Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Institute land not leased: gov’t

Institute land not leased: gov’t

Workers demolish a section of wall at the Buddhist Institute in Phnom Penh
Workers demolish a section of wall at the Buddhist Institute in Phnom Penh on Monday. The Ministry of Cult and Religion has dismissed rumours that land of the Buddhist Institute was being sold or leased. Heng Chivoan

Institute land not leased: gov’t

Responding to reported fears among staff that the destruction of a wall at Phnom Penh’s Buddhist Institute could herald the piecemeal sale of the grounds to adjacent casino operator NagaCorp, the government yesterday chalked the alarm up to a simple misunderstanding.

According to the Ministry of Cult and Religion, the government hasn’t sold or leased any of the institute’s land, and is only allowing NagaCorp to assist government construction of a substation on the institute’s grounds. The substation will be used to power a new addition to the casino across the street from the institute.

Ministry spokesman Seng Somony yesterday invited reporters to a news conference about the casino development, during which press packets containing an estimated $100 were offered to the assembled media, though the Post declined.

Somony also told reporters that the ministry itself plans to relocate to a new building it will erect on the Buddhist Institute’s remaining grounds.

“The government plans to construct a seven- or eight-storey building for the Ministry of Cult and Religion on the Buddhist Institute land,” he said, adding that the ministry’s site at the Preah Sihanouk Raja Buddhist University would be repurposed by the university.

There were no such reassurances, however, for workers at the National Center for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control on Monivong Boulevard this week, who found out that they are moving to Sen Sok district after the centre’s sale as part of a land swap to an undisclosed private company.

On Monday morning, centre director Chor Meng Chuor called a meeting to inform employees that the building had been sold and they would have to clear out immediately. He declined to provide further information, but said each staffer would be given $500 for the proceeds of the sale, according to an employee who asked not to be identified.

“We cannot successfully protest the decision, so we have to move unhappily thanks to the pressure from management,” the employee said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Typhoon Noru brings flash floods – 16 dead

    An official warned that that the 16th typhoon of the season, Noru, had brought heavy rains to areas the Mekong River and flooded thousands of homes in the provinces bordering Thailand. As of September 27, the death toll from the flooding had risen to 16. National Committee

  • Siem Reap drain canal now ‘mangrove’ promenade

    A more than half a kilometre long stretch of canal in Siem Reap has been covered and turned into a promenade to attract visitors, said Ly Rasmey, secretary of state at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, on September 16. The new pedestrianised

  • Angkor wildlife, aquarium park still to open October

    The Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium complex about 30km southeast of Siem Reap town with initial total investment of more than $70 million is reportedly still on track for an end-October opening. The park is located on a 100ha plot along National Road 6 in Kbon village, Khchas

  • Defence minister reaffirms Kingdom’s staunch support for One-China policy

    Minister of National Defence General Tea Banh has reaffirmed Cambodia’s unwavering support for the One-China policy. Tea Banh was speaking at the September 20 ceremonial handover of 117 vehicles and other military equipment donated by China’s defence ministry, held at Phnom Chumreay International Military Training

  • Thai Senate delegates in Cambodia to discuss anti-graft co-op

    A delegation from Thailand's Senate was in Phnom Penh on September 28 to meet their Cambodian counterparts to discuss strategies for fighting corruption and enhancing cooperation. The Thai delegates were from its Senate’s Committee on Studying and Inspecting Corruption, Misconduct and Strengthening Good Governance. They

  • Deaths due to ‘lifestyle’ diseases rise in Kingdom

    The Ministry of Health has called on people to pay closer attention to their health to protect themselves from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which it said have caused high rates of deaths in the country. Ministry secretary of state York Sambath made the call at a