New Sub-Decree: Foreigners Can Own 70% of Condominiums – Monday, 19.7.2010

Posted on 21 July 2010. Filed under: Week 674 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 674

“Construction development companies have received some information about a new sub-decree that allows foreigners to own about 70% of condominium buildings, in order to promote the real estate and the construction sectors in Cambodia.

“The sub-decree adopted by the Council of Ministers states that foreigners in Cambodia can have about 70% of ownership rights of houses.

“This figure is lower than that which had been proposed in the draft of the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning, and Construction which had determined that foreigners can own 80%. Nevertheless, this percentage is still higher than that had been proposed in the first draft about foreign ownership in 2009 which was only 49%.

“The spokesperson of the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning, and Construction, Ms. Nun Pheany, said on Sunday, ‘Such a decision is to allow Cambodians to own more real estate in order to prevent too much ownership by foreigners.’

“Though the percentage for the control of real estate by foreigners is now lower, the sub-decree is still a starting point to encourage foreign investors to help develop the real estate market in Cambodia.

“Ms. Pheany believes that to develop that field cannot rely only on local buyers.

“Analysts agreed that the adoption by the government about the ownership rights of foreigners can help to boost the Cambodian economy that is being seriously affected by the global financial crisis.

“Prices of land and houses in Cambodia declined by 40% to 60% compared to 2008 when prices went sky-rocketing.

“A senior partner of the Sciaroni & Associates Company and a legal adviser to the government, Mr. Bretton G. Sciaroni, said on Sunday that the sub-decree will provide a new opportunity for the Cambodian economy. He said, ‘It can help Cambodia in many ways. It helps create not only long term operations, but also attracts new foreign investors. He thinks that the sub-decree will turn Cambodia to be a country with some attraction in the region, as the decree is not too strict compared to neighboring countries.

“He said, ‘We are more open and have a better atmosphere than Thailand.’ In Thailand, foreigners can own houses merely up to 49%.

“Companies constructing satellite cities in the Phnom Penh area welcomed the decision of the government and hope that this will assist the development of the real estate market in Cambodia and increase the selling of houses, when investors can purchase more real estate property.

“The director of the construction project on Koh Pich island, Mr. Touch Samnang, said, ‘This sub-decree is good for the development of the real estate market in Cambodia. We expect that through the provision of ownership rights, more foreign investors will consider investing in Cambodia.’

“His company is constructing 168 houses and villas at Koh Pich island, and this has been achieved already by 40%.

“The executive director of the Bunna Realty Group, Mr. Sung Bunna, thinks that this sub-decree will make Cambodia become an attractive place for foreign investors. But he warned that this sub-decree alone is not sufficient to attract investors to come to Cambodia, adding, ‘Cambodia needs to have other incentives.'” Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #217, 19.7.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 19 July 2010

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2304, 18-19.7.2010

  • Cambodia Will Send Deminers for a Peace Keeping Mission in Lebanon [under the system of the United Nations, said Prime Minister Hun Sen – in September 2010]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #7011, 19.7.2010

  • Big Mineral, Oil, and Gas Companies Have to Declare the Amount of Money Paid to the Royal Government [Oxfam praised the US Senate for requiring the declaration by US registered mineral, oil, and gas companies of payments to different governments around the world as a legal obligation]
  • Samdech Dekchor: Cambodia and the United States of America Still Have the Potential to Expand Cooperation [he said so during a meeting with US Under-Secretary of State Mr. William Burns]
  • A Firefighter Association in Japan Donated 20 Firefighter Trucks to the Phnom Penh Municipality

Nokor Wat, Vol.1, #7, 18-19.7.2010

  • [Sam Rainsy Party member] Mu Sochua Called the Legal Institutions Controlled by the King Powerless [when there is no response to a Sam Rainsy Party letter to the King to ask for intervention regarding her defamation case against Prime Minister Hun Sen; so far there is no reaction yet from officials of the Royal Palace]
  • Cambodia Has a High Potential to Plant Rubber Trees on as Many as 600,000 Hectares [at present rubber trees are planted on 139,210 hectares, and Cambodia can already produce more than 40,000 tonnes of rubber each year for export]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3935, 19.7.2010

  • The Legal System and Corruption Are Priorities for Reforms in Order to Encourage a Good Atmosphere to Attract Investors
  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Mu Sochua: The Sam Rainsy Party Asked the United States of America to Guarantee the Return of Sam Rainsy and Free and Fair Elections [during a visit of Mr. William Burns]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #217, 19.7.2010

  • New Sub-Decree: Foreigners Can Own 70% of Condominiums
  • A US Official [Mr. William Burns]: Military Ties between Cambodia and America Are More Than Donations of Materials [but they aim at national defense reforms towards the encouragement of civil and military relations that are crucial for a political system]
  • The United States of America Delivered Seven Artifacts to Cambodia [as part of the celebration of the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties between both countries]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5253, 18-19.7.2010

  • Seventy Five Guards Are Deployed to Protect Porpoises from Extinction [in Stung Treng]
  • Barai Tuek Thla Reservoir Resort Will Face Drought if There Is No Rain [it was built during the Angkor era – Siem Reap ]

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.
And please recommend The Mirror also to your colleagues and friends.

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Friday, 4.7.2008: Civil Society Organizations Are Concerned That There Might Be a New Boom of the Spreads of AIDS

Posted on 5 July 2008. Filed under: Week 567 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 567

“Phnom Penh: Many Officials are concerned that there might be another boom of the spread of AIDS in Cambodia.

“Mr. Chuop Sok Chamroeun, a program officer of the Khmer HIV/AIDS NGO Alliance [KHANA], said on 3 July 2008 that the spread of HIV might explode again in Cambodia, because of the change in the attitude towards sex. He added that since the government has strengthened the law enforcement on sexual and human trafficking, most sex workers had left brothels to find clients by themselves. ‘Some still work in places of entertainment, and some work during the night at public places, making it very difficult for us to educate them.’

“Dr. Teng Kunthy, secretary general of the National AIDS Authority, said on 3 July 2008 that the number of men seeking sexual services at brothels declined to half of what it was before, but men find the services at places of entertainment by asking for it. If they are careless, they will risk to get HIV.

“According to the study, 96% of people having sex at brothels use condoms, but the percentage of men using condoms when they have sex with their girlfriends or with occasional contacts is not known.

“Mr. Chuop Sok Chamroeun said if they are careless even only once, they might be infected by HIV. He added, ‘We are so worried that if there is no preventive action in time, there will be another boom of a second wave of HIV infections, because men getting infected with HIV in this way might spread HIV to their wives and children, which will become a tragedy. He asserted that previously, it was easy to educate sex workers at brothels so that they understand AIDS, but now they work outside, making it hard to educate them, because we don’t know where they are and where they work; some work at massage houses, karaoke parlors, or other places of entertainment. Because of the above problems, we are worried about a second wave of an HIV infection like in 1997, which was the first wave of a strong spread of HIV. Since then, AIDS was fairly well prevented, but if we are careless, the infection might boom again.’

“In order to prevent these problems, Dr. Teng Kunthy and Mr. Chuop Sok Chamroeun said that education is very important, and in addition also special measures, and they requested that all places of entertainment should participate to give their staff the opportunity to understand AIDS. Nowadays, staff at places of entertainment have formed groups of friends, to educate their own friends team to help each another at their workplaces, and by educating their friends to use condoms with their clients or partners.” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1684, 4.7.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 4 July 2008


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1684, 4.7.2008

  • Civil Society Organizations Are Concerned That There Might Be a New Boom of the Spreads of AIDS
  • Dr. Keo Iev, Director of the Oral Fresh Water company Who Was Shot and Whose Gold was Robbed, Died [on 3 July 2008]
  • Solar Battery Charging Station [with 5.32 kilowatt] Is Created in Cambodia [with Japanese aid]


Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #191, 4.7.2008

  • Ban Sreymom, [Pailin municipal governor] Ea Chhean’s Wife, Is Well-known in Pailin in Relation to Land Disputes
  • [San Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Phnom Penh] Son Chhay: Khmer Officials and Citizens Loose Approximately US$600 Million Gambling in Casinos Each Year


Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #40, 4.7.2008

  • Community Sanitation and Recycling Organization Is Facing Market Crisis [to sell products to citizens – such as bags, vases, necklaces, or bracelets created from waste – because Cambodian citizens do not value these processed products]
  • Husband and Wife Were Robbed and Killed and Their Children Survived [on 3 July 2008 in Koh Sotin District, Kompong Cham]


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6388, 4.7.2008

  • National Bank of Cambodia Announced Regulations to Be Implemented in Banks and Financial Institutions in Cambodia
  • The National Election Committee: From 26 June 2008 to 1 July 2008, There Were Forty Related Lawsuits Registered
  • Fifteen Hostages [eleven kidnapped soldiers and police, and three US defense contractors] Liberated from Colombian Rebel’s Camp [of the Revolutionary Arm Forces of Colombia – FARC] including Ms. Betancourt [a former presidential Candidate of Colombia with dual French-Colombian citizenship, on 2 July 2008]


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3503, 4.7.2008

  • Human Rights Officials [from the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights – LICADHO – and from the Cambodian Human Rights and Development Association – ADHOC] Push for Timely Trials of Ieng Sary and of Other Former Khmer Rouge Leaders, Being Afraid that They Might Die Like Pol Pot
  • World Bank Fails in Cambodian Army Reform


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4632, 4.7.2008

  • UNESCO [in Bangkok]: “It Is Too Late” for a Thai Protest Regarding the Preah Vihear Temple
    Cambodia [with support from the Japanese International Cooperation Agency – JICA] Could Hatch River Lobster Eggs for the Fist Time in Its History
  • [South] Korean Ministry of Finance and the Korean Busan Bank Signed an Agreement to Develop a Stock Market in Cambodia

Have a look at the last editorial – Preah Vihear still in the headlines – more information about Thailand’s and Cambodia’s documents.

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Monday, 16.6.2008: Female Sex Workers and AIDS Activists Voice Concerns over New Law

Posted on 17 June 2008. Filed under: Week 565 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |


Apologies for the delayed posting – I am in a hospital, and therefore some delays in editing may happen also during the next days.

Norbert Klein

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 565

“On 15 February 2008, Cambodia implemented its new law to curb down human trafficking and sexual exploitation. This law aims to punish criminals who traffic humans and commit sexual exploitation, in order to protect human dignity and human rights, to promote the values of proper customs and traditions of the country, and in order to comply with the protocol of the United Nations on these problems. Article 23 of this law defines Prostitution a having sexual intercourse with an unspecified person or other sexual conduct of any kind in exchange for any value.’

“However, entertainment workers, sex workers, and AIDS activists voice concerns about this law. A 36-year-old female sex worker of a brothel in Sihanoukville, the resort and international seaport, said, ‘I had never heard of the law talking about sexual exploitation, and if it is true, I think that it is a severe problem for us. I agree that sex work undermines Khmer culture and Khmer women’s reputation, but we have no choice.’ Sreyrath, who is a widow with four children, and who has been working as a sex worker nearly 10 years, said that she and her friends do not want to do such work, but it is because they are poor and illiterate. And Rath was trafficked to work as a prostitute in Thailand in the late 1990s; she used to use drugs as well. She said, ‘We are sex workers because of poverty and of the social situation which forces us to do this job. The leaders should understand our situation.’

“Poverty and the lack of skills seem to be significant factors hindering the social progress for women. Most of the interviewed women said their husbands died, and the big burden fell on them, especially it is really difficult for those who have children. For instance, as 27-year-old widow with three children, working in a restaurant said, ‘I do not want to go out to sleep with men, but since my husband died, I have no one else to depend on. I have no skill to find another job. Sleeping with one guest one night, I can get US$30, sometimes, US$100. If the law is adopted and it is the implemented seriously, I think it will be very difficult for us. We do not know what other job else could do.’

“According to Cambodia’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases, the number of women who do sex work regularly is approximately 3,430, and 13,723 do it occasionally. The organization KHANA with cooperating partner organizations provides knowledge and information on HIV and Sexually Transmitted Diseases’ prevention to 1,568 regular sex workers and to 4,715 occasional sex workers.

“Anter Nita, Director of the Sihanoukville-based. Community United for Development [CUD], said if the new law will be enforced strongly; sex workers, especially those at present at brothels, will do clandestine work .

“Nita added, ‘My organization has regularly educated sex workers to help them to protect themselves from infection from AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases, teaching them methods to persuade guests who want to force them to have sex without condoms, and teaches them methods to find good services for their health care. Our present program ‘One hundred percent condom use’ and the education programs for preventing diseases among sex workers will be affected, if they work clandestinely.’ According to reports from some local non-government organizations, police of some provinces warn owners of Karaoke parlors and of bars that they will be fined, if condoms are found in their places. These reports shows that since the implementation of this law started, some brothels have been closed, and people dare not to talk or to put condoms openly.

“Sreyrath said, ‘I would like to suggest that the law should not penalize women who are sex workers, otherwise we will have no means to feed ourselves. We really do not want work as sex workers, but we have no other jobs. Moreover, with this law sex workers will move around and continue to do sex work with no definite places to stay, and they cannot receive education about AIDS.’” Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1668, 15-16.6.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 16 June 2008


Chouy Khmer, Vol.2, #120, 16.6.2008

  • Co-prosecutor of the [Khmer Rouge] Tribunal Plans to Detain Three More Former Khmer Rouge Leaders [whose name have not been mentioned, but they are known holding positions of Generals of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, now living in Oddar Meanchey]
  • Siem [Thai] Police Posted Chea Ratha’s Portraits Everywhere to Trace Hewr Down and Hand Her Over to Khmer Authorities to Be Prosecuted [over the acid attack on Ms. In Soklida’s aunt]
  • President of the Kampuchea Krom Khmer Association Thach Ngoc Thach Continues Plan to March to Kampuchea Krom [to urge Vietnam to respect human rights]


Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1668, 15-16.6.2008

  • Female Sex Workers and AIDS Activists Voice Concerns over New Law
  • While Prices of Fuel Increase, the Measure of the Liter [seems] Declining [this is a suspicion expressed by moto-taxi drivers]
  • Thailand Prohibits the Import of Rice from Cambodia through Border Crossing [Battambang]


Khmer Amatak, Vol.9, #591, 16.6.2008

  • The Editor-in-Chief of Moneaksekar Khmer [Mr. Dam Sith] Was Released on Bail by the Court in Response to a Letter of Guarantee by Prime Minister Hun Sen [15 June 2008]
  • Yuons [Vietnamese] Say Although They Do Not Vote, the Cambodian People’ Party Still Wins


Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6372, 16.6.2008

  • Tuberculosis Program Is Strengthened by following the Anti-AIDS Programs


Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3487, 16.6.2008

  • [Opposition party president] Mr. Sam Rainsy Calls for Members of the Cambodian People’s Party Who Care for the Nation and for Justice to Join the Sam Rainsy Party


Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4616, 15-16.6.2008

  • World Bank Provided Loans and Grant Aid Worth US$41.5 to Cambodia [for road construction and for the distribution of land to the poor – 13 June 2008]
  • Biological Diversity Treaty [to conserve and reduce the destruction of biological diversity and natural resources] held in June 2008, Focusing on the Financial Mechanism [at the city of Bonn/Germany [191 countries participating, Germany providing US$500 to the biological preservation fund]
  • Construction Site of a Bridge Crossing Tonle Sap River at Prek Pnov [worth US$42,550,520 to be implemented by L.Y.P Group Company of Oknha Ly Yong Phat] Will Be Opened Today
  • Woman Was Robbed, Hit with a Gun, while Leaving the Olympic Market, and a Box Containing More than US$30,000 Was Taken


Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3334, 15-16.6.2008

  • The National Election Committee Prints Twenty Four Different Ballots for the National Fourth Term Election

Have a look at the last editorial – press freedom was strongly under threat

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