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Governor called out on Facebook over traffic obstructions

The entrance to a China Construction Fourth Engineering Division Corp construction site, which was criticised for blocking traffic along Norodom Boulevard in Phnom Penh. NATIONAL POLICE
The entrance to a China Construction Fourth Engineering Division Corp construction site, which was criticised for blocking traffic along Norodom Boulevard in Phnom Penh. National Police

Governor called out on Facebook over traffic obstructions

A National Police post on social media yesterday criticised the Chamkarmon district governor and City Hall, which it accused of getting “benefits” for allowing a Chinese construction firm to store materials on Norodom Boulevard adjacent to a construction site, blocking traffic on the busy thoroughfare in the process.

The post, made to the police’s Facebook page, was accompanied by photographs of construction material strewn along Norodom Boulevard near the Interior Ministry and National Police headquarters, as well as a City Hall letter limiting the entry of construction and cement trucks during peak traffic hours.

The post said China Construction Fourth Engineering Division Corp was causing damage to the road and had not respected a directive from City Hall and the Ministry of Land Management to refrain from putting construction material on city roads.

“For the Chamkarmon governor and Phnom Penh City Hall, it is unknown how much benefit they may have got from the company that they failed to protect the state property, and there is traffic congestion every day,” the post read.

Chamkarmon Governor Prum Samkhan said it was unavoidable to have some of the construction material or trucks on the road adjacent to the site, but that he had asked the Chinese firm on at least two occasions to keep the street orderly.

On the allegations levelled against him, Samkhan said the police were free to accuse him but that he had followed procedures and was conducting his responsibilities without any “benefits”.

“I don’t get any benefits from this. I don’t engage in any benefits. They just make such accusations,” he said.

Similarly, Phnom Penh Deputy Governor Ieng Aunny said the accusations were baseless, and even said that if they were found untrue City Hall could exercise its right to sue.

“And those who make accusations without any evidence, when actually we are doing nothing [wrong], be careful – we can sue them back,” he said.

Ath Bonny, the chief of the National Police’s Public Affairs Department, said the accusations were a mistake by the employee who made the post and, he speculated, should have been in quotations. “We don’t mean to attack these two. It is probably the public’s opinion,” he said.

Following the conversation, the National Police took down the post from their Facebook page.

In May, the National Police took down a report alleging that business tycoon Kith Meng was colluding with loggers to launder timber, saying it had been mistakenly posted by a “tired employee”.

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