sen stated, ‘An international conference center is being constructed next to the building of the Council of Ministers. I planned the building myself, with a 120-by-45-meter layout. This building had five floors, but then it was recalculated to have seven floors.’

The Cambodia Daily quoted Mr. Hun Sen’s words on 10 August 2009 as saying, ‘With the help of China, we built the Council of Ministers building, but now, we construct the new building [by ourselves] for the next generation. It is not only for me and how long I can stay.’

“Cambodia is a country with leaders good at boasting and at arguing among Khmer nationals. The construction of a new international conference center still leaves doubts among the general public, and Mr. Son Chhay suggested that the Khmer National Assembly should summon the Minister of the Council of Ministers and Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Sok An, to explain all this to the National Assembly.

“Mr. Son Chhay said that, ‘in such a case, there must be a call for a proper explanation at the National Assembly. When citizens have doubts about such accomplishments, the parliament should call the people responsible for it, such as H.E. Sok An, to give an explanation, like we did previously regarding the fixing of lighting at the Angkor Wat Temple, so that everyone knows what is going on, otherwise it might result in misunderstandings and lead to the arrest of people. Therefore, the state has to release a statement to explain why there is this new construction… as a principle, there must be a explanation.’

“The Khmer public has more doubts about the new building of the Council of Ministers, after the dragon bridge and the stone posts worth millions of dollars had been demolished. Government officials gave unreasonable explanations that the demolition was made to gain place for a parking lot. This explanation leads to the criticism that something was done before, without thinking carefully, or not having had a right plan, which then led to the demolition, which wastes national resources, while Cambodia is suffering from the global economic crisis.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #468, 14.8.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 14 August 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #262, 14.8.2009

  • Samdech Euv [the former King] Praises the Heroism of All Armed Forces Defending the Territorial Integrity
  • Japan Provides Cambodia with US$82 Million for Two Projects [US$72 million is a low interest loan with the lowest interest rate of 0.01% for a multi-purpose terminal development project, and US$10 million is grant aid to support the improvement of the social economic structure and for the development of Cambodia]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #2022, 14.8.2009

  • Cambodia Expressed Its Position towards the [eighteen month house arrest] Conviction of Aung San Suu Kyi [Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hor Namhong said that Cambodia, like other ASEAN countries, called on Burma to not to convict Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi]
  • New Myanmar Ambassador to Cambodia Promises to Help Send Cambodian Monk Students to Continue Their [Buddhist] Studies in Myanmar
  • China Calls On the World to Respect the Sovereignty of Myanmar

Khmer Amatak, Vol.10, #677, 14.8.2009

  • [Director of the Soriya Clinic] Hy Soriya Who Almost Killed an Infant Is in Fear and Wrote a Letter of Apology to Withdraw a Charge [lodged by the infant’s family against him – Phnom Penh]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #468, 14.8.2009

  • New Dragon Bridge of the Council of Ministers Worth More Than US$2 Million Was Demolished though It Had Never Been Used

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6728, 14.8.2009

  • Police Raided a Bar Owned by Foreigners [two Englishmen] because of Prostitution where Twenty Four Beautiful Khmer Sex Workers Were Forced to Serve Clients [Phnom Penh]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4972, 14.8.2009

  • A Report [of the Committee for Free and Fair Elections] Shows Difficulties [of citizens and of civil society organizations] in Delivering Documents or Letters to Parliamentarians
  • [The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation] Mr. Hor Namhong: What Cambodia Does [to reconstruct the market at the Preah Vihear Temple] Does Not Depend on Whether Thailand Is Happy with It or Not
  • The Cambodian Government and the United Nations Create Independent Auditing for the Khmer Rouge Tribunal Finances
  • The Announcement of the Verdict in the Court Case about the Acid Attack on the Aunt of [actress] In Soklida Was Delayed for a Second Time, Becoming a ‘Special Case’
  • The Minister of Justice Calls to Be More Careful, Not to Lose Case Documents, and Not to Impose Overly Harsh Jail Sentences
  • A Woman Was Stabbed Many Times to Rob Her [she was rescued; the perpetrator escaped – Phnom Penh]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.17, #1772, 14-16.8.2009

  • [The Sam Rainsy Party president] Mr. Sam Rainsy Asked Citizens to Consider [Prime Minister] Hun Sen’s Announcement [from the previous day] to Use the Military

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
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