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Minister again calls out gov over alibi

Sar Kheng at the annual meet for traffic law and enforcement plan for the year of 2017 held at Soffitel Hotel in Phnom Penh early this week.
Sar Kheng at the annual meet for traffic law and enforcement plan for the year of 2017 held at Soffitel Hotel in Phnom Penh early this week. Heng Chivoan

Minister again calls out gov over alibi

Interior Minister Sar Kheng yesterday for a second time blasted Ratanakkiri Provincial Governor Thong Savon for falsely using him as an alibi to avoid meeting with four ministers that Prime Minister Hun Sen sent to the province last week.

Kheng, speaking to the National Committee for Sub-National Democratic Development, said Savon made “a big mistake” by not meeting the ministers and purportedly using a meeting with him as an excuse. In order to prevent similar incidents from happening, Kheng asked all ministers to set a date with provincial authorities before going on any missions. “When the ministers go [to the provinces to work], in principle and law, the provincial governors must meet [them],” he said. “We need to have discipline in our work.”

Savon couldn’t be reached for comment yesterday. Kheng on Monday had called out the governor for dodging the meeting and falsely claiming he had a meeting with him.

Last Thursday, Land Management Minister Chea Sophara, Environment Minister Say Samal, Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon and Rural Development Minister Ouk Rabun visited Ratanakkiri as part of a three-province trip to inspect issues of land registration, the status of ethnic minorities and the settlement of communities in protected areas.

Him Yun, with the Coalition for Integrity and Social Accountability, said what Savon did was not a “good show for the public”.

“If we focus on good governance, they need to be responsive,” he said, urging all provincial governors to take full responsibilities for their roles.

Additional reporting by Yesenia Amaro

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