Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Proposed Iran loan under fire

Proposed Iran loan under fire

Proposed Iran loan under fire

Opposition lawmakers-elect yesterday lambasted reports that Cambodia has asked Iran for a $54.45 million loan.

Following an official visit to Tehran last week by a delegation from the National Assembly led by First Vice Chairman Nguon Nhel, Cambodia’s official news agency, Agence Kampuchea Press, reported that Iran is currently pushing for a final decision on the loan.

The loan would be used on six projects focusing on agriculture and water resources.

“All the loans that our government receives … [are used] to improve the social infrastructure and agricultural development as well as vocational training,” senior Cambodian People’s Party lawmaker Cheam Yeap said yesterday.

But opposition lawmaker-elect Son Chhay described the loan as a waste of money.

“To borrow money from Iran is just ridiculous. It seems to me that the CPP doesn’t know what to do but waste a lot of money on trips just to get into more debt. It could be a disaster.”

Nhel was unavailable for comment.

Chhay added that Iran’s relationship with Cambodia is based on “an authoritarian government [looking for another] to make friends with”.

Fellow CNRP lawmaker-elect Yim Sovann said that while any country should be able to provide Cambodia with loans, they should consider the “illegitimacy of the government”.

Kol Preap of Transparency International Cambodia also expressed concerns. “Every time Cambodian delegations visit other countries, they like to show of[f] their success …by declaring how much money the countries they have visited pledge to give or to lend to Cambodia. As a Cambodian citizen, I personally feel ashamed,” he said by email.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY KHOUTH SOPHAK CHAKRYA

MOST VIEWED

  • US names new ambassador to Cambodia

    US President Donald Trump on Friday appointed W Patrick Murphy as the new US Ambassador to Cambodia, replacing incumbent William A Heidt. A press release posted on the White House’s website said nominee W Patrick Murphy is currently acting principal deputy assistant secretary at

  • Kingdom is at a crossroads between East, West after poll

    It was dubbed a success by caretaker prime minister Hun Sen after the electoral victory of his Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), which is poised to take all seats in the National Assembly. But the July 29 national election has not been positively looked at by

  • Chinese influence to sweep Kingdom?

    Growing Cambodia-China ties have seen the latter’s influence sweep across the Kingdom through increased investments and tourism. The Asian giant has become the leading source of foreign funds in Cambodia, fuelling the construction sector with huge casino and hotel projects. Much of the growth

  • Western poll flak is ‘pressure to take the Kingdom hostage’

    After last month’s national elections brought praise for the orderly manner they were run and managed, the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesman Sok Eysan dismissed criticism from the West as a “violation of the Kingdom’s independence”. He said the attitude of