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Apsara Authority land (and offices) grabbed

1 Apsara Authority

Staff from Siem Reap’s doomed Administrative City, aka Salakhet Siem Reap, will move into the recently built and relatively swank Apsara Authority headquarters next to the Angkor Gyeongju recreation area in Boeung Donpa village, Slakram commune, according to deputy governor Bun Tharith.

This follows an announcement on Monday, April 29, by Tea Banh, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defense, that changes would be made to the location of government offices based in the Siem Reap Administrative City due to its distance from Siem Reap’s business district.

When making the announcement in April, Tea Banh said he was thinking about government officials who have to travel almost twenty kilometres in order to work at the Siem Reap Administrative City.

The new offices in the Apsara Authority building will only be four kilometres from town.

Last week the new Siem Reap governor Khim Bunsong ordered the completion of the construction of a road from Angkor Gyeongju to the Siem Reap Administrative City. This road will provide a short cut to the city.

The governor added that the road must be completed within two months to enable government officials to continue to work temporarily in the Administrative City before they move permanently to their new offices in the Apsara Authority building.

Bun Tharith also told Insider that, “A 60-metre wide road from Angkor Gyeongju is still not complete, so the governor decided to construct the rest and link it to the Administrative City​road to create a short cut for officials before they move to new workplace.”

He said that governor also confirmed there would be no deductions from the monthly salaries of government officials who attended work only irregularly due to the distance of the workplace.

An administrative official who preferred anonymity told Insider that in recent months very few staff and some senior officials did not attend their workplace because it was so far out of town. He said if some staff had to do business in town, travel to and from the office could rack up over a hundred kilometres a day.

That the Administrative City has not exactly been a hive of activity is perhaps made evident by the Administrative City’s forlorn Facebook page. The page is headed, “Working for Salakhet Siem Reap.” But it is completely blank, apart from an outline of a briefcase.

The staff move does come with further complications – the Apsara Authority building is too small to house all workers from the Administrative City, hence other buildings will have to be constructed.

Deputy Governor Bun Tharith pointed out that the Administrative City sits on about 40 hectares of land in Ampil commune, Bakong district. But the land on which the Apsara Authority sits is much smaller.

He said, “Because the Apsara Authority department is smaller than the Administrative City, the government will order construction of other various departments on another four hectares.”

The big question of course is where exactly will the staff from the Apsara Authority go?

Deputy Governor Bun Tharith was hesitant in discussing this aspect, but said that the governor will make a decision that will not adversely affect any government workers.

He said, “The “Apsara Authority and Administrative City staff are government officials, thus we will not let one side be badly affected by the other side. The governor will make a good decision for them.”

But according to some staff at the Administrative City, there is a cruel twist of fate in store for Apsara Authority officials.

An anonymous Administrative City official claimed that many people were saying that Apsara Authority officials will be moved to the Administrative City site.

He said, “I heard from my colleagues that Apsara officials will go to work in the Administrative City instead of us, but I don’t know whether that’s true or just a rumor.”

Speculation is that governor Khim Bun Song will make an announcement shortly after the elections about where Apsara officials will be housed.

Additional reporting: Peter Olszewski

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