A Preah Sihanouk provincial official has claimed that security and public order have shown signs of improvement since the appointment of provincial governor Kuoch Chamroeun in June.
Kheang Phearum, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesman, told The Post that security has tightened since Chamroeun took up his post in the wake of a major building collapse in Sihanoukville.
“Under the leadership of provincial governor Kuoch Chamroeun, the provincial administration has a clear plan. We hope that Sihanoukville will become a civilised and model city in terms of infrastructure development,” he said.
“We will succeed when all our provincial stakeholders, including provincial administrative officials and officers from relevant ministries, work together towards our goal. We are going to see the positive results soon.”
On June 22, a Chinese-owned building that was still under construction in Sihanoukville collapsed with workers sleeping inside, killing 28 people.
The collapse was widely regarded as indicative of rampant unregulated construction work and rising lawlessness in the province with officials condemned for not taking a tougher stance on law and order, culminating in the resignation of then provincial governor Yun Min on June 24.
Speaking at Chamroeun’s appointment ceremony on June 29, Minister of Interior Sar Kheng said the province needed urgent solutions to deal with its many challenges, including unregulated building work, crime, infrastructure development and pollution caused by rapid population growth.
Upon his appointment, Prime Minister Hun Sen also praised Chamroeun, the former governor of Kampong Cham province, as an “able man” with the ability to resolve these issues.
However, the director of the Cambodian National Research Organisation (CNRO) Sok Sokhom said the situation in the province had not seen significant improvement since Chamroeun’s appointment, especially related to security, public order, traffic accidents, land disputes and land grabbing.
“Traffic congestion is still a major problem in the province. Also, damaged infrastructure has not yet been rebuilt too. Shootings and crime are still occurring [at high rates] despite occasional crackdowns by the authorities,” said Sokhom, who also criticised the state of the environment in the province.
“I would like the provincial administration to resolve all these problems effectively and efficiently,” he said.