Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Phay Siphan: Preah Sihanouk will become a second Singapore

Phay Siphan: Preah Sihanouk will become a second Singapore

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Several of buildings have been constructed along the coastal area in Preah Sihanouk Province. Heng Chivoan

Phay Siphan: Preah Sihanouk will become a second Singapore

Government spokesman Phay Siphan said on Monday that Preah Sihanouk province will become a second Singapore, as authorities were warned that its development, fuelled largely by Chinese investment, was coming at a cost to locals.

Siphan was speaking at a press conference after a seminar held in the province on its development.

He said the progress in Preah Sihanouk is not only due to investment from Chinese partners but also to a dynamic relationship with the Kingdom’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) neighbours.

“Sihanoukville town and Preah Sihanouk province together with other coastal provinces are a real destination for friendship, peace, cooperation and development, so those who criticise are jealous of Cambodia developing itself to the equal of neighbouring countries and competing on the global free-trade stage.”

He said some politicians had used Preah Sihanouk province as a target for political attacks, but the fact was it had developed in all areas, including the construction of roads, large building projects and casinos, and in other service sectors which made a large number of Chinese nationals arrive for work.

Not all bad news

Ky Sereyvath, director of the Chinese Study Centre at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said the influx of Chinese was not a negative situation.

“I calculated exports from Cambodia to China from 2012 to 2018, and the annual average increased more than 27 per cent, while China exported only 16 per cent to Cambodia over the same timeframe.”

He said ties with China would benefit Cambodia with exports, while the Kingdom also exported to other countries in Europe and the Asean region.

Cheap Sotheary, Adhoc coordinator for human rights in Preah Sihanouk province, said while she was happy with developing the province, it had come at a cost to the beauty of the area.

She said locals had also complained of increased problems with security and public order while facing rising prices for goods, rent, housing and guesthouse rates and bad traffic congestion.

“The development has changed Preah Sihanouk dramatically, but I would like to ask authorities to help resolve the problems with rubbish, [public] order, security, polluted water and electricity outages."

“We acknowledge that our country has free trade, but please help keep jobs for locals because now Chinese nationals run small businesses like Cambodians, even selling fried bananas, some sell roast corn and some sell porridge,” Sotheary said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • Cambodia purchases 4 million Molnupiravir tablets

    Cambodia has arranged for the purchase of four million US-made Molnupiravir pills – enough to treat 100,000 Covid-19 patients – even though the current rate of daily infections in Cambodia remains low. The medicine will be distributed to state hospitals, pharmacies and private clinics, according to the Samdech

  • Rise in planned flights lifts travel hopes

    Six airlines have applied to resume flights in December, while two others have put in for additional flights and routes, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall on November 29. These account for 43 new weekly domestic and international flights in December, up 16

  • Is Cambodia’s travel sector in for another cheerless holiday season?

    The travel and tourism sector was heaving back to life as borders started to reopen, promising a festive vibe for the holidays and New Year. But Omicron and other Covid-related issues are threatening to close the year on a bleak note ‘Seems [like] Covid-19 won’

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Cambodia planning new border checkpoint at Thma Da

    Cambodia is looking into the possibility of opening a new Thma Da Border Checkpoint with Thailand to boost trade and tourism. The Ministry of Public Works and Transport said on December 4 that Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol led a technical working group