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Plan for two new provinces scrapped

Ven Rathavong / Khmer Times Share:
Prime Minister Hun Sen holding a speech. KT/Ven Rathavong

Prime Minister Hun Sen decided to halt the planned creation of two new provinces carved out of Kandal, Ratanakkiri and Mondulkiri, and ordered the Interior Ministry to stop its study into this issue.

In August 2018, Interior Minister Sar Kheng sent a letter to the premier requesting the creation of the provinces to, as we reported, “improve the effectiveness of administration, security, public order, local development, and public services.”

Minister Kheng said technical officers would conduct a feasibility study on the proposed areas, prior to conferring with Mr Hun Sen.

During his World Teacher’s Day speech (Friday, Oct.5) the premier expressed his anger that details of the planning were leaked and people were wrangling for top-notch positions in the new provinces even before he had approved of the measure.

Hun Sen was under the impression that the planning was confidential and deemed to bring public service closer to the people, but he now suspects this was just a ploy for some officials to get better positions.  Apparently in-the-know brokers were paid by some officials.  The broker promised them positions as governor, deputy governor, and other major offices.

“Who are these new governors?” Hun Sen asked.

“Interior Ministry – please shut down all computers today, and do not do anything more [in this matter].”

The premier ordered the Council of Ministers to issue a directive in accordance with his appeal to stop all planning related to the new provinces and ordered the Interior Ministry to terminate the feasibility study.

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