Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Banh keeps the cost of new HQ a secret

Banh keeps the cost of new HQ a secret

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Defence Minister Tea Banh seen at the inauguration ceremony of Military Unit 128 in October in Stung Treng province. Banh said on Saturday that he won’t reveal the cost of the ministry’s new High Command headquarters, lest people criticise the government agencies constructing it. facebook

Banh keeps the cost of new HQ a secret

Defence Minister Tea Banh declined to reveal the cost of the new High Command headquarters during a groundbreaking ceremony on Saturday. He said mentioning its cost could draw criticism of the engineering and relevant departments that will construct it.

Speaking to about 500 soldiers, the minister said some people would be surprised at the costs and criticise his ministry for spending too much on the building.

‘I will not say how much it costs. Wait until it is finished and we will provide a detailed report. When it is inaugurated, there will be a clear revelation of the costs."

“If I say it now, it will come as a surprise and some people will be surprised because I have experienced that because sometimes [they] are not aware of the quality of the building and will make quick assumptions as to why it costs so much. This word is not good and it will break the hearts of those who have worked hard."

“It will affect their souls, therefore I will not mention it today. I will elaborate on the inauguration day,” he said.

He said once the building is completed, it will have working rooms for senior defence ministry officials, a general secretariat, general departments and institutions under the ministry, and a meeting hall to welcome national and international guests. The building is set to be completed in 2021.

The ministry’s Engineering Department said the former single-story, 1.340-square-meter headquarters was built in 1963 with underground parking and a meeting hall to accommodate up to 300 people.

The new, seven-storey, 3,097 square-metre building consists of underground parking and a meeting hall that can accommodate up to 1,000 people. The construction would take 36 months to complete.

However, Cheam Channy, a former CNRP lawmaker, said the ministry did not want to reveal the cost because it is concerned over public criticisms.

“If he says which country is helping to build the headquarters and how much it costs, there will be criticisms. To avoid that, he says we construct this building and that some countries are helping to construct it,” he said

MOST VIEWED

  • Purging Sihanoukville’s past with a new masterplan

    Amid illicit activities, haphazard development and abandoned projects, the coastal city of Sihanouk province needs a reset to move forward. A new masterplan might be the answer to shake off its seemingly mucky image to become the Shenzhen of the south Gun toting, shootouts, police

  • Chinese may be first in tourism revival: PM

    Cambodia's tourism industry is gearing up to roll out the red carpet for Chinese travellers after Prime Minister Hun Sen on September 17 indicated that the Kingdom could soon throw open its doors to international holidaymakers vaccinated against Covid-19 – starting with guests from China. Cambodia Chinese

  • Tourism concerns laid bare

    To ensure the success of plans to reopen the tourism market for international visitors, Cambodia must pay utmost attention to two primary determinants – the ongoing paradigm shift in domestic tourism services towards the ‘new normal’, and the factors influencing choices of destinations among foreign holidaymakers.

  • Covid jab drive for 6-11 age group to begin Sept 17

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has permitted Covid-19 vaccinations for over 1.8 million children aged 6-11 across the country from September 17 in order for them to return to school after a long hiatus. Hun Sen also hinted that vaccinations for the 3-6 age group will follow in

  • No ‘Crown Prince’ exists to buy France football club: ministry

    The Ministry of the Royal Palace has denied media reports that a Cambodian “Crown Prince” had purchased the AS Saint Etienne football club of France’s top-flight LIGUE 1 at the cost of €100 million ($117 million). In a press statement on September 19, the ministry stressed that Cambodia

  • Cambodian bride ‘badly treated, held captive’ by Chinese man seeks help

    A Cambodian woman who travelled to China to marry a Chinese man there was “badly treated” by her husband’s family and then had to be rescued and will be returned to Cambodia to ensure her safety. The rescue operation came about after the 25-year-old