Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - New Forestry director is named in shake-up

New Forestry director is named in shake-up

New Forestry director is named in shake-up

Chheng Kim Sun has been moved up and out of his position as Forestry Administration (FA) director to an undersecretary of state role at the Ministry of Agriculture, a move one rights observer suggested was largely a face-saving one for an official who saw deforestation grow on his watch.

The royal decree, dated February 24, promotes Kim Sun effective immediately and names his deputy, Ung Sam Ath, new director of the FA.

“This is their decision and we cannot oppose their decision . . . if I had not been successful, the government would not promote me,” Kim Sun told The Post yesterday, adding that he was a natural choice for his new role because of his 27 years’ worth of experience in the Forestry Administration.

In 2010, Prime Minister Hun Sen warned Kim Sun as he took his post that he could face punishment and even jail time if he did not curb deforestation.

Yesterday, Pen Bonnar of rights group Adhoc said he had failed in that task.

“According to the premier’s own remarks, we should be holding him responsible in eyes of the law for the destruction of the forest,” Bonnar said, claiming deforestation had happened on an even larger scale under Kim Sun’s watch.

“The government transfers and promotes the ones who have committed wrong, even when the public sees there are serious problems and they deserve to be punished … the government changes them to get another position in order to avoid them being punished,” Bonnar added.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hundreds of children in hospital with dengue

    A serious dengue fever epidemic is affecting Cambodia, with nearly 600 children hospitalised in the five Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospitals on Monday alone, a statement posted on the Kantha Bopha Foundation’s official Facebook page said on Wednesday. Because Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospitals provide

  • Sihanoukville building collapse death toll rises to 19

    Minister of Interior Sar Kheng said on Sunday that the government will act against those responsible for the collapse of a seven-storey building in Sihanoukville on Saturday, which resulted in 19 dead and 24 injured as of Sunday evening. Sar Kheng said three Chinese nationals and one

  • Gov’t to probe Chinese exports to US via Sihanoukville

    The government is investigating allegations that Chinese companies are using Chinese-owned special economic zones in Cambodia to export goods to the US and avoid tariffs, said Ministry of Commerce spokesman Seang Thay. The move comes after US embassy spokesman Arend Zwartjes said the US had

  • Banh: The Khmer Rouge worse than sanctions and pressure

    Minister of National Defence Tea Banh said on Thursday that having sanctions and external pressure placed on Cambodia was not worse than life under the brutal Khmer Rouge regime. Tea Banh, who is also deputy prime minister, was speaking to military and ruling party officials