Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Royal Group plan for Sihanoukville beach cleared of businesses remains a mystery

Royal Group plan for Sihanoukville beach cleared of businesses remains a mystery

Flattened makeshift stalls litter the ground after they were torn down by authorities in April 2016 at Ochheuteal Beach. Photo supplied
Flattened makeshift stalls litter the ground after they were torn down by authorities in April 2016 at Ochheuteal Beach. Photo supplied

Royal Group plan for Sihanoukville beach cleared of businesses remains a mystery

More than a month after businesses on a prime stretch of Occheuteal Beach were told to pack up and leave, officials in Preah Sihanouk province are still unaware of local conglomerate Royal Group’s plans for the space.

Evictions on the beach began around Christmas time, as business operators who were renting space near Sihanoukville’s central ferry station were told their contracts would be up and they would have to leave by early January.

Prak Visal, director of the province’s Administration Department, said early last month that the development was a joint venture by Royal Group, headed by powerful tycoon Kith Meng, and an unknown Chinese company. Reached yesterday, Visal said he had just returned from a mission abroad and still did not know any of the project’s details.

Deputy Provincial Governor Kong Vitanak, the provincial spokesman, said yesterday he was not in charge of the coastal development project and declined to comment.

Chhin Seng Nguon, another deputy governor who is in charge of the coastal development project, said the space was “under the management of Kith Meng”, and declined to answer further questions about the plans.

Representatives from Royal Group could not be reached yesterday.

Sihanoukville has become the epicentre of growing tensions between Chinese investors and Cambodian business owners in recent months. Complaints from residents in the coastal capital, who say they are being pushed out by Chinese investors, prompted the government to establish a working group to address the topic and even drew comment from the usually tight-lipped Chinese Embassy earlier this month.

MOST VIEWED

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty