Renovation work on the central post office, long a symbol of Cambodia's dilapidated
mail service is expected to be completed by the end of May.
The new post ofThe restoration work on the 104-year old French-styled building began
in Aug. 1992 and by the time it is finished will have cost U.S. $186,757 (125 million
Prum Sontha, Deputy Director of post and telecommunications said the project, which
is part of a larger revamp of Cambodia's mailing service will enable the agency to
compete with the myriad of private operators offering mail services.
Cambodia's postal service was abandoned during the Khmer Rouge years and taken over
by the Vietnamese after they invaded
All mail was processed through Ho Chi Minh City and outgoing mail often took more
than a month to reach its destination.
Cambodia took over the mail service in 1991 and delivery time was down to less than
four weeks but mail was regularly opened and checked by security officials.
Prum said postal officials do not have the right to open personal mail but admitted
the agency has cooperated with the Security Ministry in the past.
"I have suggested to the government that they should take measures to protect
mail as this would also improve the system," he said.
Prum said the ministry recognized the service was still inadequate and in late 1992
struck a deal with Thai International Airways to provide speedier service.
Currently the post office is shipping out 600kg of mail every two days and taking
delivery of in-coming mail six days a week.
Prum said most organizations with operations in Cambodia have postal addresses in
Bangkok and bring mail into the country by courier or messenger. He said this coupled
with the private operators had caused the agency to suffer considerable revenue.
Prum said all private mailing services in Cambodia need to be registered by the Cambodian
Earnings from the mailing service however add up to only 10 per cent of the agency's
revenues which totalled12,155,824,448 riels last year. The bulk came from its telecommunications
Two satellite dishes installed when the former Soviet Union was providing aid to
the State of Cambodia have fallen into disrepair and now can only be used to transmit
The postal agency has entered into a joint venture with Australian telecommunications
company Telstra OTC, which will invest U.S. $700,000 in a satellite based system.