Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - No White Building consensus



No White Building consensus

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A street view of the White Building from Sothearos Boulevard. Many residents of the building opted to lower their demands for compensation as redevelopment plans for the site move forward. Eliah Lillis

No White Building consensus

Most residents at the capital’s White Building opted on Friday to lower their demands for compensation from more than $2,000 per square metre to around $1,800 per square metre as the dilapidated structure’s redevelopment looms.

The structure will be torn down and rebuilt by Japanese firm Arakawa for $70 million, with almost all residents opting to sell their apartments in return for compensation rather than accept temporary resettlement and apartments in the new structure.

While the residents had been seeking $2,000 to $2,300 per square metre, Land Management Minister Chea Sophara earlier this month offered $1,260 per square metre, saying he could increase the offer by at most another $50.

Dy Sophannarymany, a representative for the families, said the residents could not reach a consensus on Friday, and another meeting will be held this Friday to narrow the gap.“Most families decided to put forward the price of $1,800 per square metre, while some families still want $2,000,” she said.

Despite the lack of agreement, she said the village chiefs representing the building would put forth the $1,800 figure to the ministry.

The chiefs – Hun Sarath and Ngem Sovan – had urged the residents earlier this month to vote for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party in the upcoming elections, appearing to link opposition success at the polls to a rockier compensation process, drawing criticism from housing rights advocates.

Village chief Sarath yesterday said a majority of residents had picked the $1,800 figure, but that those wanting more would still be able to make their case before the minister at the next meeting.

Ministry spokesman Seang Lot said that the next meeting was yet to be scheduled.

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting