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Tycoon to help gov’t on rehab

Kith Meng, chairman of the Cambodian News Channel and Royal Group, speaks during the launch of the new TV station.
Kith Meng, chairman of the Cambodian News Channel and Royal Group, speaks during the launch of a new TV station. Hong Menea

Tycoon to help gov’t on rehab

Business mogul and president of Cambodia’s Chamber of Commerce, Kith Meng, has volunteered to take charge of financing improvements to Cambodia’s struggling and oft-criticised drug rehabilitation centres, according to the secretary-general of the National Authority for Combating Drugs (NACD), Meas Vyrith.

Vyrith said that Interior Minister Sar Kheng announced the news at a finance meeting for the Ministry of Interior yesterday.

“Kith Meng requested to head the initiative to support the government campaigning in combating drugs,” Vyrith said.Vyrith added that Meng’s request was approved because of his business expertise.

NACD chief Ke Kim Yan recently appealed to the private sector and the international community for additional funds to assist with Cambodia’s ongoing drug crackdown.

“He is very experienced in mobilising resources, even more capable than the state sector,” Vyrith said. “He sees that the anti-trafficking campaign by the government is struggling to help the drug victims, and there is a resource shortage, so he has the initiative to help the campaign of the government to improve society.”

Cambodia’s involuntary rehabilitation centres have been frequently criticised by human rights advocates. A 2010 Human Rights Watch report claimed many centres lacked doctors and were sites of frequent beatings.

Meng’s assistant said the news won’t be publicly announced until Friday, and declined to provide any more details.

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