Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Tax chief backs Daily shuttering

Tax chief backs Daily shuttering

Cambodia Daily staffers check the paper’s final story list last month. The paper ceased publication after a tax dispute.
Cambodia Daily staffers check the paper’s final story list last month. The paper ceased publication after a tax dispute. Ananth Baliga

Tax chief backs Daily shuttering

Tax Department head Kong Vibol yesterday defended his handling of a dispute with the now-shuttered Cambodia Daily, telling attendees at a tax forum that his department only followed procedure by assessing the newspaper’s liabilities and that it was the Daily that sought to politicise the matter.

The Daily ceased operations on September 4 after it was handed an “exorbitant” $6.3 million tax bill and given a month to, as Prime Minister Hun Sen put it, “pay up or leave”. The frequently critical paper failed to come up with the money, and its closure coincided with the expulsion of US-backed NGOs and the closure of more than a dozen independent media organisations.

“So the case of the Cambodia Daily is that they never came forward with the proof that we did something wrong,” Vibol said. “Except they go and take the issue to the press [claiming] that we are trying to shut down the press.”

He added that had the Daily followed tax procedures, it could have appealed the bill, and also could have taken a staggered approach to paying it.

The newspaper’s former deputy publisher, Deborah Krisher-Steele, and former general manager, Douglas Steele, could not be reached.

MOST VIEWED

  • First deportees of the year touch down in Cambodia

    Twenty-five Cambodian-Americans landed in Phnom Penh on Wednesday, marking the first such deportations of the year. “On Wednesday, US law enforcement authorities deported 25 Cambodian nationals that immigration judges determined had no legal basis to remain in the US,” said Arend Zwartjes, spokesperson for the US

  • Qatar Airways to connect Doha and Siem Reap town

    Qatar Airways Company QCSC has announced a new route connecting Qatar’s capital Doha with Siem Reap, a move hailed by local officials as a significant step to boost tourist numbers. A Qatar Airways representative, speaking at the Kuwait Aviation Show, announced on Thursday that

  • Sokha defence denies Tech’s claims

    ON DAY two of Kem Sokha’s treason trial, lawyers for the government said the defence had raised questions in an attempt to allow their client to make a public statement and a conclusion to the case, something his legal team denied. Ky Tech, a

  • Call for boycott of Angkor unacceptable

    Dear Editor, I wish to express my strong disagreement on the article published by Traveller for their website with the title Best places to go in 2020: 12 destinations you should avoid. Below is my opinion of the article. It is obviously free for the Traveller to

  • Probe underway after wreckage of drone with Chinese characters found

    Air Force Command spokesman Prak Sokha said on Sunday that investigations are underway regarding the wreckage of a drone that was recovered in Koh Kong province’s Koh Sdech commune in Kiri Sakor district. The wreckage has been taken to the capital for further examination,

  • Good governance needed for sustainable growth

    Cambodia is one of the most successful countries in achieving high and rapid economic growth in Asia and the world. The average 7 per cent of annual GDP growth in the past two decades has lifted millions of people out of poverty. In 2015, Cambodia graduated from