MORE than 100 vendors from the City Mall in Phnom Penh’s Prampi Makara district protested in front of Hun Sen’s house on Monday after claiming the mall’s owners breached a leasing contract.
Buo Monineat, a vendor representative, said: “We are protesting in front of the prime minister’s house because we are asking him to help reduce the rent that the mall owners are charging us. They are cheating us.”
Vendors say that they have been forced to pay rent from October to the end of this year even though their leasing contract states that they don’t need to pay until the mall is officially inaugurated in January 2010. The mall owners are accused of threatening to close the vendors’ stalls.
“We would like the mall owner to reduce our rent by 40 percent over the next three years because of the economic crisis, and we don’t want to have to pay any rent from October until the end of this year,” said Buo Monineat.
“The owners denied our request and threatened us. They are giving us problems,” he added.
Sok Ath, chief of the government’s development programme in Prampi Makara district, said that he is trying to work out a solution between owners and vendors.
“I have asked the mall owners not to confiscate the vendors’ stalls,” he said.
Heng Kiet, deputy manager of the City Mall, could not be reached on Monday.