ANOTHER player has publicly joined the verbal war of words against outspoken MP
Sam Rainsy - Cambodia's investment body, the Cambodian Development
The council issued an extraordinary and rambling condemnation
against Rainsy on Feb 2, faxing it to all concerned media.
statement accuses Rainsy of leaking a confidential Royal Government contract to
It said: "... Mr Rainsy tries to manipulate the public opinion
and to blatantly encourage the leakage of confidential information to the
The statement went on the extol the virtues of the "renaissance"
of Royal Air Cambodge - indicating it was the RAC contract that Rainsy
The Phnom Penh Post was one to which the RAC document was
originally leaked - and it was not done by Rainsy.
One source close to
the CDC office said he regretted the press statement and was aware of concern
among media circles that Rainsy was not the "culprit."
The author of the
CDC statement is understood to have been secretary general Vichit
Rainsy was quick to reply to the statement, that also accused him of
having formerly had an anti-Thai attitude, and that he "seems to campaign now
against established Malaysian investors."
"These are baseless and unjust
accusations against a Member of Parliament. I wish to clarify that I have never
opposed Thai or Malaysian investors," Rainsy said in a letter to National
Assembly Chairman Chea Sim dated on Feb 4.
Rainsy, in the letter,
requested the Royal Government to respond to his statement dated Jan 30, that
asserted the joint venture with Malaysian Helicopters Services to set up RAC
violated at least four articles of the constitution and "must be
He added that the CDC further accused him of having caused
foreign investors to lose confidence in Cambodia and of stirring up confusion in
"I do not make judgments on Thais, Malaysians or indeed
any other nationality... my only desire is to protect Khmer interests and I
would like to request the Royal government to strive to find and choose
investors who know how to respect Khmer interests, laws and customs," he
Rainsy added: "Through Samdech Chairman, I wish to request the
Royal Government to cease making personal accusations against me any more,
saying I desire this or that."
Rainsy asked Chea Sim to request the
government to explain five other contracts "so that the national Assembly can
closely examine them and further request that the Royal Government clarify the
contracts' legality... and the advantages... which these contracts will provide
The five companies are identified as: Leader Universal
Holdings, concerning electricity production; Samling Corporation, concerning
forestry exploitation; Muhibbah Masterton, concerning the construction of
Pochentong airport, Ariston, concerning the construction of a casino and other
infrastructure in Sihanoukville; and FACB, concerning the building of golf
courses, the transport system and certain other tourist projects.
contracts are public contracts affecting national interest which the Royal
government can not hide under confidentiality... the Royal government should
provide detailed information concerning the commissions or tips which have been
received from the companies above."
"Please, Samdech Chairman, submit my
questions and suggestions to the Royal government," Rainsy said.
has been under mounting pressure to free up the contracts for
The council's key players are all now on an "Investment
Roadshow" overseas, attracting more investment above the $2 billion that the
council constantly touts as having been approved in just five
Phnom Penh business sources say that only a fraction of that
money has actually arrived in the country.
The CDC statement accused
Rainsy of trying to create doubts in foreign investors' mind by doing his best
to provide a negative image of Cambodia and hitting at foreign
"If Mr. Sam Rainsy keeps his habits of hitting at foreign
investors, Cambodian people from rural areas and newly young graduated students
will hardly have the chance to get jobs with proper salaries and training in the
years to come," it said.
The CDC also complained that "a responsible MP,
with high regard towards democracy and integrity and who wishes to check the
constitutionality of RAC would have gone through the normal democratic
One source close to CDC lamented that the plublic slagging
match deflected people from seeing the good things that the council had