News Summary for 23-08-2016

Angkor Beer Factory Strike Hits Production

A workers’ strike escalated on Monday at Sihanoukville’s Angkor Beer-producing Cambrew factory, protesters said, with the company acknowledging that the work stoppage was causing major disruptions.

“The protest has had a big impact on the company’s production,” said Chheng Sopheak, head of human resources at Cambrew, though he could not quantify the cost to the factory’s operations.

Lower fuel prices no remedy for troubled transport sector

A sign displays petrol prices at a service station on Phnom Penh’s Norodom Boulevard yesterday afternoon.While local petroleum prices have dropped by nearly a quarter of their value since the start of the year, companies operating in the Kingdom’s highly competitive transportation sector insist they have not been able to convert lower fuel costs into higher profits – even when maintaining their fees.

Prices for regular gasoline and diesel decreased by 20.41 per cent and 23.41 per cent, respectively, since the beginning of the year, according to a fuel price index released on Friday by the Ministry of Commerce.

Zaman School Links to be Discussed

Ilhan Kemal Tug, Turkey’s ambassador to Cambodia, wants the Zaman schools closed due to alleged links to the suspected plotters of a failed coup against his government.Chum Sounry, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told reporters yesterday the ministry would organize a meeting with the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in October to discuss bilateral Cooperation between the two Countries.

Mr. Sounry added that yesterday morning, Turkey’s ambassador to Cambodia Ilhan Kemal Tug met with Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn at the ministry to thank the Cambodian government for establishing diplomatic relations with his government.

PM: New Stance on Forests

Prime Minister Hun Sen admitted to mistakes and failures in conservation in the past and wants to take a new approach.Admitting to past failures and turning a blind eye to the ever-growing deforestation issue in the Kingdom, Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday announced the official transfer of the fisheries and forestry department to the control of the Agriculture Ministry.

The premier said combining the two government branches will streamline each department’s functions and boost their effectiveness in preventing the destruction of more of the country’s natural resources.–new-stance-on-forests/

Pressure Is On as Strict National Exam Regulations Persist

A student takes the national high school completion exam at Sisowath High School in Phnom Penh on Monday morning.Waiting in the courtyard of Phnom Penh’s Sisowath High School, 18-year-old Yang Poumony smiled as she clutched her pencil bag early on Monday morning, counting the minutes until the start of the national high school exam.

“It’s very nerve-wracking and also exciting,” she said.

High-stakes Grade 12 exams kick off

Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron (centre) unlocks a box containing test papers yesterday at Phnom Penh’s Sisowath High School during the commencement of the nationwide Grade-12 exams.Education Minister Hang Chuon Naron applauded the vast majority of Grade-12 students for obeying the strict no-cheating rules he introduced three years ago as nationwide testing kicked off yesterday with relatively few hiccups.

The minister added that the reforms were not designed to punish but to develop students’ capacity so they could compete regionally.

PM: E-Services Stop Corruption

Cambodian army personnel now have their salaries deposited directly into their bank accounts. This is to prevent commanders cashing in on 'ghost soldiers' on government payrolls.

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday recognized the dual role of digitalized public services in preventing corruption in government ministries and state-owned agencies, and attracting foreign investment to the Kingdom.
Speaking at the first-ever forum on the protection and conservation of natural resources, Mr. Hun Sen said the digitalization of public services enabled the government to improve its tax collection as “taxpayers did not have to meet tax collectors face to face”, and this avoided bribes being paid.–e-services-stop-corruption/

Ministry Considers Turkey’s Request to Close Zaman Schools

Turkish Ambassador Ilhan Kemal Tug, left, and Foreign Affairs Minister Prak Sokhonn meet on Monday in Phnom Penh.The Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed on Monday that it was reviewing a diplomatic request from Turkey to close Zaman-operated schools in Phnom Penh because of their alleged ties to an organization being blamed for last month’s failed coup in the country.

Turkish Ambassador Ilhan Kemal Tug first called for the closure of Zaman University and Zaman International’s kindergarten, primary and secondary school campuses more than a month ago, arguing they were managed by the “terrorist organization” that plotted to overthrow Turkey’s government on July 15.



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