Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Taxi crash dispute goes viral

Taxi crash dispute goes viral

Pheng Vannak hands over $4,000 in donations raised through Facebook to Som Monkya, secretary of state at the Ministry of Tourism
Pheng Vannak hands over $4,000 in donations raised through Facebook to Som Monkya, secretary of state at the Ministry of Tourism. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Taxi crash dispute goes viral

The Cambodian Red Cross has turned down $4,000 in donations because it considers the money tainted after a senior government official claimed the cash from a taxi driver following a high-speed crash.

Secretary of State at the Ministry of Tourism Som Monyka came under fire on social media after she was involved in a car crash on the way to Ratanakkiri province from Phnom Penh on October 19.

Driver Khem Makara swerved to avoid a dog on the road and careened off the asphalt. Nobody in the 15-seater minibus was seriously injured, despite Monyka claiming Makara was driving at 120 kilometres per hour and talking to his girlfriend on the phone.

Monyka and three others waited with the driver and, several days later, filed a complaint claiming $1,000 in damages per person.

After hearing the driver’s side of the story, social media maven and National Police officer Pheng Vannak took to Facebook and raised the $4,000 from senior officials, causing Monyka to lose face.

“The victim came to see me, so I thought of raising money, because I felt sorry for him because he’s very poor,” said Vannak, who was accused last year of threatening to kill opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party deputy president Kem Sokha.

Monyka – the wife of Ministry of Interior Secretary of State Pol Lim – said her reputation had been damaged by the affair.

“This is all so unfair, because I am the injured party,” she said.

“[Makara] had no driving licence and drove too fast.… I thought I would die at that time. Three or four days later I got a health check and realised that the bones in my feet were bruised.

“What is important right now is my reputation.”

Her husband said she has since donated the $4,000 to the Kantha Bopha Children’s Hospital.

Pom Chantyny, general secretary of the Cambodian Red Cross, said yesterday that Monyka’s attempted donation had been declined because “it has to be real, from the heart, and not from actions like those”.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • Rise in planned flights lifts travel hopes

    Six airlines have applied to resume flights in December, while two others have put in for additional flights and routes, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall on November 29. These account for 43 new weekly domestic and international flights in December, up 16

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • Is Cambodia’s travel sector in for another cheerless holiday season?

    The travel and tourism sector was heaving back to life as borders started to reopen, promising a festive vibe for the holidays and New Year. But Omicron and other Covid-related issues are threatening to close the year on a bleak note ‘Seems [like] Covid-19 won’

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Hun Sen: Manet to be candidate for prime minister

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has reaffirmed that his oldest son Hun Manet will be his successor as Prime Minister if he is elected. Speaking during the inauguration of a new sewage treatment facility in Preah Sihanouk province on December 2, Hun Sen said Manet will be