F’pec Lawmaker Urges PM To Halt Stadium Construction

A Funcinpec lawmaker has sent a petition to Prime Minister Hun Sen asking him to halt construction of residential and commercial buildings along the peri­meter of the Olympic Stadium and raze the buildings that have been completed.

“I want the prime minister to order the relevant institutions to ex­amine the renovation of the Olympic Stadium…. It is an ex­ploitation of state property,” parliamentarian Sam Ramsek said Sunday. “I want the government to destroy the flats that were built along the stadium’s [perimeter] and keep the stadium as it was in the past because the stadium is a heritage site.”

In a petition dated Nov 21 and signed by other Funcinpec lawmakers, Sam Ramsek said the renovations are “nation be­traying activities that Cambo­dian people cannot accept, and we refuse the contract starting today.”

He said Hun Sen must re­spond to parliament within seven days. If there is no intervention, he will call for a demonstration.

Sam Ramsek said the renovations are illegal because the proposal was not approved by the Na­tional Assembly. Development of national heritage sights, such as the stadium, needs to be considered by lawmakers, he said.

Sam Ramsek said heritage sites are not for sale. “Al­though we have money, can we buy the Independence Monu­ment or the Royal Palace?” he asked.

The contract was signed by the Ministry of Edu­cation, Youth and Sport and the Yuanta Group, a Taiwanese de­vel­op­ment firm, and was supervised by Hun Sen. Critics, however, claim the project destroys the vision of its original architect, Vann Molyvann.

Officials from the Yuanta Group say the contract is legal. “When we signed the contract, it was supervised by all the concerned departments, the Ministry of Education, the prime minister’s office, departments of construction and other relevant departments,” said Yuanta Executive Manager Chen Ching Chin.


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