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Market vendors hold protest over new mall

Some 100 vendors who sell at Doeum Kor Market in Phnom Penh yesterday protested in front of City Hall, voicing their concerns about a large new mall that is planned to be built on the site.

During the protest, several vendors said that their leases on space in the Tuol Kork district market do not expire until 2020, and called for construction of the mall to be delayed until 2021.

Vendor representative Touch Thun, 33, added that they will be unable to operate their businesses during the construction.

“According to a City Hall official, the new 10-floor mall will replace Doeum Kor Market, and construction will begin in the middle of next year,” Thun said.

“If this plan happens, it will seriously affect the vendors’ families, since this construction will take a long time, and we will have no place to sell.”

City Hall spokesman Long Dimanche yesterday said there is currently no floor plan for the mall, or a timeline for construction.

Dimanche said the shopping centre would likely be six to seven floors, but possibly more.

More than temporary displacement, clothing vendor Suy Chunna, 45, said she fears competition with more established stores if the mall is built.

“Authorities can find another place for vendors to sell temporarily,” Chunna said.

“But [when the mall opens] it will be difficult for smaller and lesser-known stores.”

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