Thursday, December 30, 2010

PM rebukes wayward nephew

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday made an outspoken public appeal for one of his nephews to mend his ways and return to his family.

Speaking to a crowd of thousands gathered at the University of Phnom Penh for the ground-breaking ceremony of a municipal overpass, Hun Sen said he had sent National Police chief Neth Savoeun to look for Hun Chea, who the Premier accused of cheating on his wife  and being involved with drugs.

“According to the investigation, now [Hun Chea] is staying in a hotel with a woman, and there is a group of drug [users] involved with him,” Hun Sen said.

“[I] will not tolerate involvement in [drugs] ... there must be law enforcement, it doesn’t matter if he is the nephew of the Prime Minister.”

Hun Sen said that Neth Savoeun, an elder cousin of Hun Chea’s, had been charged with locating and bringing the premier’s nephew home to his wife and children. The premier also appealed to the general public for help, and asked Hun Chea himself to consider the welfare of his family.

“Everybody and every hotel, if you see Hun Chea do not accept him, and tell him that the Prime Minister asked him to go home,” Hun Sen said.

“Today, with a loudspeaker, I would like to appeal to my nephew Hun Chea to return home. If you hear my appeal, please return home. Your parents and parents-in-law have been sick at home, and your wife and children are waiting at home.”

Hun Sen said he planned to call “a meeting of the Hun family”, noting that some other relatives of his might be in need of some “reeducation”.

“Only my children accepted reeducation; my nephew has never accepted reeducation,” he said. He added that another nephew, Hun To, “used to be the same as Hun Chea”, but was now “a good character with his wife and children”.

PM blasts World Bank

During his hour-long speech, Hun Sen also criticised the World Bank, which he said had failed to complete construction on a library that it started building four years ago on the University of Phnom Penh campus.

Hun Sen noted that the building was “just a few hundred square metres” and compared it to the new Council of Ministers building, which he said covered more than 50,000 square metres and was completed 18 months after a Khmer company began construction.

“[We] have to realise that’s how the foreigners build for us, and that’s how we build by ourselves,” Hun Sen said.

“There is no doubt that when the foreign consultants still make money from the project, the library building is still not completed.”

Bou Saroeun, a press officer at the World Bank, said the organisation had allocated US$1.8 million to build the library, and that delays had been caused by “technical problems”. He said construction was now expected to be completed by May next year....read the full story in tomorrow’s Phnom Penh Post or see the updated story online from 3PM UTC/GMT +7 hours.

 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Dynamic fiscal prediction

A leading official at the Korea Exchange, joint partner in Cambodia’s soon-to-launch bourse, believes the Kingdom’s economy and capital market have “dynamic prospects”.

Pat Gil-Soo Shin, senior vice-president of Emerging Market Development of the Korea Exchange, or KRX, also expressed hopes for Cambodia’s new stock market, but said its launch was “no easy” task.

Speaking to The Post in Seoul, he confirmed that the preparations for the much-delayed Phnom Penh exchange – set to launch in Canadia Tower in July – are gathering pace.

KRX has drawn up operational rules for the new market, which are awaiting approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission of Cambodia, while a Korean advisory group has been dispatched to Phnom Penh to design and consult on bourse framework. “SECC is working on the supervisory regulations with many crucial ones already finalised,” he said.

Information technology infrastructure, he said, was “almost finished”, with a training session set to take place in the capital.

“It is just natural to take a long time to introduce a totally new industry [the exchange] to a country,” he said. “There should be various obstacles and challenges with this complex project.

“However, we are pleased to have proceeded with the project successfully so far, via close cooperative efforts with the Cambodian government.”

The decision to hold a 45-percent stake in Cambodia’s stock exchange, he said, was part of KRX’s business plan to enter into strategic alliances with regional stock exchanges and globalise its business scope.

But launching exchanges in emerging economies brought challenges. “Every company may have its own reason to list or not,” he said. “There may be some companies that have reported less income to [the] tax authority. This was also the case in Korea. Especially in emerging countries, there may be a need to introduce temporary measures to promote companies’ IPO (initial public offerings) and listing and solve the problem of ‘by-gone tax evasions’.”

Emphasising the need for financial transparency in order to apply for listing, he said: “Some securities companies are already in talks with applicant listing companies.”

But programmes informing businesses about the potential of the exchange were  planned in order to spread further exchange awareness in the business community.

Striking a balance between investor protection and market development was also a factor to consider.

“There should be balanced policy direction ... too much focus on investor protection will restrict market development in the initial stage, while we cannot compromise quality of the market,” he said.

Looking to the future, he remained enthusiastic about the Kingdom. “I see dynamic prospects within the Cambodian economy and the capital market [set] to be introduced,” he said.

(source from the Phnompenh post newspaper, Thursday, 23 December 2010 19:14 May Kunmakara) 

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