A day after the first results of the countrywide census of foreigners were revealed, Interior Minister Sar Kheng yesterday called on politicians to reserve judgement.
“So far some politicians have criticised us.… I think that this is a premature assessment,” Kheng said in Phnom Penh.
“The census is still being conducted, so we do not know how many legal and illegal migrants there are. After finding out a specific number we’ll deal with it with a responsible spirit and in accordance with the law.”
The census has already resulted in a number of illegal immigrants being deported.
Kheng’s comments came just one day after officials in Ratanakkiri – the first province to have completed the census – said results revealed a major drop in Vietnamese migrants compared to the 2002 census.
One rights worker dismissed the results as “unbelievable”, while opposition lawmaker Mu Sochua said she supported the process but wanted the census to be carried out with “full transparency”.