Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - After S’ville governor ousted, replacement vows safety




After S’ville governor ousted, replacement vows safety

Former Sihanoukville governor Chin Sarin
Former Sihanoukville governor Chin Sarin. PHOTO SUPPLIED

After S’ville governor ousted, replacement vows safety

Seemingly ending his ambitions for the province’s top job, Sihanoukville’s city governor will next week be out of provincial politics altogether, amid criticisms of his performance by Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng.

In the latest leadership change for the province, where a spike in violent crime this year linked to Russian and European “gangsters” saw the government replace the provincial police chief in April, Chin Sarin, 55, will be transferred to the Interior Ministry.

The shuffle was revealed by a sub-decree released yesterday, which stated that 31-year-old Y Sokleng, currently deputy governor of Prampi Makara district in Phnom Penh, would be sworn in as Sarin’s replacement at a ceremony next Friday afternoon.

The transfer order, signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on July 24, comes a month after Sarin’s request to become Preah Sihanouk provincial governor was leaked to the press, along with handwritten criticism of his performance by Interior Minister Sar Kheng.

In his June 23 application, Sarin pointed to his “sacrifices” to “serve people” and his career credentials, including posts in the army, navy and police and a stint in the Senate as a secretary of state and personal adviser to late CPP president Chea Sim and Prime Minister Hun Sen.

“Please … Sar Kheng allow me to serve … as provincial governor as the last mandate of my working life,” wrote Sarin, who became Preah Sihanouk deputy governor in 2006 and Sihanoukville governor in 2009.

However, scribbled on the letter is a note atop Sar Kheng’s signature: “per information, this official is tricky and receives adverse reaction.”

Speaking yesterday, Sarin said the transfer was “normal” and “a matter for the ministry’s leader”. “It’s normal when changing from one place to another,” Sarin said.

In April – following a string of beatings, stabbings and shootings – Sar Kheng replaced former Sihanoukville provincial police chief Seang Kosal with Chuon Narin, then Phnom Penh municipal police deputy chief, who promised to crack down on crime.

However, crime – including the murder this month of a Russian man – continues to trouble local residents, said Douglas McColl head of the Sihanoukville Tourism Association.

Backed by seven years of experience, Sokleng, who has also worked in Phnom Penh’s Russey Keo district, said safety would be his first priority.

“It will be a big challenge for me in the new town of foreign tourists,” he said. “I will first look at security and public order in the city to make it a safe place for tourists.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Seven positive for Covid-19, Hun Sen confirms local transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that there has been local community transmission of Covid-19. However, he urged the people not to panic even though the Ministry of Health announced the discovery of seven new cases on Sunday. Among the victims are Chhem Savuth, the director-general

  • Cambodia at ‘most critical moment’, Hun Sen warns

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the first community transmission of Covid-19 in Cambodia has led the country to the “most critical moment” that warranted urgent, large-scale operations to contain the pandemic. Hun Sen, who confirmed the first local transmission on November 28, said the source of

  • PM confirms community transmission, calls for unity

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the public to stay calm, unite and follow the Ministry of Health guidelines after the wife of a senior official tested positive for Covid-19 in the Kingdom’s first case of community transmission. The case has drawn criticism

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there