New Preah Sihanouk provincial governor Kuoch Chamroeun has launched an immediate clampdown on signage that fails to comply with Cambodian laws and regulations and foreign business owners who do not have proper documentation to run enterprises in the Kingdom.
Preah Sihanouk provincial spokesman Kheang Phearum told The Post that as of Monday, July 29, all signage using the wrong words, incorrect spelling or which is only written in a foreign language will be removed.
He said businesses and institutions that display such signs will be temporarily shut down if the owners are not willing to rectify the mistakes after being warned by government officials.
“In the past, the authority informed the owners of institutions and businesses to correct the wording and content of their advertisements and signs, but now we will take strict action by closing businesses temporarily until the owners comply with the rules and regulations.
“Foreign business owners who are found not to have proper documentation to operate in Cambodia will be summoned to the police headquarters or the immigration police office and be required to apply for legal permission before reopening their businesses,” Phearum said.
He said the stricter enforcement of the law was the policy of new provincial governor Kuoch Chamroeun.
“It is aimed at improving the management of businesses and institutions in the province as well as controlling the immigrant population who work and run businesses here.
“In the past, government specialists have discovered several enterprises using the wrong words, misspellings, poor use of Khmer literature and signs that are written only in a foreign language, without any Khmer words.
“This often happens because business owners rely only on Google Translate and don’t consult anyone to correct mistakes,” Phearum said.
Preah Sihanouk provincial Department of Culture and Fine Arts director Deth No told The Post that his team was currently inspecting businesses, removing misspelt signs and ordering owners to correct their signage.
“The situation is gradually improving. In the past seven months, my team has removed around 450 business signs that do not comply with laws and regulations.
“We have also temporarily shut down two print shops and instructed the owners to comply with the law and apply for licenses to operate their businesses legally. The signs and banners that fail to comply with the law mostly belong to Chinese business owners,” he said.
Provincial police chief Choun Narin said there are currently some 70,000 foreigners from 61 countries living in Preah Sihanouk province.
He said they work in all fields, especially the industrial and construction sectors, with the vast majority being Chinese nationals, followed by immigrants from Myanmar, Indonesia and the Philippines.
“According to previous analysis of registration documents, more than 40,000 immigrants were staying and working in Preah Sihanouk province.
“However, taking into account recent development and people coming to work from Phnom Penh and other provinces, we can say Preah Sihanouk province now has more than 70,000 immigrants,” Narin said.