The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications is likely to turn over the state-owned Internet company Camnet to the AZ Group, according to an official who helped manage the Internet service.
“I just found some documents about that issue recently,” the official, who asked not to be named, said Thursday.
He said that Prime Minister Hun Sen has already approved the deal but nothing has been signed because of the elections.
“If no public bidding is organized, it just shows that there is no transparency in this business. We want more companies to have a chance to bid for Camnet,” he said. “I worry that the state will lose a lot of money if there is no bidding.”
Minister of Post and Telecommunications So Khun confirmed Thursday that documents detailing the handover exist and are in his possession. But they have not been approved, he said.
“Camnet is still controlled by the government,” he said.
Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker Son Chhay said he is investigating the deal as part of his National Assembly commission of public works, transport, post and telecommunications, industry and commerce.
Son Chhay said that the telecommunications industry loses about $60 million a year to corruption. The state earns about $20 million a year from the sector, he said.
Keo Sotha, an AZ administration officer, said Thursday he was unaware of any developments toward his company’s acquisition of Camnet. “I cannot say right now. I don’t know anything about that,” he said.
Mao Chakrya, operation manager for Camnet and deputy director of policy regulations for the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, also said nothing between the government and AZ has been finalized. He argued that Camnet’s Internet services should be developed nationwide, a project the government cannot afford.
“As you know, the state has no money,” he said. “Private [companies] are always more successful at making income.”
AZ’s director—Ing Bun Hov, who is 32—stood as the No 8 candidate in Takeo province for the CPP in last month’s elections.
The CPP is projected to win five seats in Takeo, according to National Election Committee figures.