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Trafficking convict appeals sentence

Lin Yu-shin, general manager of Giant Ocean International, covers her face as she leaves Phnom Penh Municipal Court in 2014.

A Taiwanese woman convicted of trafficking hundreds of Cambodians into slave-like conditions on fishing boats yesterday appealed her 10-year sentence at the Supreme Court, while her victims pressed for more compensation money. Lin Yu-shin, the 52-year-old former manager of the now-defunct Giant Ocean International recruitment firm, was found guilty in 2014 along with five accomplices, who have remained at large as she has served her sentence in a Siem Reap prison. One of Yu-shin’s victims, Ther Bora, 34, recounted how he applied to work in Japan for the fishing company in June 2010, but he was instead sent to Fiji. After working for a month on the vessel, Bora requested his salary, only to be told three years’ worth of his wages had already been paid to Yu-shin.

Parties lambast legal changes

Khmer Power Party President Sourn Serey Rotha speaks at a debate on the recently passed changes to the Political Party Law yesterday at the Royal Academy in Phnom Penh.

Two of Cambodia’s minor parties yesterday railed against the adoption of amendments to the Law on Political Parties, saying their rapid push through parliament waylaid important legislation and served only the political interests of Prime Minister Hun Sen. Sourn Serey Ratha, president of the Khmer Power Party, and Sam Sundoeun, Grassroots Democracy Party deputy president, told a forum at the Royal University of Phnom Penh the legal changes would “break the nation” and would be bad for the economy – echoing a recent Moody’s assessment. The amendments prohibit parties from using the voice, written materials or image of any convicted criminal – an explicit attempt to erase former opposition leader Sam Rainsy from Cambodia’s political arena ahead of national elections next year.

Rubber exports bounce higher

A worker collects coagulated latex at a rubber plantation in Kampong Cham’s Memot district in 2014.

Cambodian rubber exports surged 37 percent during the first half of the year, compared to the same period in 2016, as the Kingdom’s rising harvest capacity coincided with firmer global demand for rubber products. Local producers exported 70,000 tonnes of rubber during the first six months of 2017, compared to 51,000 tonnes during the same period a year earlier, an agriculture official said yesterday. Pol Sopha, general director of the Rubber Department at the Ministry of Agriculture, said prices also improved during the first six months of the year, with the median export price on natural rubber rising 76 percent year-on-year to $1,771 per tonne. He said the improved prices should help plantation owners and farmers offset some of their losses from recent years, when prices nosedived on slower demand and a glut in world supply.

Migrant voter registration discussed

CNRP lawmaker Son Chhay speaks to the press after a roundtable discussion on voter registration for migrant workers yesterday in Phnom Penh.

Civil society groups and four opposition political parties have called on the National Election Committee (NEC) to facilitate the registration of overseas Cambodian workers before next year’s national ballot, but the committee continues to maintain that such a measure is beyond its jurisdiction. Moeun Tola, head of labour rights group Central, said Thailand, South Korea and Malaysia alone housed well over a million migrant workers and that the NEC should look to register them at embassies and consulates in those countries. If that is not possible, he said, registration booths should exist along the Thai border, though he pointed out that could be a costly option for voters. Creation of a new voter registration list was an integral part of the political compromise reached by the two major political parties.

NEC officials tally votes during a recount last week in Phnom Penh.

Cambodia’s National Election Committee last week rejected 33 of 61 complaints filed over the conduct of June 4’s commune election, according to a s

People search for their names on the voter lists at a polling station in Kampong Cham’s Veal Vong commune earlier this month.

Four years ago, when the opposition snatched Kampong Cham away from the ruling party in 2013 national elections, it hinted at a deeper shift taking

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