Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM addresses infrastructure

PM addresses infrastructure

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Prime Minister Hun Sen operates a bulldozer during the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of 34 new roads in Preah Sihanouk province on Saturday. Hun Sen's Facebook Page

PM addresses infrastructure

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday addressed the Kingdom’s spending on new infrastructure projects during the groundbreaking ceremony for 34 new roads in Preah Sihanouk province amid calls for greater transparency over Cambodia’s expenditures.

“Originally, the cost for the project came to $294 million, but that posed a lot of questions. Some people asked: ‘Why are the roads so expensive?’ or ‘Where is the money to build roads coming from?’

“I would like to emphasise that taxes generate more than enough income for the government’s budget. The income generated through customs imports alone is about $250 million on average.

“Cambodia earns about $500 million each month, and between $300-400 million is spent each month so Cambodia can save $100-200 million per month,” he said.

Hun Sen said that the 84km-long stretch of road networks were originally estimated to cost $294 million, but the government was able to negotiate the cost down by some $100 million.

“I want to emphasise that we aren’t playing all the cards we’re dealt,” he said, referring to the budget surplus.

“A [benefit] of $100 million is still very small when compared to the whole of the government’s savings in cash,” he said, noting that observers had claimed that the government was “dying of foreign pressure”.

The decision to upgrade the roads came when Hun Sen visited the province during July’s infamous seven-storey building collapse at an illegal construction site which claimed the lives of 28 construction workers.

“At that time, I observed that Preah Sihanouk province’s infrastructure was not what it used to be. It needed to be rebuilt again.

“When we looked up, we saw very beautiful buildings, but when we looked down . . . we saw that we were in mud . . . we were walking, driving cars and motorbikes in mud,” he said, adding that the coastal province was critical to the Kingdom’s economic development.

“The government would not dare approve $300 million in funding for Preah Sihanouk province if it did not successfully attract sources of capital.

“All buildings are decorated with good lighting. But we look down, we walk, ride motorbikes and cars in mud,” the prime minister stressed.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Prime Minister Hun Sen greets villagers during the groundbreaking ceremony for 34 new roads in Preah Sihanouk province on Saturday. Hun Sen's Facebook Page

Cambodian National Research Organisation director Sok Sokhom told The Post that it was important that the new roads are built competently as almost every road in Sihanoukville was badly damaged.

“We already know that the redevelopment of the 34 roads is funded by the government. So, the use of the budget to build the roads must be transparent,” Sokhom stressed.

Provincial governor Kouch Chamroeun read a report at the ceremony that said the roads would largely benefit high-end areas of the province popular with tourists. The total construction will include three roundabouts and six bridges spanning 252m.

Chamroeun said the roads were being built to help Sihanoukville’s further transformation from a sleepy coastal province to a model multi-purpose, economic area.

“I humbly request that Samdech Techo Hun Sen order that when the roads are completed, no one is allowed to cut into or drill them,” Chamroeun said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Ministry requests school opening

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport on Thursday said it would request a decision from Prime Minister Hun Sen to allow a small number of schools to reopen next month. Ministry spokesman Ros Soveacha said if the request is granted, higher-standard schools will reopen

  • Kingdom eyes India FTA, China deal set for August

    Cambodia is studying the possibility of establishing a bilateral free trade agreement (FTA) with India to open a new market with the second-largest regional economy. This comes as an FTA with China is scheduled to be signed next month while similar negotiations with South Korea

  • Judge lands in court after crashing into alleged thief

    Sen Sok district police on Thursday sent a Koh Kong Provincial Court judge to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on manslaughter charges after he crashed his car into a woman riding a motorbike on Wednesday, killing her. District police chief Hour Meng Vang told The

  • Gov’t to boost Siem Reap tourism

    The Ministry of Tourism released the results of an inter-ministerial committee meeting concerning Siem Reap province’s Tourism Development Master Plan for 2020-2035 on Wednesday, revealing the government’s plan to improve the overall tourist landscape there. The meeting was attended by Minister of Tourism

  • Residents ordered to remove structures on Phnom Penh’s canal

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng has ordered authorities to act against the perpetrators who built houses along the Luo 5 canal in Meanchey district. The municipal administration plans to create a committee to solve the matter. The order was given on Wednesday while Sreng led

  • ‘On the offensive’: Cambodia to load up on loans to stimulate economy

    As the dust settles on the economy, Cambodia comes to grips with what needs to be done to turn the economy around, starting with a big shopping list for credit ‘We are going on the offensive,” Vongsey Vissoth, Ministry of Economy and Finance permanent secretary

  • Government set to make up for cancelled April holiday

    The government is set to make up for a five-day Khmer New Year holiday late this month or early next month. The holiday was earlier cancelled due to the onset of Covid-19. The announcement is expected on Friday as the government is studying a range

  • Families told to register for cash handouts

    The government has called on poor families to apply to commune authorities for evaluation to receive financial support during the Covid-19 crisis. A $300 million budget has been planned for implementation within a year. Ministry of Economy and Finance secretary of state Vongsey Visoth said this

  • Crumbling prices, rent ruffle condo segment

    The prolonged decline in international arrivals to Cambodia intensified by renewed Covid-19 fears has driven down condominium sales prices and rental rates in Phnom Penh, a research report said. CBRE Cambodia, the local affiliate of US commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE Group

  • Over $3M in traffic fines collected in two months

    Traffic police officers collected over $3 million in fines throughout the Kingdom during the past two months when officers strictly enforced the law in accordance with a May sub-decree, officials said. As incentives, law enforcement officers received between 200,000 and two million riel ($50 to $500) each. The figures