Electricite Du Cambodge (EdC) has warned a Facebook user against criticising the company, ordering the user to make a public correction of his post by Friday or face the court – and a power cut – according to an EdC letter.
“Those who post without responsibility, which affects the dignity of EdC, will face legal action,” the letter reads, which was posted on its page on Tuesday.
According to the letter, Facebook user Lay Sovann had posted a message to his wall on July 1 saying that the state-run utility had “reduced the electricity price, but [manipulated the meter] to make it go fast”.
The EdC, which has proven sensitive to criticism in the past, said he would face legal action and have his electricity cut off should he not make a correction by Friday morning.
Sovann yesterday said he made the comment because the electricity bill at his house increased over the last two months, even though two of the nine rental rooms were empty.
“First I paid only 200,000 riel [about $50]. But later it increased to 300,000 and 380,000 riel,” he said. “My status said, ‘The meter is double, so: electricity chief, the people are accusing you’” Then officials from EdC commented on it and insulted me,” he said.
He said he then posted another status accusing them of devising a “modern way” to steal money, by offering low prices but faster meters.
He said the EdC had checked his meter and told him to clarify the situation in a video clip. “I promised to do that but I was busy,” he said. “But I will do it today.”
In a separate case involving the EdC, a father and son were arrested on Tuesday for dressing up as utility workers and promising customers slower meters.
Keo Muny, Kampot town police chief, yesterday said that Toch Tip, 60, and Toch Tith, 33, were arrested in Kampot’s Teuk Chhou district after a complaint from the EdC.
“According to what my superior said, the suspects went to ‘repair’ the electricity meter at the factories . . . to make it consume less electricity,” Muny said.
He said the two suspects were arrested while looking at the electricity meters of villagers in Chum Kreal village in Chum Kreal commune.
Sao Sam Oeun, a Kampot police official, said the two were sent to court but did not confirm whether they had been charged.
The EdC could not be reached for comment.