Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Monks, authorities in budget clash

Monks, authorities in budget clash

Monks, authorities in budget clash

NEARLY 200 monks from Sihanoukville's Entagnean pagoda have filed a complaint against the chief of the pagoda commission, claiming she stole pagoda money and used her office for personal gain.

Monk representative Bun Neng wrote to the Sihanoukville Municipal Department of Cults & Religions September 24, alleging that commission chief Pok Sophal had taken pagoda donations, raised by monks during Buddhist ceremonies, and then accused the monks of stealing the money.

"She was appointed [as chief of the pagoda commission] without agreement from the monks," he said, adding that Pok Sophal never attended meetings to discuss the development of the pagoda. "She respected only the chief of the monks, but the others never."

Pok Sophal denied the accusations, saying that the letters were sent on behalf of a few monks in the pagoda who envied the work of the commission. "I did nothing wrong and I'm not angry with the monks," she told the Post. "How can I commit corruption or nepotism like they say? The [commission's] decisions are made by the chief of the monks and the whole commission, as well as the finance officer."

Pich Sem, chief clergyman in the pagoda, said that the dispute between the monks and the commission was caused by envy and in fact there was no clear separation between collective costs and private costs in the pagoda's budget.

"There should be specific management and a clear separation," Pich Sem said. "They should not just think about personal interest. They have to be devoted to Buddhism, as they live in the pagoda."

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince injured, wife dies after accident

    THE wife of former First Prime Minister Prince Norodom Ranariddh, Ouk Phalla, 39, died while the prince was “severely” injured following a road accident in Preah Sihanouk province’s Prey Nub district on Sunday morning, officials said. Rananriddh, who is also the president of the Funcinpec

  • Guards protest dismissals, reject claims of sharing naked photos of child

    Some 20 former security guards at the US Embassy in Phnom Penh protested on Tuesday against their dismissal. They accused their employers of falsely claiming they had viewed and shared child pornography from their mobile phones as grounds for their termination. In total, 32 personnel were dismissed

  • We’re going to Wisney World!

    More than 6,000 mostly Chinese attendees witnessed the inauguration ceremony of a $1 billion Sihanoukville resort project called Wisney World in the capital on Wednesday. The event on Koh Pich, attended by several senior Cambodian government officials, is a joint venture between China’s AMC International and

  • Funcinpec urges probe into deadly Preah Sihanouk accident

    THE Funcinpec party has urged the government, especially the Ministry of Interior, to investigate the traffic accident in Preah Sihanouk province which left Prince Norodom Ranariddh badly injured and his wife Ouk Phalla dead. Funcinpec Vice President You Hokry told reporters at Botum Votey pagoda,