Co-Minister of Defense Tea Banh dispelled claims on Monday by a senior RCAF official that portions of the Old Stadium sports ground near the Chroy Changva bridge have been traded by the ministry to a private construction company in return for funding the stadium’s renovation.
Tea Banh confirmed that the entire Old Stadium area is being renovated, but said that none of the sports facility has been sold to a private company.
“We never attempt to sell the Old Stadium’s campus,” Tea Banh said.
The renovation project will take a year and will cost thousands of dollars, he said.
But a senior RCAF official who asked not to be named said part of the stadium property was traded in return for the private company carrying out the renovations.
“The Ministry [of Defense] does not have enough money to repair the stadium, which is why they need to sell some part of the campus,” the official said.
According to the official, a Cambodian firm called JR Import, Export and Construction Company is involved in the deal.
Money made from the land swap has also been used to compensate nearly 100 RCAF soldiers and their families who were living inside the campus but were forced to relocate, the official said.
Tea Banh confirmed that RCAF families living at the Old Stadium site were relocated and given proper compensation for their homes.
Tea Banh said he could not remember how much the soldiers were compensated and did not provide details as to what type of renovations the stadium would undergo.
Khim Sarith, undersecretary of state for the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, said on Monday that the defense ministry has been managing the Old Stadium site for years and used it for sports training for its officers.
A guard working at the Old Stadium site on Sunday said only that “JR company” was in charge of the renovation work.