Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Pay cut ‘strange’: MP

Pay cut ‘strange’: MP

Pay cut ‘strange’: MP

5 son chhay speaks chivoan

Senior opposition lawmaker Son Chhay is pushing back against a recent proposal by a member of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party to withhold National Assembly salaries for those who have migrated to the newly formed Cambodia National Rescue Party.

In a letter sent to assembly president Heng Samrin last week, Chhay urged Samrin to talk some sense into ruling party lawmaker Cheam Yeap, who dreamed up the salary freeze on May 7, calling the idea an “abuse of the law” and “strange”.

Yeap, who also chairs the National Assembly Commission on Economy, Finance, Banking and Audit, threatened to take away the paychecks of 11 lawmakers who left the Sam Rainsy and Human Rights parties on April 7  to join the CNRP, a merger of the two opposition groups.

By jumping from one party to another, Yeap has reasoned, the lawmakers relinquish the right to their monthly income from the state of about $2,000.

Yeap did not cite a specific statute or internal rule when floating his proposal. But according to Cambodia’s election law, as long as assembly members make the switch within six months of the election – which is on July 28 – they cannot lose their seats in parliament unless they are voted out in the polls.

Koul Panha, executive director of the Committee for Free and Fair Elections in Cambodia, said there are existing disciplinary actions that could affect a lawmaker’s salary and position. But in this case, he said, the MPs have done nothing out of the ordinary that would lead to any sort of punishment.

“First, you’d have to remove them from membership,” Panha said. “If they are still members of parliament, how can you take away their salaries?”

Chheang Vun, assembly spokesman and a CPP legislator, slammed Chhay’s letter.

“Why does he order the parliament president? This is called insolence; he is a member of parliament, he has to respect the parliament president,” Vun said.

Vun said salaries have been frozen in the past – contrary to Chhay’s statements – and that Yeap’s proposal may come before an internal committee.

Additional Reporting by Joe Freeman

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom may hire Turkish power ship

    Cambodia is considering negotiating with Turkey to hire a 200MW-capacity power ship to meet electricity demands as the country faces an ongoing electrical shortage, according to the prime minister. Speaking to garment workers in Pursat province on Wednesday, Prime Minister Hun Sen said Electricite du

  • ‘Kingdom lacks up to 400MW in available electricity’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the general public, hoteliers and businesspeople with generators to use them as back-up as the Electricity Authority of Cambodia cannot generate enough electricity to meet needs due to low water levels in power station reservoirs. On Saturday evening

  • EDC tackles power shortfall

    Electrcite Du Cambodge (EDC) on Monday issued a statement updating the public on its efforts to tackle insufficient electricity supplies during the ongoing dry season. Reductions in electricity prices have resulted in a steady increase in consumers in the Kingdom, while local and international investors

  • African swine fever spreads to VN-Cambodia border

    African swine fever has spread to parts of Vietnam that border Cambodia’s Ratanakkiri and Kratie provinces, a Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries official said on Friday. Tan Phannara, the General Directorate of Animal Health and Production director-general, told a Phnom Penh workshop that