City Orders Clean up for Asean Conference

Anticipating the arrival of re­gional delegates for an upcoming Asean meeting in Phnom Penh, the Municipality has ordered all ministries, private organizations and residents to take security precautions, maintain the public order and, particularly, to spruce up their homes and establishments.

The order comes ahead of the Asean Inter-Parliamentarians Organization meeting between Sept 12 and Sept 17, as well as a handful of holidays, including the anniversary of King Norodom Sihanouk’s 1993 reclamation of the throne on Sept 24, Mann Chhoeun, municipal cabinet chief, said Sunday.

Extra police will be deployed to patrol the city’s streets during the week of the AIPO meeting, which is expected to bring more than 200 delegates to Phnom Penh, Mann Chhoeun said. However, neither he nor Municipal Police Chief Heng Pov would comment on the specifics of security preparations.

While Mann Chhoeun de­scribed public trees adorned with lights, he declined to comment on the price of the city’s make­over, and it seems that the burden of decorating Phnom Penh has fallen largely on the city’s population. “People love decorating their houses,” Mann Chhoeun said. “So, we only ask them to keep cleaning their houses…. We want to show the Khmer culture…and let foreign countries have a good view of Cambodia because it is our pride.”

The order provoked some criticism among residents who felt that the city rarely performs maintenance, and then only in anticipation of special events

“We decorate and clean [our houses] every day,” said Pao, 31, a resident of Prampi Makara district who only offered one name. “I want to ask the Municipality to improve security every day be­cause residents are scared to travel at night,” he said.

Thara, 36, a Tuol Kok resident who also declined to give his full name, wondered how the city could ask people to clean their neighborhoods when some lacked a reliable waste collection service. “Residents need to live in a clean city with good order, but everything is becoming worse day after day,” Thara said.

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