Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - King suggests plan to end market row

King suggests plan to end market row

King suggests plan to end market row

H IS Majesty King Norodom Sihanouk has suggested a compromise to resolve the

long-running Olympic Market dipuste.

The King suggested developers Thai

Boon Roong give over half the building to vendors from the existing market for

free, while TBR could sell stalls in the other half of the building at commecial

rates. The new market was finished five months ago but has been unable to open

because of the bitter dispute between vendors and TBR.

As the Post went

to press there was no clear response to the King's plan from TBR, or its head

Theng Boon Ma, a Sino-Khmer who carries a Thai passport.

Speaking on

condition of anonymity one of his aides told the Post that the company was not

aware nor invited to attend an audience with the King.

The aide said

that the company offered a 10 percent discount on the monthly stall fee to

former stall-holders.

However, he said the company could not satisfy them

though TBR had agreed to lower rental prices by $1,000, drop requirements for a

deposit, give interest free loans and ensure the right to transfer stalls to

other people.

He said "Our company has already made a lot of concessions,

but the traders are still not happy. We don't know what they want."

The

King said when addressing a public audience on land ownership on April 12: "It

is my opinion that TBR should give you half of the building now. TBR can also

enjoy the benefit because they can start business now without waiting to be a

winner or loser in court."

He said the dispute should not be settled

through the courts but should be sorted out on the basis of

compromise.

He told former stall-holders: "In principle you will

obviously win the lawsuits, but in practice your business will lose."

The

public audience was attended by government officials, provincial authorities and

representatives of former stall-holders.

The King repeatedly made it

clear that he did not interfere in the disputes between the Royal Government and

TBR saying: "I only reign, not govern", as expressed in the

Constitution.

The old Olympic Market lot was put under contract between

Phnom Penh Municipality and TBR to build a more fashionable market complex in

1991.

Construction was finished in November last year when TBR announced

it would give 15 year leases on the stalls at the complex for between $6,000 and

$20,000.

Former stall-holders have repeatedly demanded they be given free

stalls in the new market claiming that they have ownership rights over the lot

because they have occupied the land and run stalls there since 1980.

There are 4,000 stalls in the new market, and 1,951 former

stall-holders, so under the King's compromise plan each of them could acquire a

stall for free.

At the audience, Sam Rainsy, minister of economics and

finance, said the new market would not be allowed to open its doors unless TBR

improves the building's safety and hygiene standards.

He briefed the

public audience on the results of investigations into technical aspects of the

premises by Minister of State Van Molyvann.

Rainsy said that Molyvann

had found "many instances where building standards had not been respected, for

example: fire prevention facilities were inadequate, the stairs were too narrow,

there were too many stalls and the roof has to be replaced with

zinc."

The King asked Rainsy to stop being tough with TBR suggesting that

the market be immediately opened and that any technical faults could be

corrected later.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro

  • Nestle’s debut may spur dairy market

    Leading confectionery manufacturer Nestle plans to invest in Cambodia by setting up an operation in the near future, a move majorly hailed by local dairy farmers as a means of boosting the fresh milk market in the Kingdom. During a visit by a delegation led

  • ACLEDA, WU to enable global money transfers

    Cambodia's largest commercial bank by total assets ACLEDA Bank Plc and global money transfer firm Western Union (WU) have partnered to offer customers cross-border money transfers to 200 countries via “ACLEDA mobile” app. In Channy, president and group managing director of ACLEDA, said the June 22 agreement