National Assembly Construction Committee chairman Cheam Yeap has distributed a four-page explanation about why he chose to award the contract to build the new Assembly building to the Ly Chhoung Construction, Import and Export Co after the committee had guaranteed the job to another local company and asked it to secure financing.
Opposition parliamentarian Son Chhay and former royalist Keo Remy have called into question Cheam Yeap’s decision to switch contractors after they were alerted by the director of Giang Shi Trading and Construction Co Ltd, the company that allegedly was slighted .
“The complaint from Giang Shi Trading and Construction Co, Ltd, does not appropriately comply with the law because this company did not comply with the committee’s conditions,” Cheam Yeap wrote in his letter, dated March 30. “Besides that, the company does not have enough evidence to prove it has funding to construct the new National Assembly building.”
The letter itself offered no evidence to support its author’s assertions.
Kim Khieng said the committee has not given an accurate account of its dealings. He said that Giang Shi’s parent company, 5 Golden Stars, has received a $15 million loan from Business Australia Capital Finance Pty Ltd to ensure funding of the Assembly’s construction and that he has the cash in hand.
Cheam Yeap’s letter stated that after reviewing a number of bids, the committee on May 8 asked
5 Golden Stars to present a $1 million performance bond within 30 days. But on Sept 4 the committee asked for another performance bond of $3.5 million.
Kim Khieng said his company had trouble meeting this second, unexpected condition within 30 days. He also said that, by Sept 17, the committee was courting other potential contractors.
Cheam Yeap did not mention the date the committee began seeking another contractor in his letter.
“I am preparing all of the documents in order to sue the committee. I still want the committee to make the contract with the Ly Chhoung Company invalid,” Kim Khieng said Tuesday.
Son Chhay has criticized the contract with the Ly Chhoung Company as being too expensive and lacking transparency.