The head of Sokha Hotel, businessman Sok Kong, said the company plans to build a 108m statue of the Buddha on Bokor Mountain. To be built in the area of 500 rice fields, it will be one of the tallest statues in the world.

“The statue will serve as a sacred shrine for all Cambodian people and we will pray for happiness, prosperity and lasting peace to all of the people in the region and throughout the Kingdom,” he added.

He continued that it would also contribute to Buddhism and the development of cultural tourism, as it would attract millions of domestic and international tourists. Each year, many people would visit the statue, and this would generate a lot of income.

“The company has applied to the Ministry of Environment for permission to build this statue. We are also actively working with the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts on architectural design to ensure the huge Buddha statue is properly constructed according to our Cambodian style,” he said.

He added that the project was expected to cost from $30 to $40 million, with construction set to begin as soon as the company receives permits, and the design is finalised.

“We will continue to work with the inter-ministerial committee to ensure the the size and style of the statue represents Cambodian culture. Construction has not yet begun, as we need to revise and redesign the statue and ask this committee for its approval. We will accelerate this work as quickly as possible, and hope to begin construction soon.