Official in hot water over flood remarks

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Last week saw heavy rains of 40 to more 100 millimetres of rain fell per hour. KT/Mai Vireak

The director of the Phnom Penh Information Department will today submit a request to the Information Ministry to have his deputy removed from her position after she criticised the government’s inability to properly manage flooding in Phnom Penh.

Phnom Penh Information Department director Khut Samkhan said his deputy, Khut Sopheap, posted a message on Facebook on Wednesday, claiming she was embarrassed to admit she was Cambodian when abroad due to the city’s inability to properly drain heavy rainfalls.

The city was inundated by heavy rainfall last week over the Pchum Ben festival, when 40 to more than 100 millimetres of rain fell per hour, according to the city’s public works department.

“When I go out of the country I am embarrassed to say I am from Phnom Penh,” Ms Sopheap’s post on Facebook said after the floods. “It rained just two hours only.”

Mr Samkhan said yesterday that Ms Sopheap’s post insulted the country and that she has made many other mistakes in the past.

He said he has already requested the city dismiss her from her position and will today also send a request to the Information Ministry.

Ms Sopheap could not be reached for comment yesterday, but she posted a new message to her Facebook page.

“I apologise to everyone for all of my mistakes,” she said. “I will also accept any punishment for these mistakes, including the removal of my position.”

Information Ministry spokesman Ouk Kimseng said the ministry is reviewing the case.

Sam Piseth, director of the city’s public works department, said last week’s rain would have flooded any city in the world, adding the city’s drainage systems have been being upgraded over the past four years.

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