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Interior Minister Sar Kheng speaks during a meeting yesterday in Phnom Penh where he lashed out at Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon for failing to attend the meeting. Facebook

Sar Kheng challenges minister on priorities

Interior Minister Sar Kheng lashed out at Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon yesterday for failing to attend a meeting on the latest government directive to reduce the exploitation of natural resources, saying the minister should get his priorities straight.

Speaking at the Interior Ministry, Kheng said Sakhon’s absence at the meeting on the directive, which is meant to help local authorities cooperate to stop illegal resource extraction, and was aimed at the Agriculture Ministry, was irresponsible.

“He just met with a guest below the minister level,” Kheng said. “I do not think it was the right thing to do, because he avoided the meeting, which is related to his ministry’s work.”

“We need to prioritise which job is important.”

Chan Heng, an Agriculture Ministry undersecretary of state, said Sakhon had already scheduled a meeting with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency, and had sent an underling in his place.

“I don’t know what to say,” Heng said. “He already assigned a secretary of state to the meeting.”

Separately, on Saturday, officials confiscated 32 pieces of first-grade wood from a car in Tbong Khmum province, and 286 pieces of luxury wood from two buses in Kratie province, according to the Forestry Administration’s Facebook page.

On Sunday, Kampot provincial officials also seized 17 cubic metres of luxury wood, according to local media, but Chuon Sara, head of the provincial Forestry Administration, said it was firewood.



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