Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CNRP lawmaker wants info on export of sand



CNRP lawmaker wants info on export of sand

Opposition lawmaker Son Chhay, seen speaking to CNRP supporters at an event earlier this month, has requested an inquiry into silica sand extraction in the Kingdom. FACEBOOK
Opposition lawmaker Son Chhay, seen speaking to CNRP supporters at an event earlier this month, has requested an inquiry into silica sand extraction in the Kingdom. Facebook

CNRP lawmaker wants info on export of sand

Opposition lawmaker Son Chhay has asked Mines Minister Suy Sem to release detailed information about the export of silica sand – which was last month revealed to be exempt from a ban on sand exports – threatening “to impeach” the minister if he does not comply.

A letter dated Friday and sent to Sem through National Assembly President Heng Samrin requests that the Ministry of Mines and Energy release copies of the licences for companies mining and exporting silica sand in order to show transparency and avoid “confusion”.

It also requests a list of all sites approved for silica sand mining, environmental impact assessments and a list of countries that have imported the sand, as well as figures on the total amount of silica sand exported since November 2016 and how much it was sold for.

Chhay said by telephone that Sem had not “been fully cooperative in providing information” in the past and that his short replies last year at a committee hearing into the $700 million discrepancy in Singaporean and Cambodia customs data on sand trade would not be tolerated. “We would like to impeach him if he doesn’t respond,” Chhay said.

At least 30 members of parliament need to make a request for impeachment in order to push the matter to a National Assembly vote, and a two-thirds vote is required for it to pass, which would necessitate CPP cooperation.

Last year, the Mines Ministry temporarily suspended exports after the controversy erupted over the discrepancy between the $5 million of sand Cambodia recorded leaving to Singapore from 2007 to 2015 and the $752 million that Singapore recorded arriving from Cambodia.

The environmental group Mother Nature, which first revealed the discrepancy, last month claimed to show in a video that the exports were continuing. A ministry official at the time said the sand seen being loaded into a ship was “very likely” silica, which it said was not part of the ban.

The ministry released a statement saying it informed Cambodia’s shipping regulator of this on December 19 and officials in Taiwan confirmed vessels had brought silica there from Cambodia.

Mines Ministry spokesman Dith Tina said the ministry received Chhay’s letter yesterday.

“We always provide explanation to [the] public via journalists, to NGOs via open letter and forums and also to [the] National Assembly commission,” Tina said in an email, declining to respond to specific questions. “The accusation of [the] lawmaker . . . is just another provocation.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Hun Sen: Lakes filled in for national developments

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced continued operations to fill some lakes in Phnom Penh to create land for developments, though he is against the unrelated practice of damming rivers or blocking waterways. Speaking at the inauguration of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport

  • Koh Preus upgrades 70% complete

    Initial construction of a nearly $30 million tourism infrastructure project on Preah Sihanouk province’s Koh Preus Island is “about 70 per cent complete”, according to an official with the developer. Heng Thou, construction site manager of Angela Real Estate Co Ltd (ARE), told The Post that

  • Local media loses a giant, and The Post a great friend

    Cheang Sokha, a gifted and streetwise reporter who rose to the highest ranks of Cambodian media and was beloved for his sharp intelligence, world-class humour and endless generosity, died on Friday in his hometown of Phnom Penh. He was 42. His wife, Sok Sophorn, said he

  • Cambodia, India agree to start direct flights, tourism exchanges

    Cambodia and India have agreed to start direct flight connections and promote closer tourism exchanges and cooperation in all areas after the Covid-19 saga comes to a close. The agreement was reached during a meeting between Cambodian Minister of Tourism Thong Khon and newly-minted Indian