Vann Molyvann: Some Public Properties Are State Properties, but They Are under the Control of the Ruling Party – Saturday, 29.5.2010

Posted on 30 May 2010. Filed under: Week 666 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 666

“Mr. Vann Molyvann, the greatest Khmer architect since the 1960ies, recalls pleasant memories and achievements, having designed many public constructions, but it is now important in his mind that some of his greatest achievements have been changed, and the public can no longer have access to them; that means that the management and the exploitation of those achievements serve only a small group.

“Since Cambodia gained independence from France in 1953, Mr. Vann Molyvann invested all his efforts to work with Samdech Norodom Sihanouk to organize the muddy Phnom Penh city to become a modern city, but in the late 1960ies, Cambodia fell into war, and finally the country came under control of the Khmer Rouge genocidal regime, developments which had forced Mr. Vann Molyvann to flee Cambodia, leaving behind numerous works of New Khmer Architecture.

“After living abroad for more than 20 years, Mr. Vann Molyvann returned to Cambodia and continued to work as an architect, trying to organize the city of Phnom Penh with the intention to keep the Khmer architecture for a long time. Mr. Vann Molyvann had opposed some plans that destroyed the beauty of the city, like the construction of high-rise buildings near the Royal Palace, or in the historical and cultural areas in Siem Reap, which did not satisfy some officials, and they did not appreciate the idea to conserve Khmer architecture. That caused Mr. Vann Molyvann to resign from his position in the Cambodian government.

“Mr. Vann Molyvann told Mr. Tom Waiter of The Wall Street Journal that he met [when he was student of law in France] Mr. Henri Marchal, a French expert architect, working at the French School of the Far East [which was also involved in the study and restoration of Angkor Wat], and at that time he realized that he wanted to be an architect. Then Mr. Vann Molyvann was transferred to the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-arts – the highest institution for Arts studies, where he studied until 1950. Mr. Vann Molyvann came back to Cambodia in 1956.

“Mr. Vann Molyvann recalled that it was difficult work and a challenge the start to design some important buildings, like the Chaktomuk Conference Hall, the Independence Monument, the National Olympic Stadium, the Royal University of Phnom Penh, and especially the plan to organize Phnom Penh to become a modern city. To reorganize the city maintaining Khmer architecture was difficult, as the country had been under French colonial rule for almost 100 years, everything seemed to be full of French architecture.

“He recalls that he produced many plans for the Independence Monument and submitted them to the Head of State [Prince Sihanouk], and he was afraid to directly disagree with the Head of State about how to organize the city and other great public construction tasks in Phnom Penh. Mr. Vann Molyvann began dredging earth to fill up some areas to the south area of the Royal Palace and some other parts of Phnom Penh in order to create parks and to keep Phnom Penh clean.

“As for the National Olympic Stadium that can seat 60,000 people, it is great architecture, using Khmer style that further beautifies Phnom Penh. The Chaktomuk Conference Hall was his first plan, drafted so that it looks like an open palm leaf. The library in the Institute of Foreign Languages and the Royal University of Phnom Penh were built in Khmer style. By the early of the 1960ies, Cambodia had many great public works of constructions that were internationally admired.

“Mr. Vann Molyvann added that he had fled the country for some time when Cambodia started to have a civil war. He returned to Cambodia in 1993 and was assigned Secretary of State of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, in charge of land management, and his special work was to organize the World Heritage areas in Siem Reap cooperating with UNESCO. When Mr. Vann Molyvann opposed the constructions of some hotels and international entertainment places that affect the beauty and the Angkor scenery, some officials were not satisfied with him.

“Mr. Vann Molyvann went on to say that the government wanted him to use the resources of the Angkor area to develop Siem Reap without the participation from local citizens. In 1998, he was appointed as head of the Apsara Authority, and his role was to conserve ancient temples and the Angkor scenery. He said that three years later in 2001, there were disagreements among experts over the development and the use of ground water that can affect the stability of the base of ancient temples, and if there were no solutions, many ancient temples would collapse and could not last long. However, some powerful officials still kept to promote these developments against the ideas and the concepts of Mr. Vann Molyvann, which caused him to resign from his position.

“Now Mr. Vann Molyvann is old, and he returned recently to Cambodia and drove his own car to see the great works of architecture that he had built, like the Independence Monument, the Chaktomuk Conference Hall, the National Olympic Stadium, the National Library etc., and he found that they changed much. Real estate considered to be state property is not managed properly. It seems like the current rulers manage state properties just as they like, which does not serve the public interest.

Independence Monument and one-third built 42-stories Golden Double Tower

Independence Monument and one-third built 42-stories Golden Double Tower

“Actually, private companies built flats around the National Olympic Stadium, making it lose some areas formerly used for sports, and it affects the environment, as it blocks the free flow of air. Cambodia has not had a law regarding the turning of state property into private property, but so far, some state buildings have been transferred to private companies, but without transparent bidding processes. There was also collusion to exchange state buildings in the center of the city for places in the suburbs, based on private interests.

“With some sadness and anger, Mr. Vann Molyvann spoke out loudly that at present: the great architecture that he constructed with all his efforts for the public and for the interest of society no longer remains. Mr. Vann Molyvann said that those properties no longer belong to the state, as they are managed by the ruling Cambodian People’s Party instead.

“Mr. Vann Molyvann’s claim seems right, because nowadays, most state buildings are controlled by state institutions with officials from the ruling party in charge, like the Chaktomuk Conference Hall which is controlled by the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, and the National Olympic Stadium which is controlled by the Ministry of Education, where even Khmer Kampuchea Krom people are not allowed to use those places to commemorate the 61st anniversary of the loss of Khmer Kampuchea Krom land [to Vietnam], being denied for some illogical reasons.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #38, 29-30.5.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Saturday, 29 May 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #490, 29.5.2010

  • The Sam Rainsy Party Sent a Letter to the Ministry of Interior for the Second Time to Ask for Permission to Visit Two Prisoners [jailed for removing Cambodian-Vietnamese border markers in Svay Rieng]
  • The Khmer Rouge Tribunal Lacks US$3.1 Million for the Process in 2010 [the Cambodian side of the Khmer Rouge Tribunal needed US$6.5 million; so far, US$3.4 million has been granted by Australia, the European Union, Germany, and Japan, so they still lack US$3.1 million]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2261, 29.5.2010

  • Two Groups of Citizens Continue to Accuse the Heng Development Company of Grabbing Their Land, now Asking for an Intervention from Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen and His Wife
  • Nine Teenage Boys [between 17 and 28 years old] Lured a [19 year old] Teenage Girl and Raped Her [three of them were arrested – Phnom Penh]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6968, 29-30.5.2010

  • The Authorities Used Force to Disperse Protesters from the Area at the Independence Monument [close to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s city house]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #38, 29-30.5.2010

  • Vann Molyvann: Some Public Properties Are State Properties, but They Are under the Control of the Ruling Party
  • Creating a Law to Control Political Party Budgets Would Help to Reduce the Buying of Votes and of Paying Political Activists

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5210, 29.5.2010

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Asked the World Tourism Organization to Continue to Help Conserve Porpoises in Cambodia
  • Electricité du Cambodge Can Supply Only 250 Megawatt of Electricity, while the Demand for Consumption Is Up to 290 Megawatts [therefore, electricity is cut off at irregular times in some areas]

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The Number of Clients of Electricité du Cambodge Increased to 338,567 and the Power Sold Is 1,643 Gigawatt-Hours – Tuesday, 23.3.2010

Posted on 23 March 2010. Filed under: Week 657 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 657

“Phnom Penh: A high ranking official of the Ministry of Economy and Finance said that in 2009, according to a source from Electricité du Cambodge,338,567 houses or offices were supplied with the power of 1,643 gigawatt-hours in Cambodia.

“The deputy secretary-general of the National Economic Council and a high ranking official of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Mr. Hav Ratanak, said during a conference about the prospects for Cambodian in 2010, organized on 17 March 2010, that, according to the documents of Electricité du Cambodge, the amount of energy that this institution received and distributed, rose up to 1,643 gigawatt-hours, increasing by 192 gigawatt-hours, while the number of clients increased to 338,567, going up by 23,034, compared with 2008.

“He added that in 2009, 306,898 houses of citizens, 2,184 clients who are foreigners, 26,543 businesses, 1,094 industrial sites, and 1,848 government offices were supplied with electricity.

“According to Mr. Ratanak, in order to promote the plan to develop electricity in Cambodia, Electricité du Cambodge set up a three-year strategic plan, starting from 2010 to 2013. He said that between 2010 and 2013, Cambodia plans to import electricity of up to 5,108 gigawatt-hours from Vietnam and 625 gigawatt-hours from Thailand. Besides, other possible sources of electricity are from Kirirom I, Kirirom II, Kamchay, and the A Tai river hydro-electricity dams, and from electricity plants using coal to generate electricity.

“So far, it is believed that only 17% to 18% of Cambodians have access to electricity. Based on these projections, 70% of Cambodians will have access to electricity by 2030.

“In the region, the electricity prices in Cambodia were considered to be the highest, and Cambodia is also the country with least supply of electricity.

“The prices of electricity being supplied in Cambodia by Electricité du Cambodge are about Riel 610 [approx. US$0.14] per kilowatt-hour, if the consumption is between 0 to 50 kilowatt-hours per month, but if it is 0 to 100 kilowatt-hours or beyond, prices range from Riel 720 [approx. US$0.17] to Riel 940 [approx. US$0.22]. And for citizens, who use privately generated electricity, it is more expensive.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5157, 23.3.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #441, 23.3.2010

  • Cambodia Is at the 21st Position among 22 Countries with Serious Tuberculosis, 13,000 People Died in a Year

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2208, 23.3.2010

  • The South Korean President Requested to Recruit More Workers from Cambodia Than from Other Countries [this is in response to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s request – the Ministry of Labor of South Korea is recruiting 700 agricultural workers]
  • More Than Fifteen Cubic Meters of Kronhoung Wood Was Confiscated in Choam Ksant District [Preah Vihear]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #633, 23.3.2010

  • The Kompong Speu Court Summoned [five] Citizens, Victimized by the Use of Machinery of [Senator and Oknha] Ly Yong Phat to Clear Their Land
  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Yim Sovann: Those Who Oppose the United Nations Protect Corrupt People

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6915, 23.3.2010

  • Hundreds of Cubic Meters of Wood Were Intercepted at the Memut Border Crossing [after the recent order by Prime Minister Hun Sen to control forestry crimes – Kompong Cham]
  • 180 Pieces of Luxury Wood Were Intercepted and Delivered to the Forestry Administration [Ratanakiri]
  • The National Bank of Cambodia Celebrated the 30th Anniversary of the Printing of Riel Notes

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.17, #3839, 23.3.2010

  • Authorities Send the Case of the Boeng Kak Lake Residents Back and Forth and Do Not Have the Real Intention to Address It [on 22 March 2010, about 200 Boeng Kak Lake residents protested in front of the Phnom Penh Municipality to demand ownership documents for their land where they lived already for years]

Meatophoum, Vol.54, #764, 22-27.3.2010

  • In Mondolkiri, in One Tonne of Earth, 2.3 Grams of Gold Can Be Extracted [according to the OZ Minerals Company that has discovered four places in the province where gold can be extracted]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #136, 23.3.2010

  • Draft: Acid Attackers Might Stay for the Rest of Their Lives in Prison
  • The Sam Rainsy Party Will Commemorate the 13th Anniversary of the Grenade Attack of 30 March 1997 [where at least ten people were killed]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5157, 23.3.2010

  • The Number of Clients of Electricité du Cambodge Increased to 338,567 and the Power Sold Is 1,643 Gigawatt-Hours
  • Cambodia Rejected Information about Any Involvement with the B41 Grenade Explosions in Thailand [after Thai Television 3 broadcast that B41 grenades could have been imported from Cambodia]

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There Will Be No Longer a Price of Riel 390 per Kilowatt/Hour – Tuesday, 26.1.2010

Posted on 27 January 2010. Filed under: Week 649 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Mirror, Vol. 14, No. 649

“Phnom Penh: The price of electricity supplied by Electricité du Cambodge in Phnom Penh, Kandal, Kompong Speu, Takeo, Sihanoukville, and Kompong Cham of Riel 390 [approx. US$0.09] per kilowatt-hour for households will no longer exist. The cost for household costumers, who consume less than 50 kilowatt-hours per month, is Riel 610 per kilowatt-hour [approx. US$0.15]. The change of electricity costs and prices was discussed during a roundtable meeting organized by the Ministry of Industry, Mines, and Energy, and by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, at the Hotel Cambodiana on 25 January 2010, and officials involved from the 6 cities and provinces attended the meeting.

“A secretary of state of Industry, Mines, and Energy, Mr. Ith Prang, said during the meeting, organized to release a list of electricity prices for 2010 in Phnom Penh, Kandal, Kompong Speu, Takeo, Sihanoukville, and Kompong Cham, that the [old] list of electricity prices had been approved and used since 2006, because during that period, a barrel of oil was only US$50, whereas at present, it costs US$80; and the expense for electricity production is regularly higher than the income in the six cities and provinces. The increased expenses, which exceed the income collected, based on the set selling rates, made Electricité du Cambodge to lose as much as US$27 million in 2008 in Phnom Penh, Kandal, and Kompong Speu, requiring the government to review the list of electricity prices set in 2006 to be in line with the present situation.

“He added that according to the list of electricity costs in 2006 for household customers, if they consume less than 50 kilowatt-hours per month, they were charged only Riel 350 per kilowatt-hour which is half of the original production cost, making Electricité du Cambodge to face a continual loss, while the state does not pay for that loss. Now, the price of Riel 350 per kilowatt-hour was canceled for Phnom Penh and Kandal, but there is now a price of Riel 610 per kilowatt-hour if the citizens consume below 50 kilowatt-hours per month. A list of electricity prices for 2010 in Phnom Penh, and its selling rates for household customers will be adjusted.

“As for the supply of electricity by Electricité du Cambodge in Sihanoukville and Kompong Cham, Mr. Ith Prang said that the selling prices were also lower than the original production costs, but from 2010 on, the prices in the two provinces will be also be adjusted. The electricity prices for customers in the commercial and industrial sectors will be the same as those implemented in Phnom Penh, Kandal, and Kompong Speu. The electricity prices for commerce and industry are adjusted because the state stopped subsidizing valued-added tax payments (VAT) for Electricité du Cambodge.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5109, 26.1.2010

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Deum Ampil, Vol.4, #397, 26.1.2010

  • The Border Situation Is Normal after a Clash [between Cambodian and Thai soldiers]
  • [Thai ousted and fugitive prime minister] Thaksin Shinawatra Prepares to Form a Government-in-Exile if There Is Another Coup [in Thailand]

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.9, #2160, 26.1.2010

  • Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen Vowed to Combat Corruption [he said so during an audience with the King at the Royal Palace]

Khmer Amatak, Vol.11, #725, 26.1.2010

  • The Government Warned that It Will Further Sue the [opposition party] Party President for Disinformation and Incitement, Creating Social Instability [as he said that the setting of Cambodian-Vietnamese border markers leads to the loss of Cambodian territory]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.4, #589, 26.1.2010

  • The Pursat Authorities Close Their Eyes, Not Seeing the Strong Logging Activities for Luxury Wood in the Forest

Koh Santepheap, Vol.43, #6867, 26.1.2010

  • A Sugar Factory Was Inaugurated by Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen [in Koh Kong], and the Government Still Maintains the Position to Welcome Investment Projects
  • A Widow, a Mother of One Child, Was Raped and Killed in Order to Shut Her Mouth; Police Suspect that the Murderer Is an Acquaintance [Kampot]

Meatohoum, Vol.54, #758, 26.1.20010

  • The Daun Penh Authorities Do Not Take Action against Overloaded Trucks [Phnom Penh]

Phnom Penh Post [Khmer Edition], Vol.1, #97, 26.1.2010

  • Khmer Military Official [General Srey Dek] Said that Three Thai Soldiers Died in a Clash in the Choam Tae Area
  • The Number of Women Diagnosed Having Breast Cancer Increased in Cambodia [to 1,548 cases in 2009, while in 2008, there were only 1,280 cases; according to a report of the Cambodian-Russian Friendship Hospital, more than 18,000 Cambodian women have breast cancer, and 40% of them died]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.18, #5109, 26.1.2010

  • There Will Be No Longer a Price of Riel 390 per Kilowatt/Hour
  • Bangkok [actually Thai Region 2 army commander] Apologized to Cambodia after an Armed Clash, Resulting in the Death of Three Thai Soldiers
  • Two Traffic Accidents in Stung Treng Killed Three People and Injured Five

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.18, #1863, 26.1.2010

  • The World Bank Said that the Recovery of [the Cambodian] Economy Depends on [international] Loans [this bank forecast that Cambodia will achieve 4.2% growth in 2010]

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