Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sar Kheng: ‘Cooperate with forum members’

Sar Kheng: ‘Cooperate with forum members’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Prime Minister Hun Sen met with Supreme Consultation Forum members last week. Facebook

Sar Kheng: ‘Cooperate with forum members’

Minister of Interior Sar Kheng on Monday ordered all provincial and municipal governors to cooperate with Supreme Consultation Forum members on fact-finding missions concerning disputes and officials’ inactivity.

Sar Kheng’s call was hailed by members of the forum, created by Prime Minister Hun Sen following last year’s national elections to promote cross-party cooperation in government.

However, an analyst claimed it was just part of attempts to show that the forum is an effective political entity.

“To help facilitate the implementation of the duties of the Supreme Consultation Forum, I request that all governors cooperate closely with the forum as it carries out missions in cities and provinces in a smooth manner as per the planned programmes and receive good results,” Sar Kheng’s letter said.

Sar Kheng, who is also deputy prime minister, highlighted in his letter to municipal and provincial governors dated Monday that, according to the duties of the Supreme Consultation Forum as stipulated in Article 10 of the Royal Decree, it can monitor the implementation of the law and policies of the government both at the national and sub-national levels, and offer recommendations for improvements.

Khmer Rise Party president Sok Sovann Vathana Sabung said he welcomed Sar Kheng’s instruction because, in the past, local authorities had seemed to be not fully cooperating with such working groups, in some cases asking for unnecessary documentation in order to delay or disrupt missions.

He said that most local authorities did not seem to understand the responsibilities of the forum as information on it was limited.

“I think relevant officials should disseminate information on the duties and roles of the Supreme Consultation Forum and advise local authorities more clearly because in the past we have really faced difficulties,” he said.

Cambodian Nationality Party president Seng Sokheng said he had also faced a lack of cooperation from local authorities, with them likewise asking for documentation to prevent his working group from visiting the areas requested.

“I support his [Sar Kheng’s] decision because [it] will help us carry out our work. It is not only me who has been hindered but also the working groups of other parties."

“Most of the issues we went to help resolve were land disputes. It has happened in most provinces.”

However, Preah Sihanouk Governor Yun Min said authorities in his province had always welcomed and cooperated with the forum’s working groups.

“We have always cooperated with civil society as well as the Supreme Consultation Forum. We have always welcomed them and never obstructed or caused them any difficulty."

“However, we would like them to let the authorities know when they are to arrive so that we can be prepared to cooperate. If I don’t know they are to come, how can we cooperate with them?”

Governor of Kampong Speu province Vey Samnang echoed Min’s sentiments and also called on the forum’s working groups to give local authorities notice before arriving.

This, he said is because local authorities also worked to serve the Cambodian people and had nothing to hide. Hence, forum members could receive the best assistance.

Social analyst Meas Nee said he thought the instruction was intended to show that the forum was an effective body and highlighted the plurality of Cambodian politics.

“The appeal from the Ministry of Interior is an attempt to show the effectiveness of the Supreme Consultation Forum, and to show that although there is no longer a main opposition party, there are also other parties working with the government.”

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