Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Deum Ampil ex-backer speaks

Deum Ampil ex-backer speaks

Deum Ampil ex-backer speaks

THE former financial backer of the Deum Ampil Media Centre has presented her version of the events that led to its abrupt scale-back earlier this month.

Speaking after the official launch of the new Nokor Wat Media Centre, Sieng Chanheng accused Deum Ampil’s former director general, Soy Sopheap, of managing the company’s finances in a reckless manner and accepting bribes from businesses in exchange for favourable coverage.

“Soy Sopheap was not faithful to my company, which was the financial supporter of DAP,” said Sieng Chanheng, also the owner of the Heng Development Company.

On July 1, Soy Sopheap announced that Deum Ampil would suspend operations for Deum Ampil newspaper, Radio FM 93.75 and Morokot magazine, citing a lack of funds. The media centre’s website is still being updated.

He said at the time that he decided to go ahead with the suspension after he was asked by Sieng Chanheng to cut the total expenses of the operations in half, in part by laying off many of his 110 staff members.

Sieng Chanheng has denied asking Soy Sopheap to cut expenses, though she has acknowledged losing tens of thousands of dollars each month on her Deum Ampil investment.

At the launch of the Nokor Wat Media Centre on Friday, she said Deum Ampil’s finances were in order until Soy Sopheap assumed control of them from her daughter, former deputy director general Dim Sopheavy.

At that point, she said, Soy Sopheap began increasing salaries for his preferred employees and entering into arrangements with companies that allowed him to pocket tens of thousands of dollars.

“I always heard rumours that there were some companies or individuals paying money to DAP every month,” she said. “I never wanted a situation where when people paid you money, you wouldn’t write bad things about them.”

Last month, she said, she came across a list of 15 “groups” that had paid Soy Sopheap US$60,000. “I tried to correct him then, but he did not listen to me,” she said.

Soy Sopheap declined to answer questions for this article.

Sieng Chanheng went on to express regret that the two had parted on bad terms. “I like Soy Sopheap, who is brave and has courage,” she said. “That is why I invested in this media organisation with him – he had the knowledge, and I had the money to open DAP.”

Information Minister Khieu Kanharith said Friday that Prime Minister Hun Sen had requested that his ministry support the Nokor Wat Media Centre as it begins operations. He said this was evidence of the government’s interest in promoting “breaking news that the readers will like to read”.

Sieng Chanheng said Dim Sopheavy would assume the role of editor in chief of the new media centre, but that other top positions had yet to be filled.

MOST VIEWED

  • Restrictions re-imposed in capital as Covid cases surge

    Amid the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has shown no sign of subsiding with 750 infections and 10 deaths reported on June 2 alone, the Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has decided to re-impose the suspension of all occupations and business activities deemed as posing high risk of

  • Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville expressway 51% complete

    The construction of the nearly $2 billion Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville Expressway is 51.35 per cent complete and is expected to be finished in 2023, according to Ministry of Public Works and Transport secretary of state Vasim Sorya. Invested in by Cambodian PPSHV Expressway Co Ltd, the first expressway in

  • First 7-Eleven store to open mid-June, ambassador says

    Thai retail conglomerate CP All Pcl will open Cambodia’s first 7-Eleven convenience store in mid-June, Cambodian ambassador to Thailand Ouk Sorphorn told The Post on June 1. The Bangkok-listed 7-Eleven franchise operator, the retail arm of Charoen Pokphand Group Co Ltd, granted CP All (Cambodia)

  • With herd immunity likely in 2022, is Cambodia ready to reopen for tourism?

    The government aims to inoculate 80 per cent of the target population by June next year, giving it a head start among regional peers to reboot the sector but first, it has to do a few things to up its game A sign on a glass

  • US embassy guard gets Covid despite two doses of Pfizer jab

    The Covid-19 tracking commission on June 4 said a security guard at the US embassy in Phnom Penh had contracted the novel coronavirus, despite having received a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech shot two weeks ago. Embassy spokesperson Chad Roedemeier confirmed the SARS-CoV-2 infection to The

  • US wants 'full access' to Ream Naval Base

    On June 11, the US embassy's Defense Attaché Colonel Marcus M Ferrara visited Ream Nava Base in coordination with Cambodian officials following the recent approval of Prime minister Hun Sen to allay the concerns on Chinese military presence at the base as raised by US Deputy