Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - White Building locals get Ministry send-off

White Building locals get Ministry send-off

Land Minister Chea Sophara speaks to White Building residents during a farewell party on Saturday morning in Phnom Penh.
Land Minister Chea Sophara speaks to White Building residents during a farewell party on Saturday morning in Phnom Penh. Hong Menea

White Building locals get Ministry send-off

The Land Management Ministry hosted a farewell party for residents of Phnom Penh’s iconic but crumbling White Building Saturday, serving up large quantities of noodles and bringing in Buddhist monks to bless the residents before they move.

More than 95 percent of the building’s 493 families have begun the process of packing up their belongings and leaving the building, which Japanese firm Arakawa plans to turn into a 21-storey mixed-use complex.

The residents agreed to $1,400 per square metre as compensation for their homes, despite many wanting upwards of $2,000.

Land Minister Chea Sophara attended the party and spoke with some of the departing families, but did not address the crowds, despite having announced the event on Facebook. “In order to move to a new home, I would like to invite residents of White Building and the media to have a noodle party and fun together,” he wrote.

White building residents feast on the farewell noodle party thrown by the Ministry of Land Management on Saturday in Phnom Penh.
White building residents feast on the farewell noodle party thrown by the Ministry of Land Management on Saturday in Phnom Penh. Hong Menea

In the morning, residents were blessed by some 50 monks, and then ate lunch while being entertained by live music.

As of last evening, 284 families had vacated their apartments, according to Hue Chenda, deputy director for the ministry’s housing department. Less than 20 families have yet to accept any compensation, and Chenda said he was unaware if any had changed their decision.

Tuy Channa, 35, said she had already relocated, but came back to join in the celebrations. “Living at the White Building was a happy [time], because we knew each other very well and now I feel nostalgic.”

See morehere.

MOST VIEWED

  • NY sisters inspired by Khmer heritage

    Growing up in Brooklyn, New York, Cambodian-American sisters Edo and Eyen Chorm have always felt a deep affinity for their Cambodian heritage and roots. When the pair launched their own EdoEyen namesake jewellery brand in June, 2020, they leaned heavily into designs inspired by ancient Khmer

  • Schools drawn into Manet degree row

    Prime Minister Hun Sen stepped into the Hun Manet-Sam Rainsy war of words over the validity of Manet’s degree from the US Military Academy at West Point, set off by Rainsy’s claims that Manet had received a “second-class degree” or “honorary degree”. Hun

  • Cambodia records first Omicron community case

    The Ministry of Health on January 9 reported 30 new Covid-19 cases, 29 of which were imported and all were confirmed to be the Omicron variant. The ministry also reported 11 recoveries and no new deaths. Earlier on January 9, the ministry also announced that it had detected the Kingdom's

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • PM eyes Myanmar peace troika

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has suggested that ASEAN member states establish a tripartite committee or diplomatic troika consisting of representatives from Cambodia, Brunei and Indonesia that would be tasked with mediating a ceasefire in Myanmar. The premier also requested that Nippon Foundation chairman Yohei Sasakawa

  • Kampot tourism quay ‘90% done’

    Construction on Kampot International Tourism Port – a 4ha quay in Teuk Chhou district about 6km west of Kampot town – has fallen off track, reaching 90 per cent completion, according to a senior Ministry of Tourism official last week. The project is now planned to be finished