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Small-scale public forums of 50 and fewer encouraged

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Minister of Interior Sar Kheng said municipal and provincial administrations can now organise public forums as normal but have to limit the number of participants to less than 50. Heng Chivoan

Small-scale public forums of 50 and fewer encouraged

Minister of Interior Sar Kheng said municipal and provincial administrations can now organise public forums as normal but have to limit the number of participants to less than 50.

In a letter on Monday, Sar Kheng wrote: “The provincial, municipal, district and commune councils can continue to host forums as normal.

“For the participants, they have to practice measures preventing the spread of Covid-19 and follow the advice of the Ministry of Health.”

Sar Kheng advised the administrations to check temperatures, prepare hand sanitisers, use masks or Khmer krama, and practice social distancing. He also advised them to invite residents to join the forums.

“Covid-19 has affected the economic, social, managerial and administrative work at the sub-national level. It has also affected meetings and public forums and prevented participation from residents to address issues,” he said.

Ministry of Interior secretary of state Sak Setha told The Post on Monday that forums and councils provide locals with an outlet to address issues related to their lives.

“The government has put great effort into tackling Covid-19. We reported about problems and now we need to collect information from residents including various requests,” he said.

Advocacy and Policy Institute director Lam Socheat told The Post that it is a good idea if each forum considers selecting participants who truly have problems. It is also a good idea if participants are limited to fewer than 50 people so they can discuss their issues.

“If a forum is attended by 200 to 300 people, most of them will listen [to problems ] but they do not provide opinions,” he said.

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