The fourth Khmer Rally Raid 2019, an adventure on four-wheels to promote the Kingdom’s environmental and natural resource preservation, wrapped up in Siem Reap yesterday with organisers hailing another successful edition of the annual race fixture.
Themed “Together to Preserve the Environment and Natural Resources”, the rally covered a distance of more than 600 kilometres passing three provinces – Kampong Thom, Preah Vihear, and Siem Reap.
According to the Ministry of Environment led by Neth Pheaktra, Secretary of State at the Ministry, the event intended to attract images of the richness of Cambodia’s beautiful natural sceneries inspiring love and contribution to the conservation of the resources among the public.
The Khmer Rally Raid 2019 was organised by the Ministry of Environment and the Cambodian Motor sport Federation in association with TOTAL Cambodia – a gas and oil company.
“The event also aims to inspire the preservation and conservation of the environment and natural resources among our citizens, including our youths,” Mr Pheaktra said.
Prey Lang Wildlife Sanctuary spans 431,683 hectares and spreads across four of Cambodia’s provinces, including Stung Treng, Kampong Thom, Kratie, and Preah Vihear.
The Cambodian Ministry of Environment is tasked with overseeing the management of the sanctuary in cooperation with relevant ministries and institutions in the four provinces to ensure the protection of the environment, biodiversity conservation, and the sustainability of natural resources.
Hou Sethikun, the vice president of the Cambodian Motor Sport Federation, speaking ahead of the race, said the course covers a total of 600 kilometers.
“There will be obstacles, which would help inspire solidarity among the competitors, as well as promote our beautiful wildlife,” Mr Sethikun said.
At this year’s event, there were 72 riders of 45 cars and motorcycles with participants hailing from eight countries, including hosts Cambodia, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, and the Netherlands.
However, controversy and criticism has dogged similar events in the region in recent years.
In 2015, the annual Asia Cross Country Rally (AXCR) in which Team KARA of Cambodia competes, was hit by a deluge of complaints from Thai netizen.
The races was alleged to have caused damage to public roads in Chiang Mai and caused the closure of some roads which left some teachers and students unable to reach school.