ASERIES of open debates in which the public quizes ministers has been so
successful the Ministry of Information is hoping to move them to a bigger venue,
says spokesman Sieng Lapresse.
The packed meetings will be switched to
the National Radio and Television Centre, next to the Ministry of Public Works,
when refurbishment of the broadcast centre's studios is complete, LaPresse
"The people need to see their representatives and learn what they
can and cannot do and why," Lapresse said.
The Forum for Representatives
and the People, to date held at the Royal Phnom Penh Hotel from 8:30 to 10:30 am
on Saturdays has been getting big play in the Khmer media and have been running
for two months.
"Here the ministers and the people have a chance to meet
each other and exchange ideas about how to develop the country," LaPresse
Any subject which falls under the minister's purview is open
At the April 2 meeting, Ing Keith, Minister of Public
Works and Transport, covered topics as wide ranging as the need for
international cooperation to finance rebuilding the Cambodian infrastructure
down to pot hole filling in Kompong Som.
Packed with almost 150 Khmer
and one or two foreign faces, and occasionally interrupted by the soft beeping
of businessmen's portable phones, the Khmer language meeting had standing room
It also covered the law now awaiting approval in the Council of
Ministers which will make life belts mandatory on all public ferries, auto
insurance, silt problems on the Tonle Sap and the need for public sewage system
renewal in Battambang, Phnom Penh, Kompong Som and Siem Reap.
meetings are a chance for both sides to understand each other's problems and
concerns," Lapresse said.