The Ministry of Information has denied a request by the Cambodian Center for Independent Media to launch its own radio station on which it intended to broadcast the popular show Voice of Democracy.
Pa Nguon Teang, director of the CCIM, said they currently buy air time from existing radio stations like Beehive FM 105 to broadcast VoD-known for its discussions on current events and politics—but that an independent station would ensure the show’s sustainability.
“I would like to request the Information Minister [Khieu Kanharith] to allow the Cambodian Center for Independent Media to establish an FM radio station with 10 [kilowatts] in Phnom Penh and branches across the provinces,” Pa Nguon Teang wrote in an Aug 22 letter to Khieu Kanharith.
Khieu Kanharith said in an Aug 30 reply letter obtained Tuesday that there are too many radio stations in Cambodia, adding that the ministry has stopped granting permission to establish new ones.
“We are waiting for the audio law [to be passed] and also there are radio and television stations that are beyond what we need in the region…. Therefore, the ministry cannot give the permission,” he wrote.
Khieu Kanharith said he was too busy to comment Wednesday. Information Ministry Secretary of State Nouv Sovathero said official comments on the matter can only come from Khieu Kanharith.
Pa Nguon Teang said this is the third time he has sought permission to establish a radio station.
“The ministry’s denial intends to hide the true information from the people,” he said, adding that while there may be a proliferation of radio stations in Cambodia, most of them are politically aligned.