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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - White Building holdouts

The view from the White Building yesterday in Phnom Penh.
The view from the White Building yesterday in Phnom Penh. Pha Lina

White Building holdouts

More than 430 of the 493 families who formerly resided in Phnom Penh’s White Building have vacated the premises, but around 15 families have yet to accept compensation packages for their apartments, according to a Land Management Ministry official.

The building is slated to be demolished and replaced by a 21-storey structure constructed by Japanese firm Arakawa Co. Hue Chenda, deputy director for the Land Management Ministry’s Housing Department, said the holdouts wanted more than the $1,400 per square metre on offer for their dilapidated apartment units, which he likened to secondhand ‘sleeping mats’.

White Building residents sign contracts accepting compensation offered by the Land Ministry yesterday on Friday at the ministry. Facebook
White Building residents sign contracts accepting compensation offered by the Land Ministry yesterday on Friday at the ministry. Facebook

“If it is a golden mat, then it is OK. But they want to sell a ruined mat to buy a villa,” he said yesterday. “But what we can say is that they are greedy.”

Starting June 6, families began to pack up their belongings and move to new homes across the city. While the ministry originally set a July 6 deadline for the move, Chenda yesterday said it had been extended to July 20.

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