Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Council scrutinises results of the 2019 national census

Council scrutinises results of the 2019 national census

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The council questioned figures recorded for the population of Phnom Penh and some provinces. Photo supplied

Council scrutinises results of the 2019 national census

The Supreme Council for Consultation on Wednesday began questioning Minister of Planning Chhay Than over alleged irregularities in the 2019 census.

Led by rotating chairman Nuon Sokhavy, who is also the New Light Party president, the meeting was held at Prime Minister Hun Sen’s cabinet and attended by nearly 70 ministry officials and members of the 13 parties which makes up the council.

In a press release, the council said its members had questioned the recorded figures of the population in Phnom Penh and other provinces, which it claimed contradicted with actual figures.

They also raised the issue of nepotism and partisanship within the ministry.

Khmer Rise Party (KRP) president Sok Sovann Vathana Sabung told The Post on Wednesday that he wanted the minster to clarify the issues.

“The minister needs to answer for the issues I have identified. These include the manipulation of data, fabricated statistics, irregularities within the census and partisan problems in the ministry,” he said.

He said even after hours of questioning, some issues were still not recognised by the minister and his ministry’s working group.

“They gave lots of excuses to the questions being asked despite lots of evidence pointing to the census officials not doing their jobs properly. They were only posting the census notices on the walls of houses and then roughly tallying the figures for the list.

“The census missed people, but the data is still inflated. This will have an impact on the development of the Kingdom and the three-year rolling investment project. It also affects value estimates and economic analysis.

“However, we have evidence that Than isn’t acknowledging, but passing the blame instead. We will prepare our evidence and it will be forwarded to Samdech Techo [Hun Sen],” he said.

Ministry spokesman Srey Chea could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

The census report prepared by the ministry said the temporary figures of the nationwide census as of March 3, 2019, stood at 15,288,489 people, of whom 7,418,577 were males and 7,869,912 females.

When compared to the 2008 census figures, this meant the number of people had increased by more than 1.8 million (14.1 per cent).

The census report said that Phnom Penh had the highest number of people at 2,129,371.

But Vathana Sabung found that the figures had missed large numbers of people, such as in Prey Veng province. He said this could have meant around 200,000 people were not accounted for in the census.

He also said he did not understand why the formal report on Phnom Penh residents totalled 1.4 million, yet the results of the census numbered them at more than two million.

MOST VIEWED

  • Draft law on state of emergency pending finalisation

    Prime Minister Hun Sen will lead a top-level meeting on Tuesdays to review the draft law on imposing a state of emergency. Meantime, he has decided to close all casinos in Cambodia effective April 1. In the press conference after the National Assembly met today, Hun

  • Stranded passengers petition UK for help

    Some 10,521 foreigners in Cambodia, the bulk being from the UK, have signed an online petition calling on British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and relevant officials to fly them out of the Kingdom. The petition is targeted at 15,000 foreigners. Among them are nearly 200 Europeans, the majority

  • Covid-19 Pandemic: Force majeure and legal consequences

    Is the Covid-19 pandemic considered an event of force majeure? The World Health Organisation declared the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak a pandemic on March 11. Following this declaration, the Ministry of Health and other ministries have taken various legal and administrative measures to prevent the rapid

  • PM set to mend ties with US

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has responded to US Congressman Ted Yoho, saying he is ready to improve Cambodia-US relations, and not take up issues of disagreements which have become a barrier between the two countries’ bilateral cooperation. His response to Yoho came after the congressman

  • Mysterious century-old structure found at bottom of Angkor pond

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has discovered a mysterious 1,000-year-old structure of a wooden building at the bottom of a pond after the Angkor Wat temple’s conservation team completed restoring its northern cave. The deputy director at ANA’s Angkor International Research and Documentation

  • NBC’s directive to restructure credit targeting four sectors

    The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) on Friday issued a directive to all banks and financial institutions to restructure credit for loans in four priority sectors, a move lauded by the private sector. The directive aims to maintain financial stability, support economic activity and ease