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New minister vows to tackle land registration

Chea Sophara, the new minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, speaks during a handover ceremony yesterday.
Chea Sophara, the new minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, speaks during a handover ceremony yesterday. Pha Lina

New minister vows to tackle land registration

The new minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, Chea Sophara, should strive to resolve the country’s land disputes and expand land registration services, his outgoing predecessor Im Chhun Lim said during a handover ceremony yesterday.

The appointment of Sophara, who was previously the Minister for Rural Development, to the new position was part of a ministerial reshuffle approved by the National Assembly on Monday.

During the ceremony, Interior Minister Sar Kheng said land disputes needed much more work from officials. “Land disputes remain a challenging problem . . . the Ministry of Land Management has to pay more attention to solve those problems in its authority,” he said.

Sophara, a former governor of Phnom Penh, vowed to work on “encouraging and strengthening the public social services to work for the public in a timely manner . . . and pushing to process land registrations”.

He warned of stronger consequences against those who occupy state land or violate the rights of property owners.

Licadho’s technical coordinator, Am Sam Ath, said he would “wait and see” about the promises. “This is an opportunity for Chea Sophara but . . . land issues remain a chronic and complex problem.”

Despite the cadastral commissions resolving more disputes last year, many complaints are stuck in court, according to a report by the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction.

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