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

  • Hun Sen: Stop Russia sanctions

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said sanctions against Russia as a result of its military offensive in Ukraine should be stopped as they have produced no tangible results, and predicted that a global food crisis would ensue in 2023 as a consequence. Speaking to an audience at

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Siem Reap’s Angkor Botanical Garden opens

    The Angkor Botanical Garden was officially opened on May 19 with free entry for both local and international visitors for the first six weeks. The garden was established on a nearly 15ha plot of land in Siem Reap. “After the first six weeks, Angkor Botanical Garden

  • Pub Street on the cards for Battambang

    The Battambang Provincial Authority has announced that it is considering establishing a Pub Street in the area around the heritage buildings in Battambang town in a bid to attract more tourists. Battambang provincial governor Sok Lou told The Post that the establishment of a Pub

  • Hun Sen: Don’t react to hostility

    Prime Minister Hun Sen urged tolerance and thanked members of the Cambodian diaspora for not reacting to the hostility on display towards him by others while he was in the US to attend the May 12-13 ASEAN-US Special Summit in Washington, DC. In an audio