Siem Reap Province
THE owner of a controversial night market in Siem Reap that was shut down last week, in response to complaints that it was siphoning business from rival markets and blocking a major thoroughfare, has filed a petition signed by vendors demanding that it be allowed to reopen.
Huy Leng said the petition had been submitted to Siem Reap provincial officials as well as the Cabinet of Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday.
The Siem Reap Night Market began operating in early July in the middle of the road directly east of the route known as Pub Street.
The night market almost immediately drew criticism from the owners of the city’s two other night markets: the Angkor Night Market and the Noon Night Market.
Lim Nam, the owner of the Angkor Night Market, reiterated some of his previous criticism on Thursday, saying it was illegal to set up stalls in the middle of the street.
“I don’t oppose [Huy Leng] if he has legal permission from authorities. This is not a conflict between me and the new market owner,” he said.
“But what we have to discuss with officials is whether he can run the market in the street.”
Siem Riep Governor Sou Phirin said Thursday that he was in Phnom Penh and had not received the complaint from Huy Leng, but he urged the owners of Siem Reap’s three night markets to come to some sort of compromise. Huy Leng has said that he would agree to an arrangement in which the Siem Reap Night Market would operate only three nights per week.
“When the opposing markets filed a complaint, we had to close it because they didn’t have permission yet,” Sou Phirin said. “If they don’t agree with this closure, they can file a complaint like the other side did, and then officials will go to examine the real situation.”