Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Preah Sihanouk beach developments halted

Preah Sihanouk beach developments halted

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Minister of Land Mangement Chea Sophara and his team inspect Prek Treng beach in Preah Sihanouk province’s Otres commune that has been illegally filled in. ministry of land management

Preah Sihanouk beach developments halted

After receiving an order from Hun Sen, Minister of Land Management Chea Sophara led a team of experts and relevant officials to Sihanoukville to call a halt to the illegal development of a beach.

The prime minister ordered the Prek Treng beach in Otres commune to be restored to its previous condition, a press release from the Ministry of Land Management obtained by The Post on Tuesday said.

“The ministry calls on landowners to be informed that filling in beaches [is not permitted],” the press release says.

Ly Chetniyum, the head of Preah Sihanouk province’s management and construction development office, said the team prevented one of the developers, who had already filled 30 metres of beach, from causing more damage and ordered all construction material removed.

“The owner must remove the construction erected on the [public] beach within 15 days. If the owner doesn’t abide by the order, provincial authorities will take action,” he said.

Chetniyum said the owner, Kan Sokhom, had planned to build a guesthouse or rental accommodation.

“The construction was to build rental accommodation or a guesthouse. When I inspected the site and prohibited construction, I saw there were six or seven toilets erected with [pipes going out into] the sea,” he said.

Sokhom, who was responsible for the construction on the public beach, said: “They asked us to stop, so we stopped.”

Khmer Rise Party president and a member of the prime minister’s recently formed Consultation Forum, Sok Sovan Vathana Sabung said he had investigated the site of the illegal filling in of Prek Treng beach near Sihanoukville on Tuesday.

“Our team are conducting a detailed investigation, looking into possible collusion or corruption by any authority in allowing a female tycoon, whose husband is a member of the Senate, to fill in land in violation of the [laws] of coastal area development,” he said.

He did not name the businesswoman involved or her husband.

‘Social pollution’

“Actions such as this have contributed to the destruction of the nation, the destruction of community property and social pollution through the destruction of the people’s benefits just for selfish personal gain,” Vathana Sabung said.

“All corrupt government officials do not deserve the respect and trust of the people. We consider this violation to be systematic,” he added.

He called on Preah Sihanouk provincial governor Yun Min to strictly adhere to all regulations before approving investment licenses.

Minister of Tourism Thong Khon, who is also the vice-president of the National Committee on Coastal Area Management and Development (NCCMD), said the construction on Prek Treng beach violated the law on coastal area management issued by the government and NCCMD, which bans development within at least 100 metres of the beach.

He said the government would not allow anyone to destroy Cambodia’s beautiful coastal areas that attract so many tourists.

MOST VIEWED

  • With herd immunity likely in 2022, is Cambodia ready to reopen for tourism?

    The government aims to inoculate 80 per cent of the target population by June next year, giving it a head start among regional peers to reboot the sector but first, it has to do a few things to up its game A sign on a glass

  • US wants 'full access' to Ream Naval Base

    On June 11, the US embassy's Defense Attaché Colonel Marcus M Ferrara visited Ream Nava Base in coordination with Cambodian officials following the recent approval of Prime minister Hun Sen to allay the concerns on Chinese military presence at the base as raised by US Deputy

  • Jab drive heading to 5 provinces

    The government is set to vaccinate more than 1.2 million people in five provinces after finishing with Phnom Penh and neighbouring Kandal in an ongoing campaign administered by the ministries of Health and National Defence. The five provinces are Preah Sihanouk, Kampong Speu, Takeo, Kampong Cham

  • New immigration bill targets illegal foreigners in Kingdom

    General Department of Immigration (GDI) officials are discussing revisions to the new draft law on immigration to prevent foreigners from entering Cambodia illegally and to supervise those living in the Kingdom more effectively. The revisions draw wide support among civil society organisations. GDI director-general Kirth

  • Kingdom set to be a gold producer

    Cambodia will soon join the roster of gold producing countries after the government announced the commencement of commercial gold mining operations in the Okvau area in southwestern Mondulkiri province's Keo Seima district from June 21. Prime Minister Hun Sen on June 10 announced that after 14 years of

  • School reopening can’t wait

    With the Covid-19 pandemic now well into its second year, safely reopening schools has become an urgent priority. School attendance is critical for children’s education and lifetime prospects. The long-term costs of closures – both for individual children and society – are simply too large to