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Vendors protest rent rise

A vendor fixes a motorbike at Heng Ly market yesterday. pha lina
A vendor fixes a motorbike at Heng Ly market yesterday. pha lina

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MORE than 80 stallholders at Heng Ly market in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kork district protested over the weekend to press for the owner of the market to revise a recent decision to raise annual stall rental prices from US$2,800 per year to $4,320.

Tan Heang, a vendor representative, said yesterday that the protestors represented up to 800 stallholders who would be affected by the price rise, which they were notified of in September and is due to come into effect in January.

“There were more than 80 vendors who went for help from Tuol Kork district’s Teuk La’ak III commune chief on Saturday [to ask him to intervene] to reduce the cost of renting a stall because we cannot support what the market owner [asked] for us to pay,” he said.

Vendors also met with a representative of the market owner to discuss the price rise, he said, and had requested that the fee remain at $2,800.

“They said to us that they could not reduce the price and it is up to us if we don’t want to rent,” he said.

Ngiv Rith, another vendor representative, said stallholders would stage a protest at the Municipal Hall if the proposed price rise was not revised within the next few days.

“The market owner raises rental prices each year and we have never complained. But it is different this time and we have to protest because the price that the market owner raised the stall rental to is so expensive for us,” he said.

The owner of the market, Heng Ly, had refused demands to meet with vendors to discuss the issue “face to face”, he said, and had instead sent a representative.

Heng Ly could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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