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Ghosts and hotel contracts

Ghosts and hotel contracts

The Editor,

I read with interest the article by Ker Munthit concerning the restoration of the

Royal Hotel

My professional interest stems from the fact that, while acting as Legal Advisor

to the Ministry of Economics and Finance in 1994, I assisted the Ministry of Tourism

in reviewing the Government's position concerning Le Royale and in advising on the

preliminary and final negotiations. In the interest of accuracy, I should point out

that there were not "two previous agreements with foreign companies (which)

fell through". In fact a 1991 conditional agreement with a French contractor

failed to become effective. A subsequent 1994 Memorandum of Understanding with a

Thai-Hong Kong consortium did not proceed to contract as the consortium was assessed

insufficiently qualified for the landmark project.

My personal interst derives from the fact that I was the last paying guest in the

hotel, which actually closed in August 1994. For the final six weeks I stayed alone

on the second floor, apart that is from the ghost which earlier guests claimed "lived"

at the other end of the same floor and, of course, the cats and bats which made my

candle-lit excursions along the passageways a matter of some hazard.
- Michael I. Kennedy, Phnom Penh.

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