Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Funding ‘not misused’

Funding ‘not misused’

Police officers stand guard during a ceremony for casting concrete to connect Neak Loeung Bridge
Police officers stand guard during a ceremony for casting concrete to connect Neak Loeung Bridge in Kandal province on Wednesday. AFP

Funding ‘not misused’

During a defence of his 30-year legacy on Wednesday, Prime Minister Hun Sen also took pains to extricate the nation’s newest, longest and most expensive bridge from corruption allegations.

Varying announcements of the total cost for the Japanese-funded Neak Loeung Bridge in Kandal led to speculation that the government pocketed money or overcharged in order to make a profit.

“I would like to announce to the people across the country that they have wrongfully accused the government of inappropriately using foreign funds,” said Hun Sen, speaking at the bridge’s inauguration.

Rather than embezzling aid, both the government and Japanese International Cooperation Agency maintained any discrepancy in costs was the result of fluctuating currency conversions between the Japanese yen and US dollar.

“The total project cost is about 9 billion yen. It can be 80 million USD or 130 million USD according to different foreign exchange rates,” said Fukuzawa Daisuke of JICA.

Though the original bridge contract set out an 11.9 billion-yen budget, Daisuke said the figure represented the maximum amount, and that the lower total spent did not translate into a pocketed surfeit.

“We manage our fund very strictly without any intervention by the Cambodian side. I can say there is no corruption in this project,” he said.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all