Poipet town authorities yesterday announced the provincial government’s decision to waive fees for temporary border entrance cards – required for people crossing the border for short periods – as well as the entrance fee to Rong Kluea Market in Sa Kaeo, Thailand.
According to a letter released by Banteay Meanchey provincial authorities, it was decided that all visitors to Rong Kluea Market would no longer be charged the 1,000 riel fee, about 25 cents, for the six-month border entrance card, or 1,000 riel for each time they enter the market.
Provincial governor Soun Bovor said the change was because “the authorities want to reduce the spending of the people and vendors who enter Rong Kluea Market daily”.
Sin Namyung, Poipet commune chief, said entrance cards aren’t needed for those with passports, but most people who cross the border daily lack such documentation.
Poipet resident Chet Chamrong, for one, welcomed the change. “I must pay 1,000 riel every time I enter the market to shop. The vendors must pay multiple times for multiple entries. This will help the people,” she said.
The change is of a piece with other recent populist gestures on behalf of the ruling party, with provincial Cambodia National Rescue Party chairman Sor Chandy tempering his approval of the move with caution. “I welcome this policy by the authorities for the benefit of the people. But I ask that they to do it forever. We fear that they only wish to win votes for the upcoming election.”