The Governor of Phnom Penh, who is also the head of Phnom Penh City Hall, Khuong Sreng today (April 12) dismissed allegations that the government providing free bus rides for people during Khmer New Year is a tactic to buy votes (sub-national elections are in May).
The Prime Minister last week announced that City Hall is allocating 120 public buses for all citizens and workers to travel from Phnom Penh to other provinces and back free of charge from April 12-18.
Speaking to reporters at the municipal bus depot, Mr Sreng said the operation aims to address difficulties and concerns of people wishing to visit their hometowns during Khmer New Year.
“He [Hun Sen] is not doing this to buy votes. There is no reason to do this after 2018. It is now 2019, one year after the national elections. He cares about his people. He helps to reduce expenses for the people. This criticism of his decision is unfounded.”
The PM again asked private bus companies not to increase their fares during the New Year or Pchum Ben holidays. He also asked that taxi, hotel, and guesthouse owners/operators not to raise prices during the New Year period.
His appeal to the bus companies has fallen on deaf ears – the free bus services are his reaction to the bus firms’ lack of hearing.