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Family-run businesses threatened by closure

AROUND 190 families living in Daun Penh district have expressed concerns over the city’s plans to force the closure of small-scale businesses in the area.

According to an announcement issued by district authorities on November 26, the families living in Bloc 31 Village in Street 19 will not be able to run small businesses any longer in order to maintain security in the district. If any businesses refuse to comply, the order states, authorities have the power to confiscate their properties.

The village is home to many businesses, including a beauty salon, florist and clothing stall. Business owner Sam Ang, 40, said Thursday that the city’s announcement worried him.

“We don’t know when they will come to confiscate our property, because we are still selling like we normally do,” he said.

Another resident, who did not wish to be named, said she had lived in the village since 1980 and operated a business out of her home, so it would be “impossible” to evict her.

She said she would complain to Prime Minister Hun Sen to force him to intervene in the matter.

Sok Pichey, 50, speculated the order might be a bid by authorities to decrease land prices in the area, but said he would not agree, “even if the authorities come to confiscate our property”.

Un Sam Ang, chief of the district’s Chaktomuk commune, confirmed that authorities wished to keep order in the area. “I know about this plan and the authorities have arranged new places for them,” he said.

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