Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CNRP MP seeks clarity on sand-dredging ban

CNRP MP seeks clarity on sand-dredging ban

A photo appears to show sand dredging last month in Koh Kong. Opposition lawmaker Son Chhay has requested clarity on the dredging activity despite the Ministry of Mines and Energy's ban in the area. Mother Nature
A photo appears to show sand dredging last month in Koh Kong. Opposition lawmaker Son Chhay has requested clarity on the dredging activity despite the Ministry of Mines and Energy's ban in the area. Mother Nature

CNRP MP seeks clarity on sand-dredging ban

Opposition lawmaker Son Chhay yesterday submitted a letter to National Assembly President Heng Samrin to forward to Minister of Mines and Energy Suy Sem requesting more information on sand-dredging operations and a sand-processing facility in Koh Kong province, following a recent ban on exports from the area.

While Chhay congratulated the ministry for permanently banning sand exports from Koh Kong, he said there are still a few loopholes in the new measures, such as a recently built sand-washing facility within the Tatai Wildlife Sanctuary.

“We want the ministry to explain when they are going to dismantle or get rid of those facilities to ensure that those operations don’t continue in this area,” Chhay said by phone yesterday.

Assembly spokesman Leng Peng Long said he had not yet seen the letter, and didn’t know whether it would be signed by Samrin and sent on to Sem.

According to the letter, the ministry’s prakas and guidelines don’t include the Andoung Tuek River, and large-scale dredging is approved in two areas of the Koh Por River, with no limit on the number of operations.

Chhay added that he also wants the ministry to provide more details on the areas where sand dredging is allowed.

Chhay in the letter also requests information on the kind of mechanism the ministry will use to enforce the measures.

“Because within the last 10 years, billions of tonnes of sand and mud-sand were [extracted] and smuggled illegally from Koh Kong,” the letter reads.

Chhay is also still waiting to receive a response on his request for clarification on silica sand exports, which he submitted in mid-June.

“If they don’t officially respond to us, [the ministry] is not just violating the Constitution, but is raising concerns that the ministry has something to hide – that they’ve done something wrong,” he said.

Under the Constitution, a minister must provide a verbal or written response within seven days of receiving the questions.

The Mines Ministry said yesterday that some elements of the request fell outside of its purview and that it would seek advice on how to respond.

If Sem does not respond, Chhay said they can begin a process to impeach him, though he didn’t know “how cooperative” the ruling party members would be.

At least 30 members of parliament need to request impeachment in order to push the matter to a vote in the Assembly, which is controlled by the ruling party.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Takeo hand-woven silk items provide local high-quality alternative to imports

    After graduating from university and beginning her career as a civil servant at the the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Khieu Sina found time to establish a business that aligns with her true passion – quality hand-woven Khmer goods. Her product line, known as Banteay Srei,

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,

  • 11th Chaktomuk Short Film Festival draws to close

    Cambodia's 11th Chaktomuk Short Film Festival wrapped up successfully on November 28 after a four-day run, with the film “Voice of the Night” awarded top prize for 2022. Sum Sithen, the organiser of the short film festival, told The Post that the number of attendees to the