Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Stall-holders reject TBR concessions



Stall-holders reject TBR concessions

Stall-holders reject TBR concessions

Angry vendors have turned down major new concessions by the Thai Boon Roong

company and have vowed to hold out for free stalls in the new Olympic market

building.

The vendors boycotted a public forum called last week by the

Royal Government and Phnom Penh municipal authorities, with only 38 of around

2,000 turning up.

The meeting had been intended to end the bitter

three-month dispute between stall holders and the giant Thai property

development and trading company, which has seen the traders demonstrating

outside the National Assembly.

The traders made a counter proposal

calling for the dispute to be settled in court.

Despite the sparse turn

out at the public forum, Neou Kanon, secretary of state for the Prime Minister's

office unveiled a four-point plan agreed on by the government and

TBR.

It offered:

 

  • To drop the price of stalls by $1,000 with the cheapest coming down from

    $6,000 to $5,000.

  • To drop the requirement to pay a deposit to secure a stall.
  • Interest free monthly repayments over 15 years of $13 to $35.
  • Vendors be given the right to transfer ownership of their stalls - with

    permission from the company.

The concessions were the result of many rounds of talks between the

government and the company for the past three months.

Of the 38 traders

who did bother to show up at the meeting, 10 voted in favor of the proposal, 11

were against, with 17 abstentions.

Those who did attend the meeting

informed the rest of the traders, who were mostly unmoved by them.

They

had already issued a press release saying they refused to pay anything at all

for stalls in the new building which was completed in November.

The

vendors claim they already have ownership of the site, which is built on the old

market and believe they were tricked by TBR.

They claim they were led to

believe that they wouldn't have to pay for the new stalls.

A number of

traders interviewed by thePost said the concessions made no difference to their

intention to battle on, saying paying for the stalls was not an

option.

Earlier the Post spoke to traders who attended the forum and

voted for the proposals.

"I'm happy because the fee is fixed that I can

pay monthly for 15 years. I agree," said Kim Sary, a pork seller who took part

in the meeting.

"If the rent is really paid monthly and fixed, I might be

able to pay. It's reasonable," said Lee Heang, a cigarette wholesaler.

The cost of buying a cigarette stall is $40 a month, he said.

"The government helps a lot. This formula is quite reasonable and makes

the situation relaxed too. If they agree to enter [the new market] I'll do so,"

he said.

Kanon said after the forum: "We'll wait for a new instruction

from the government, but as I could see it was the last [offer] and it can not

be delayed anymore."

He expressed concern over the delay in settling the

issue and said an inter-ministerial committee would seek further recommendations

from government leaders as the dispute can not be sorted out at the municipality

level anymore.

"We will let the public to judge the proposals and all

the efforts we've made if they are just or not. My personal opinion is that the

concession is reasonable," Kanon said.

Officials of Phnom Penh

Municipality believed that the merchants were influenced by outsiders to prolong

the dispute. However, they refused to confirm.

Secretary of State Neou

Kanon called on the merchants to avoid turning the dispute into a political one

which could disrupt government efforts to attract foreign

investment.

"What we should be concerned about is that the US has already

lifted the trade embargo against Vietnam.

"If we don't try hard, don't

take good care of investors, they won't come to our country. Thus, national

rehabilitation has no progress, our children will be unemployed. This is a very

big issue."

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Hun Sen: Stay where you are, or else

    Prime Minister Hun Sen warned that the two-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal provincial town Takmao could be extended if people are not cooperative by staying home. “Now let me make this clear: stay in your home, village, and district and remain where

  • Businesses in capital told to get travel permit amid lockdown through One Window Service

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration has issued guidelines on how to get travel permission for priority groups during the lockdown of Phnom Penh, directing private institutions to apply through the municipality's One Window Service and limit their staff to a mere two per cent. In

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Ministry names types of business permitted amid lockdown

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training singled out 11 types of business that are permitted to operate during the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takmao town, which run through April 28. Those include (1) food-processing enterprises and slaughterhouses; (2) providers of public services such as firefighting, utility and