Businessman and politician Ted Ngoy has taken exception to a newspaper report in which Commerce Minister Cham Prasidh allegedly criticized him for exaggerating his role in winning special trading status for Cambodia.
Ted Ngoy, the president of the Free Development Republican Party, on Tuesday rebuked Cham Prasidh for the remark and said he never took all the credit for winning Most Favored Nation status from the US.
Ted Ngoy said the minister criticized him in a Khmer-language newspaper. But, Ted Ngoy said he acted as part of a government team.
“I didn’t do it alone,” he said, adding he had worked as part of a government team for other US trade lobbying missions.
But Ted Ngoy was quick to point out his contribution to the lobbying team.
“I spent over $100,000 during my cooperation with the government in lobbying for Most Favored Nation” status, he said.
Cham Prasidh’s cabinet did not want to continue the spat when contacted Wednesday.
“MFN helps our country, regardless of who negotiated it,” said Lim Peng Heng, director of Cham Prasidh’s cabinet. “I don’t want to have an argument over who did what for MFN status. ”
Lim Peng Heng did, however, explain that lobbying was conducted by a Cambodian delegation to the US that included Cham Prasidh, Ted Ngoy and Chhang Song, an adviser to National Assembly President Chea Sim. Lobbying was divided into three groups, with Ted Ngoy targeting US Republicans, Chhang Song lobbying US Democrats and Cham Prasidh responsible for both political parties.
The cabinet chief said lobbying expenses were covered by the ministry and not Ted Ngoy. Cham Prasidh was the signatory to the MFN concession, he said.
“Cham Prasidh should have an open mind,” Ted Ngoy said Tuesday. “He should do his duty in attracting investment and tell outsiders about business opportunities here, not attack me.”