Pailin Agricultural Official Under Fire Over Pay

Pailin officials have filed a complaint against Phann Pich, the director of the Pailin Municipality Agriculture Department, saying he owes them two months’ salary.

When he does pay them, they say he pays in Thai baht, which cheats them out of money. Fifty officials, including Pailin Gover­nor Y Chhien, signed the complaint asking that Phann Pich be fired because he is corrupt and incompetent.

Hem Sophat, chief of the mun­icipality’s forestry office, said when Phann Pich pays in baht, he pays 100 baht for every 10,000 riel owed. At current exchange rates, 100 baht is worth about $2.22, while 10,000 riel is worth $2.56. It gets even worse if officials try to exchange the baht in Phnom Penh or Siem Reap, where they get about 7,000 riel per 100 baht, or $1.79.

Hem Sophat said Phann Pich has paid officials who support him, but is trying to punish those who criticize him.

Phann Pich said he hasn’t paid the officials because “they do not come to work and they don’t know how to work. They do not respect me, or attend meetings I call.” He claimed he never paid them in baht, and has been withholding salaries “to warn them.”

and that they will be paid in a few days.


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