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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Travel association in turmoil

Travel association in turmoil

Board members at the Cambodia Ass-ociation of Travel Agents have signed and thumbprinted a petit-ion requesting the removal of the association’s president for at least nine alleged wrongdoings.

Eleven of CATA’s 15 board members have accused president Ang Kim Eang of improper use of association funds and disregard for regulations, as well as leading the association without transparency or structure.

“I remember when he was general treasurer, he worked with us as a team. It was easy to talk to each other. But when he became president, he became autocratic and everything had to follow the word of the president,” said Om Pharin, CATA’s managing director and temporary president if the petition is seen through.  

Ang Kim Eang allegedly used CATA money to travel without the consent of other members, according to the petition, which members have submitted to the Ministry of Tourism.

Yesterday, the Post obtained a copy of the petition,  drafted on Wednesday.

Ang Kim Eang, also the president and CEO of Great Angkor Tours Co Ltd, denied the allegations and said the board did not have the power to remove him from his position without the support of the entire association.

“They are just a small group of people. They should not have the power to represent all 199 member companies in the association,” he said, adding that he would not file a legal complaint.

“I don’t care about board members who put their thumbprint on the petition, because it doesn’t comply with the will of all the assoc-iation’s members.”

Kong Sangvar, one of the four CATA board members who did not sign the petit-ion, said he wanted all CATA member companies to make a decision on the future of the presidency.

He said he had also called on the Ministry of Tourism to play a role in settling the dispute.

Elections for a new CATA president will be held at the end of this month. The purge from 11 board members was meant to prevent Ang Kim Eang becoming president again, Kong Sangvar said.

“There are just a few days left in his term, and this handful of people are afraid that Ang Kim Eang will be elected again. That’s why they did this,” he said.

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