Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Interior Minister says Preah Sihanouk boom could hit sea’s health

Interior Minister says Preah Sihanouk boom could hit sea’s health

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Tourists walk along a beach in Sihanoukville in 2016.

Interior Minister says Preah Sihanouk boom could hit sea’s health

Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Wednesday claimed the recent influx of Chinese visitors to Preah Sihanouk province was raising concerns over the condition of ecosystems on the Kingdom’s coast.

Speaking during a ceremony to appoint leaders to posts at both the National Authority for Combating Drugs and the Ministry of Interior, Kheng said the increased investment in the coastal town had attracted businesses and tourists.

Addressing concerns that crime has increased with the influx of workers from China, he said Sihanoukville was not properly prepared for the evolution that is now taking place, and that the murders, drug use, environmental degradation and hygiene issues have all increased in the area recently.

“What we are concerned about most is the ocean which has become very popular among Cambodians and foreigners in the region,” he said.

He also said the Ministry of Interior would establish a team to work with Preah Sihanouk authorities to bolster general administration, the national police, immigration department and the legal infrastructure.

The group, he said, will not replace any current body, but rather provide support to help solve issues effectively and crackdown on illegal activities in the province.

“If we do not take good care of the ocean properly, it might become polluted which is our worry. On behalf of the Ministry of Interior, we will create a team to investigate,” Kheng said.

Soeng Sen Karuna, a senior investigator for rights group Adhoc, said police have taken some action, but they are not effectively controlling the problems.

He said that even though the Kingdom has mechanisms in place to enforce laws on foreign visitors, many officers were corrupt or even actively colluding with the perpetrators.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,

  • Cambodia's poverty cut in half from 2009 to 2019: World Bank report

    A report published by the World Bank on November 28 states that Cambodia’s national poverty rate fell by almost half between 2009 and 2019, but the Covid-19 pandemic recently reversed some of the poverty reduction progress. Cambodia’s poverty rate dropped from 33.8 to 17.8 per cent over the 10