Hun Sen’s Biggest Regret: Land Disputes

''My regret is the lateness of land reform. And solving land disputes…. [W]e should have given land titles to the people more speedily, but we delayed for 10 years giving land titles to the people,” Hun Sen said in a 2015 interview with American documentary filmmaker Robert H. Lieberman.

Twelve years ago, Nget Sim, a Cambodian villager who lives along the Thai border in Chi Khor Leu commune of Koh Kong province, lost his 5 hectares of family farmland to a sugar company.

Sim, 36, is among hundreds of people who have been accused since 2006 of living on the Koh Kong Sugar Company’s land illegally after the government granted a large tract of land in 2006 to the well-connected CPP Senator Ly Yong Phat for an economic land concession. But even years after the dispute began, he says he is bereft without his land, which he received from his family as an inheritance when he got married.

“I don’t know what to do since I was farming on my land and then they came to grab it,” Nget Sim told VOA. “I don’t know what to do.”

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