Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Minister praises Boeung Kak fill-in

Minister praises Boeung Kak fill-in

Minister praises Boeung Kak fill-in

130227 03a
A view of the former Boeung Kak lake, now completely filled in with sand. Photograph: Vireak Mai/Phnom Penh Post

Shukaku Inc, the development firm that evicted more than 4,000 families to fill in Boeung Kak lake, has been praised for “reducing poverty” in a letter from Minister of Economy and Finance Keat Chhon.

The letter, dated February 12 and signed by Chhon, who is also a deputy prime minister, sings the praises of tycoon Cheung Sopheap – who is referred to as Shukaku’s CEO and is the wife of owner Lao Meng Khin.

“We deeply and sincerely thank you for previously implementing your full payment and completing the sand-pumping of Boeung Kak lake,” Chhon’s letter, obtained yesterday, says.

“The Ministry of Economy and Finance strongly hopes – and is confident – you will continue to be a good example and co-operate closely with the government to continue to reduce residents’ poverty and contribute to national development.”

The government awarded a 99-year, $79 million contract to Shukaku in 2007 to develop Boeung Kak as a satellite city.

Since then, thousands of families have been evicted, the lake has been filled in, and protests – as well as arrests – have been common. Development, however, is yet to begin.

Boeung Kak villager Heng Mom, whose house was demolished by Shukaku, said the letter was designed to cause evictees more suffering.

“Their development doesn’t help to reduce poverty – they are making more poverty,” she said.

Sia Phearum, secretariat-director of the Housing Rights Task Force, also dismissed assertions that Shukaku had helped to reduce poverty.

“Those families would be disappointed by that letter,” he said. “They have lost everything. Some – like Chea Dara, the lady who jumped from the bridge – lost their lives.”

Shukaku partnered with Chinese company Erdos Hong Jun Investment in 2010 to form development firm Shukaku Erdos.  

The partners’ office closed early last year, but Shukaku was advertising for engineers and architects in September and for a human resources clerk in October.

The response of an employee who answered the phone at Shukaku’s office yesterday suggests recruiting is still occurring. “[The Boeung Kak lake project] is not something I know about, as I’m just the new guy,” he said.

Chhon, Sopheap and Meng Khin could not be reached.

MOST VIEWED

  • Archaeologists find ancient remnant

    A team from the Apsara National Authority (ANA) has discovered a gatekeeper statue’s foot fragment at the Tonle Snguot Temple, within a metre of the toe of a statue found in 2017. ANA spokesman Long Kosal told The Post on Wednesday that the fragment was

  • Hun Sen to the rescue

    Cambodia has won praise for allowing passengers of the MS Westerdam cruise ship to dock at Preah Sihanouk port, thanks to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s humanitarian act. In a message via Twitter on Wednesday, the director-general of the World Health Organisation Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu

  • EU partially withdraws EBA

    The EU Commission on Wednesday announced the partial withdrawal of the Everything But Arms (EBA) scheme, citing a serious and systematic violation by Cambodia of principles in the four core human and labour rights. The suspension affects one-fifth or €1 billion ($1.08 billion) of Cambodia’s annual

  • Japan calls for policy changes

    Representatives of Japanese companies and investors on Wednesday submitted a list of policy recommendations to the government concerning 21 challenges to the Kingdom’s business climate. Japanese Ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami and leaders of the Japanese Business Association in Cambodia (JBAC), Japan International Cooperation Agency

  • Trump tweets praise for Kingdom docking ship

    Cambodia continues to earn praise for its humanitarian act of allowing the MS Westerdam cruise ship with more than 2,200 passengers and crew on board to dock at the Preah Sihanouk port. The praise this time comes from none other than US President Donald Trump. “Thank

  • Hate worse than virus, PM says

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday criticised countries that have cancelled flights with China following the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), arguing that such moves amounted to discrimination against the Chinese. In a speech delivered during the groundbreaking ceremony for work on national roads 2