State-Owned Properties to Be Sold, Swapped

Six prime government-owned properties in Phnom Penh and Battambang province have been reclassified as privately held state properties in order to pave the way for the land to be sold or swapped with private companies, according to a sub-decree signed November 8.

Signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen, the sub-decree changes the status of six government administration buildings from unsellable state-public property to state-private property. The properties fall under the purview of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications and the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy, and cover more than 64,587 square meters of land in total.

One of the properties reclassified by the sub-decree is the Boeng Pralit Commune Post Office branch on Sihanouk Boulevard near the intersection with Monivong Boulevard, the capital’s second largest post office building, covering 1,584 square meters.  Another post office, the Olympic district branch, was also privatized. In Battambang province, 62,740 square meters of state land belonging to the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy were reclassified.

Requests to reclassify the locations were made by the two associated ministries, according to the sub-decree.

Secretary of State for the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications Ek Vandy said Tuesday that he was aware the sub-decree had been signed but declined to comment on it.

“It is a sub-decree, so of course only the minister can comment,” he said.

Neither Minister for Posts and Telecommunications Prak Sokhon nor Minister for Industry, Mines and Energy Cham Prasidh could be reached for comment.

However, Ith Praint, secretary of state for the Industry Ministry, said that the reclassification request had been made by the previous minister, Suy Sem.

“I am in charge of energy so I am not clear about this matter, but I think it would have been the ex-minister, not the new minister, who asked for the status to be changed,” he said, adding that he was not aware of what would now happen to the properties.

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