News Summary for (27-09-2016)

Garment Wage Vote Set for Tomorrow

unions-employers-and-government-officials-met-yesterday-to-discuss-the-new-minimum-wageRepresentatives for garment sector employers and employees will vote on Wednesday for their respective final proposals for the new minimum wage next year.

Two weeks ago, members of the tripartite minimum wage negotiations began a series of meetings to discuss their various salary proposals.

The Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia (GMAC) initially proposed raising this year’s monthly base figure of $140 by $4.20, which they said was in line with inflation. The labor unions called for a $40 increase.

Army’s intro to riot control

military-personnel-in-riot-gear-participate-in-an-exercise-last-week-at-a-police-training-facilityRaised riot shields in their left hands, batons ready in their right, the line of several dozen soldiers advanced toward the crowd of “protesters” who, armed with sticks and placards, lunged forward now and then to strike out at the shields.

Then, officers in the rear lobbed smoke grenades in an arc overhead, the soldiers suddenly broke into a charge and the mock mob, numbering in the dozens, scattered across the National Police’s training facility in Kampong Speu province.

Political Arena Calm as Compromise Remains Elusive

kem-sokha-mingles-with-supporters-at-the-cnrps-headquarters-in-phnom-penh-earlier-this-monthJust a week ago, the opposition was threatening imminent mass demonstrations as Prime Minister Hun Sen was pledging to “eliminate” opponents who launched public protests. The tone has quickly—if only temporarily—changed.

In a message posted to his Facebook page on Sunday, CNRP Vice President Kem Sokha urged supporters to avoid “violent, rude or attacking words” that might inflame political tensions during the approaching Pchum Ben holiday.

Domestic Airports Converted for Public Use

the-government-is-planning-to-turn-dilapidated-airports-over-to-the-control-of-local-authoritiesPrime Minister Hun Sen transferred control of some of the Kingdom’s domestic airports to local government authorities for public use during a cabinet meeting last Friday.

“We handed over airfields to provincial authorities to manage and use for state or public interest,” Mr. Hun Sen said.

He added that the government decided to relinquish control of some airports to make way for a variety of government projects, but said airports in Kampong Chhnang, Battambang, Koh Kong and Stung Treng provinces would be kept for their original purpose. Authorities in charge of one airport in Mondulkiri province are planning to fill the space with huge orchid gardens.

Rice Sector Intervention to Bolster CPP Support, Official Says

The government expects that its rapid intervention to save a rice sector crippled by a sudden slash in domestic paddy prices will boost the ruling party’s popularity ahead of upcoming elections next year and in 2018, CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said on Monday.

With the value of paddy having fallen from about $250 per ton in the middle of last month to just over $190 earlier this month due to a drop in international demand, the government acted quickly to mitigate the effects of the tumbling prices on farmers.

Bank trims rate to coax millers

a-man-inspects-milled-rice-at-a-processing-plant-in-phnom-penhs-por-sen-chey-district-last-yearThe state-owned bank entrusted with extending $27 million in emergency loans to millers to purchase rice paddy has marginally lowered the interest rate on these conditional loans in an effort to shorten some of the strings attached.

The Rural Development Bank (RDB) announced late on Sunday that it would lower the annual interest rate on loans to rice millers to 7 percent, from 8 percent.

Victims Allege NagaWorld Kidnapping

six-chinese-nationals-were-in-court-yesterday-after-being-accused-of-arrest-detention-and-unlawful-confinementGuo Leng Fong lost $6,500 gambling at the NagaWorld Casino on August 13, 2015.

The next day, the 56-year-old Chinese national, who has worked in the construction industry in Cambodia for a number of years, borrowed $12,000 from loan shark Li Xihua, a representative of a Chinese loan company called Sai Min, based out of rooms at NagaWorld in Phnom Penh.

Mr. Guo proceeded to lose this money as well, and found himself escorted by five Chinese men up to the 12th floor to Mr. Li’s room. He was held there for three hours while members of his family were called to demand repayment.

Japan Pledges $32 Million for Buses, Mine Clearance

a-man-steps-off-a-city-bus-on-the-riverside-in-phnom-penh-last-yearJapan and Cambodia will sign an agreement this afternoon for $32 million in aid to go toward mine clearing and public buses for Phnom Penh, the Foreign Affairs Ministry announced on Monday.

The Japanese government has pledged about $18 million toward the third phase of a program for mine clearance and assistance for landmine victims, a project that began in 2010, the ministry said in a statement.

China urged to speed up $300M rice loan

A Cambodian government official urged China’s new ambassador to the Kingdom yesterday to speed up a $300 million loan aimed at building rice storage facilities across the country, a nearly two-year-old request that has seen little traction as Cambodia’s rice sector continues to struggle, state-owned media outlet AKP reported.

Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong told China’s ambassador to Cambodia, Xiong Bo, that the country desperately needs the funds and asked China to buy 300,000 tonnes of Cambodian rice annually.



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