BANTEAY Meanchey residents claim that the construction of school buildings in their province has stalled since one of the school’s benefactors, Deputy Prime Minister Ke Kim Yan, was replaced as commander in chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) earlier this year.
Ke Kim Yan was replaced in January by General Pol Saroeun. He now serves as a deputy prime minister and chairman of the National Authority for Combating Drugs.
In June of 2008, Banteay Meanchey’s Thma Pouk district broke ground on eight new school buildings with the financial support of Ke Kim Yan.
Since January of this year, however, progress on the buildings has come to a standstill, Thma Pouk district councillor Yong Yeun said Monday.
“Some of the buildings were 60 percent finished, and others were 80 percent finished when construction suddenly stopped in January”, he said.
The district councillor added that though the stoppage coincided with Ke Kim Yan’s ouster as RCAF head, he and other local officials have yet to receive any official explanation for it.
“Ke Kim Yan promised to build these buildings,” said Treung Teoung, vice superintendent of Thma Pouk High School. “I don’t know why they’re still in this condition.”
Pok Saluy, a Banteay Meanchey provincial councillor, said he was aware that construction efforts had slowed, but that the delay resulted from a holdup in the renewal of funds necessary to continue the project. He added that Ke Kim Yan was just one among a number of donors supporting the construction.
Ke Kim Yan could not be reached for comment on Monday.