Former Khmer Rouge stronghold recalls regime’s ‘repentant’ killer


by David Boyle and Sun Narin, The Phnom Penh Post

OUTSIDE a small, cross-topped church in Samlot district, a crowd of about 100 people gathered yesterday to discuss a notorious mass murderer’s day of judgment.

It was here, some 15 years ago, that the notorious Tuol Sleng commandant Kaing Guek Eav, convicted and sentenced to 30 years’ jail by the Khmer Rouge tribunal last month, first confessed his sins and became a born-again Christian.

At the community forum, organised by the Documentation Centre of Cambodia, Duch’s former pastor, San Timothy, urged those assembled to accept the verdict, forgive Duch and put the past behind them, something that most in this former Khmer Rouge stronghold appeared happy to do.

“God brought him to lovingness – to appear in the court and confess everything,” he said. “God always forgives people, even though this person was his enemy. He is the sample of forgiveness.”

In 1999, Irish photographer Nic Dunlop found Duch working in Samlot for an American aid organisation under the pseudonym Hang Pin. The former jailer claimed to have converted to Christianity several years earlier.

On trial at the Khmer Rouge tribunal in Phnom Penh last year, Duch claimed to have repented and expressed “profound regret” for his actions at Tuol Sleng, where he is thought to have overseen the torture and killing of up to 16,000 people.

During the trial’s closing arguments, Duch shocked observers by demanding that he be released.

But after watching a projection of the closing moments of Duch’s July 26 verdict, San Timothy’s fellow pastor Sang Horn proclaimed the former prison chief a hero for having had the courage to repent.

“He is a hero because he did something that is in the past, not now, and he confessed his sins in front of God and the people,” he said.

In Samlot, the restive breeding ground of the Khmer Rouge insurgency and the refuge of many cadres following the regime’s fall in 1979, attitudes about Cambodia’s communist nightmare remain ambivalent.

After receiving documents including DC-Cam’s historical textbook and a published copy of the verdict, many of those in attendance expressed a desire to leave the past behind.

Chuon Pheng, the chief of Ta Sanh commune, where the event was held, told the forum that he and other villagers were not aware of the Khmer Rouge top brass or the existence of Tuol Sleng prison.

“We experienced the regime, but we were not aware of Pol Pot. We only tried to work for living,” he said.

Youk Chhang, DC-Cam’s director, lamented the culture of denial that had taken root among some elders in Samlot, though he welcomed the church’s participation in the forum, which he said he hoped would facilitate greater community engagement with the historical record.

“A hero is not somebody who murders 12,000 innocent people, and if you define someone like this as a hero there is clearly a danger that genocide will return,” he said.

“Clearly you can see that some of them were here with the Khmer Rouge for a long, long time and deny knowledge of what happened,” he added.

Youk Chhang also regretted the absence of Duch’s sister, Hang Kim Hong, and brother-in-law, Nop Bun Long, who were both invited to attend.

Like many of the area’s residents, their personal ties to the Khmer Rouge appear to remain strong, even after the passage of so many years. “It seems to be that she has this question in her mind,” he said of Duch’s sister.

“What if Duch hadn’t been discovered and arrested?”

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ជានៅលើដៃ ជើង ខ្នង និងដើមទ្រូងជាដើម។​ ពួកគេយល់ឃើញថាការសាក់រូបនូវលើរាងកាយ

បង្ហាញថាពួកគេជាមនុស្សអង់អាច ក្លាហាន និងអស្ចារ្យជាងអ្នកដទៃ។

ជាមួយនឹងរូបសាក់ជារាងត្រីនៅលើដៃខាងស្តាំ និងជើងខាងធ្វេង លោកនេង ស៊ីណាត ក្នុងវ័យ៣០

ឆ្នាំ ត្រូវបានគេស្គាល់ថា ជាអ្នកចាក់សាក់វ័យក្មេង មានបទពិសោធន៍ និងវិជ្ជាជីវៈ ក្នុងភូមិស្ទឹងថ្មី ឃុំសូត្រនិគម ខាងក្រោយផ្សាររាត្រី ខេត្តសៀមរាប។ តំបន់នោះជាកន្លែងបណ្តុំភ្ងៀវបរទេស ដែល

ពួកគេតែងតែមានចាក់សាក់នៅហាងរបស់លោក។ លោកមានប្រសាសន៍ថា៖«ភ្ញៀ​វរបស់ខ្ញុំភាគ

ច្រើនជាបរទេស កម្រមានភ្ញៀវខ្មែរចូលមកសាក់ណាស់​ បរទេសចូលចិត្តអ្វីដែលប្លែក និងខុស

ពីគេ»។

លោក នេង ស៊ីណាតមានស្រុកកណើតនៅខេត្តសៀមរាប ក្នុងគ្រួសារមួយដែលមានបងប្អូន៦នាក់

(លោកជាកូនបងគេ) ហើយឪពុកម្តាយជាអ្នករកស៊ី។ ដោយសារតែការស្រលាញ់ គួបផ្សំនឹងដុងពី

កណើតខាងរូបភាព លោកបានចំណាយពេលជិត១០ឆ្នាំ ដើម្បីសិក្សា និងស្រាវជ្រាវដោយខ្លួនពី

របៀបចាក់សាក់នេះ។ លោកមានប្រសាសន៍ថា៖«នៅឆ្នាំ២០០១ ខ្ញុំបានទៅឃើញគេចាក់សាក់

នៅប៉ោយប៉ែត បន្ទាប់មកខ្ញុំក៏មានគំនិតក្នុងការចាក់សាក់ ដោយសិក្សាទៅលើឧបករណ៍ចាក់សាក់

ទាំងអស់នោះ។ វាជាអំណោយផលពីធម្មជាតិដែលខ្ញុំជាមនុស្សមានស្នាដៃសិល្បៈខាងរូបភាព»។

ដោយសារតែលោកមិនទាន់មានបទពិសោធន៍ និងចំនេះដឹងច្បាស់លាស់ក្នុងការចាក់សាក់ លោកបានចំណាយពេលជាច្រើនឆ្នាំដើម្បីអនុវត្តការចាក់សាក់ពីមួយថ្ងៃទៅមួយថ្ងៃដោយសាក់

អោយមិត្តភ័ក្រ្ត និងបងប្អូនជាដើម។

ដោយសារស៊ីណាត ចង់ចាប់យកមុខរបរជាអ្នកសាក់រូបទៅថ្ងៃអនាគត លោកបានសម្រេចចិត្តមិន

បន្តការសិក្សានៅមហាវិទ្យាល័យបន្ទាប់ពីបញ្ចប់បាកឌុប ដោយលោកបានយកពេលវេលានេះទៅ

ស្រាវជ្រាវ និងដុសខាត់ជំនាញចាក់សាក់របស់លោក។ ភាពប៉ិនប្រសប់ និងជំនាញរបស់លោកមាន

ការរីកចម្រើនពីមួយថ្ងៃទៅមួយថ្ងៃ ហើយនៅឆ្នាំ២០០៥ លោកបានទិញឧបករណ៍សម្រាប់ចាក់សាក់

ពីបរទេស។ រហូតមកដល់ឆ្នាំ២០០៨ លោកបានសម្រេចចិត្តបើកជាហាងចាក់សាក់អាជីពមួយ

ដោយខ្លួនឯង។

លោកបានអោយដឹងថា វាគ្មានការលំបាកទេក្នុងការចាក់សាក់ ប្រសិនបើយើងចេះវាពិតប្រាកដ

ដោយលោកបានបន្ថែមថា៖«វាឈឺនៅពេលចាក់ តែភ្ងៀវបរទេសគេអាចទ្រាំបាន ហើយគេពេញចិត្ត

នឹងការសាក់រូបរបស់ខ្ញុំ។ អ្នកខ្លះចាក់មួយហើយ មកចាក់មួយទៀត។»

លោកមានប្រសាសន៍ថា លោកអាចរកប្រាក់កម្រៃបានសមរម្យចាប់ពី២០០ ទៅ៤០០ដុល្លាក្នុងមួយ

ខែពីមុខរបរនេះ ដើម្បីចិញ្ចឹមជីវិត។ទៅថ្ងៃអនាគត លោកមិនមានបំណងដូរមុខរបរនេះទេ ដោយ

លោកសង្ឃឹមថា លោកនឹងអាចក្លាយជាអ្នកចាក់សាក់មួយដ៏ល្បី និងអាចចែករំលែកបទពិសោធន៍

ទៅអោយក្មេងៗជំនាន់ក្រោយ។

Life of Picture Painter

By Sun Narin

Sitting in front of his three by four meter rent room adjacent to a less busy road in Siem Reap provincial Soutnikum commune and suspending several paintings on the wall, a 24-year-old Chhim Phai is painting a picture of a girl carrying a pot with beautiful background by careful concentration, though there is sound from the vehicle travelling and kids playing.

Every day, he always paints four to five pictures for his customers both foreigners and local sellers at night market in Siem Reap. He has been painting for nearly four years after he studied painting informally with a painter in his hometown five years ago. Born in Prey Veng province, Chhim Phai was the youngest in a family whose parents are the farmers. Due to his poor living condition of the family, he decided to stop studying at grade 9 so that he can help his parents.

However, he, in order to build his good future of holding a specific career, started learning painting which is his desire and gift from birth. “I like painting since I was young. It is my genius, so I want to achieve my ends of becoming a painter,” he said. After studying painting for one year, he painted pictures for the pagodas in his hometown until 2008. Due to the fact that he wanted to earn more money for family, he moved to live in Phnom Penh in 2008 and then he has moved to Siem Reap where he could paint pictures for the foreigners.

“Here (Siem Reap), I can make much more money than in Phnom Penh since there are a lot of foreigners and customers. I have market for all paintings,” He said that he sells his pictures to the sellers at night market in Siem Reap for 7 dollars per picture and from 15 to 20 dollars for foreigners who come to buy directly at his painting place. “It is my own work and I have no one ordering me. I can earn from this to support my family in the province,” He said that foreigners who bought his paintings always compliment his good achievement, adding that he can paint all kinds of pictures, adding that he paints by thinking of the creating something new and strange which is popular to foreigners.

Due to the needed support from him for the family in the province, Chhim Phai burdens the family’s income every month by sending the remittance of 100 to 150 dollars of his income to his family. “I rent the room for 30 dollars and I save money for my family in the province,” Regarding his painting, he said that he found a bit difficulty with mixing color of painting for some complicated pictures. “I try to make my pictures strange since foreigners like that,” he said. Besides this, in order to share his knowledge, techniques and experience of painting, Chhim Phai has been teaching some students how to paint pictures. “I want to work with painting for my life and I hope my painting will well-known locally and internationally one day,” he said.

Workers Recruitment Companies:“Sending workers for employment overseas is not like sending products abroad for selling.”

By Sun Narin

Phnom Penh Post, Constructive Cambodian

Living in a place without wielding freedom like other people is like living under pressure and suppression. Mistreatment, cheating, exploitation, and trafficking are still the heat issue in working abroad. A number of workers who want to work abroad through the local recruitment firms have been facing the problem.

Sending Cambodia’s labor force to work abroad is the government’s policy to reduce unemployment in the country. However, welfare, rights and freedom protection and providing while training and working overseas have to be guaranteed for the workers from the recruitment companies.

According to Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training, thirty two recruitment companies training domestic workers for overseas employment have been operated in Cambodia. Before going abroad, workers are required to get through three-month training program in the company so that they can learn how to speak the language, how to do housework and other related work and ethical performance. However, their freedom seems to be limited and constrained by the companies and employers. They are not allowed to go outside the company while they are trained and not permitted to use telephone, to some extent, to contact the family. Some workers say that they are even not allowed to meet the family so often. Within some companies, all the workers are required to cut short hair which people find it strange comparing to other girls. It seems that they are losing freedom. What are the interests those companies can gain of doing like that?

According to Phnom Penh Post article issued on August 30, 2010, police in Phnom Penh raided a labor recruitment training center run by firm APMN to release a 27-year-old woman who was reported that she had to be detained and forced to live in cramped quarters during training program. The Phnom Penh Post reported in March that a 35-year-old trainee for working abroad died at the offices of T&P Co Ltd, a company training domestic workers for overseas employment and a 31-year-old who broke both legs while trying to escape the centre from a third-floor window and other 8 workers were helped to be released from the company.

Most of the workers are uneducated people who come from the countryside. They do not know anything about working abroad, but they want to work abroad by thinking that they can find good money for the family. After being trained in the company for a short period of time, some workers are not able to adjust to the condition of limited freedom. They find it difficult to live in such a situation, so they want to quit going to work abroad and come back to their hometown, but they are not allowed to leave since they are in debt to the company and under the threat of the recruitment firm. Generally, the recruitment companies give some money and other stuffs in return as the loan money from the company which they will pay back when their family’s members go to work abroad.

If we look more in some recruitment companies, there seems to be wrongdoings including underage workers, which is against the labor law. While they are working abroad, they are exploited and mistreated from the employers.

According to Licadho report in September, 2010, under 18-year-old workers had been rescued from Malaysia. The report says that the licensed recruitment agency facilitated falsified documents, though they are underage. They were promised with highly paid job, but they were cheated.

From year to year, the number of sent workers has been increased. According to Ministry of Labor, some 72000 workers are sent legally by all local recruitment companies to various countries including Malaysia accounting for 40000 people, Thailand for 20000 workers, South Korea for 10000 and Japan for 200 people.

Malaysia has become an increasingly popular destination for Cambodian migrant workers, with the number of Cambodians seeking work there increasing by about four times over the past two years. However, the sharp increase has coincided with mounting concern over the welfare of Cambodian workers, fuelled by a recent spate of complaints from people who claim to have suffered abuse from Malaysian employers.

Meas Saneth, program director for the NGO Coordination of Action Research on AIDS and Mobility as quoted in Phnom Penh Post that, “ the workers had likely been sent to Malaysia by illegal recruitment agencies that had “cheated” them.”

Labour Ministry deliberates ways of regulating the rapidly expanding labor recruitment industry, which has seen multiple new firms pop up in the last year in a bid to supply other countries with Cambodian labour. Cambodia is cooperating with other countries including Hong Kong, Singapore, Canada, Kuwait and other nations to send workforce there.

Meanwhile, in March, 2011, Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training in cooperation with workers’ right protection activists and justice police had a meeting to find the means of protecting workers and prevent from the human trafficking and labor exploitation.

I agree that sending Cambodia’s labor force to work abroad is a good solution to the poverty alleviation in the Kingdom, but the government has to guarantee that they are in safety and security without being cheated, mistreated and exploited from the companies and employers.

I knowledge that the illegal migration to work in Malaysia and Thailand and other countries else is difficult to control and help, but regarding the legal migration to work through the recruitment firms, the government should take tough actions with the companies. The ministry, police and other relevant institutions should investigate other companies that violate people’s rights and should punish them.

The government should have a work team to check carefully with the recruitment companies, making sure they are following the law and policy of the ministry. Everything should be ensured for the workers’ interest and security. “Sending workers for employment overseas is not like sending products abroad for selling.”

An Unblinking Look at Cambodia’s Past

By Patrick Barta

It may be one of the most important films about Cambodia ever made. But very few people there have had the chance to see it — much less know it exists.

“Enemies of the People” tells the story of Thet Sambath, a Phnom Penh journalist who spent more than a decade trying to find and understand the Khmer Rouge cadres who helped oversee the murder or death of more than a million Cambodians when their radical Communist regime governed the country in the late 1970s.

For the most part, Khmer Rouge rank-and-file have denied crimes or played down their involvement, blaming superiors for forcing them to act. But in the film, which is scheduled to air on Channel NewsAsia Friday evening in Singapore, Hong Kong, India and Jakarta, followed by other screenings in Bangkok, Melbourne and elsewhere, Mr. Thet Sambath succeeds where other journalists and investigators have failed by convincing Khmer Rouge members to come clean about their crimes, providing a vital record for history — and a riveting and chilling film.

In one scene, a former Khmer Rouge cadre matter-of-factly describes how he and others personally butchered scores of people, often at night, and then cast their bodies into shallow graves. Some were killed by a nearby banyan tree, the man says; others were disposed of at nearby ditch by a dead palm tree. A genial neighbor describes how ponds bubbled afterwards as the water mixed with decomposing bodies.

In another scene, Mr. Thet Sambath asks one of the men to demonstrate how he murdered his victims. The man begs off a bit but then obliges, grasping a bystander by his face and running a blunt-edged knife across his throat, as the victim laughs awkwardly.

“Enemies of the People” follows in the footsteps of many acclaimed studies of Southeast Asia’s dark days of the 1970s, from Francis Ford Coppola’s 1979 film “Apocalypse Now” to the most famous movie about Cambodia, 1984′s “The Killing Fields,” which starred Sam Waterston as a New York Times journalist covering the rise of the Khmer Rouge regime. It’s also in the tradition of soul-searching documentaries such as Errol Morris’s “Fog of War,” a 2003 release that relied on extended, candid interviews with the former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara to prize out insights into the nature of guilt and remorse. With beautifully shot footage of the Cambodian countryside and tightly-edited portraits of the killers themselves, “Enemies of the People” works not only as a historical document, but also as a work of art in its own right.

The film isn’t known to most people in Cambodia, though. Mr. Thet Sambath and his filmmaking partner, Rob Lemkin, screened the film several times at a small German-Cambodian cultural center in Phnom Penh. But they say the government has declined to give a license for wide release in public cinemas or in more remote provinces where much of the violence occurred, and where many of the killers, never held accountable for their crimes, continue to live quiet lives. A number of former Khmer Rouge officials retain posts in the current government, headed by one-time Khmer Rouge member Hun Sen, who later defected — and isn’t accused of any crimes related to the group’s years in power from the mid-1970s to 1979.

Critics of the government say it just doesn’t want to dig up too much about the past.

“We want to go to a major cinema, that way more people would know about” what happened, Mr. Thet Sambath says. But he doubts there will be a wide release anytime soon.

Sin Chan Saya, director of the cinema department under the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts in Cambodia, says the government has received a request from Mr. Thet Sambath but needs a more formal letter “for inspection.”

“The film is good and I am fond of it,” he said, but since it involves issues now under investigation by a United Nations-backed tribunal, it isn’t his position to decide whether it can be shown widely. “I will put it to my minister when there is formal permission request,” Mr. Sin Chan Saya said, adding that it remains unclear whether the filmmakers had full permission to make the film. “Who gave permission before shooting? What is the purpose of the film?”

“Enemies of the People” has drawn considerable notice outside of Cambodia, however. It won a special jury prize at Sundance last year and has opened to positive reviews across the U.S. and Europe.

Mr. Thet Sambath’s technique involves unwavering, some would say obsessive, persistence in pursuing his quarry across Cambodia’s backroads, in some cases spending years to develop personal relationships with the killers and earn their trust. He makes clear he won’t judge them, or at least not openly—an approach that’s all more the surprising given that Mr. Thet Sambath’s parents both died at the hands of the Khmer Rouge.

His aim, he says, is only to learn the truth — and understand why they did what they did.

“I am not on the side of the victims. I am not on the side of the Khmer Rouge. If I go to one side, of the victims, for my family, it is not the truth,” he said. He compares his quest to the work of historians who still can’t fully explain the rise and fall of Cambodia’s famous ancient city, Angkor Wat. “The Khmer Rouge will be the same if we don’t get them to tell the truth.”

Mr. Thet Sambath says he believes many former Khmer Rouge officials who are still alive want to open up, because they want the truth to be told, too. How deeply they feel remorse is less clear—they say they are remorseful in the film, and in some cases appear profoundly troubled by their past, but they also are quick to blame higher-ups who they say ordered them to kill.

That leads Mr. Thet Sambath to one of the highest-ranking Khmer Rouge figures remaining: The man commonly known as Brother No. 2, Nuon Chea, who was the right-hand man of the main Khmer Rouge leader, the late Pol Pot. Now in his mid-80s, he is facing trial at the U.N.-backed tribunal but it’s unclear whether he’ll tell everything he knows, or live long enough to do so.

He tells plenty in “Enemies of the People,” though, and some of the film’s most powerful and emotionally complex scenes depict the deepening relationship between Mr. Thet Sambath and the man accused of mass murder, as the journalist works to wear down his defenses. Like Mr. Thet Sambath, the film avoids making snap judgements, showing Mr. Nuon Chea in apparently tender moments with children and living in modest conditions in a wooden rural house before his arrest in 2007. The two men develop what almost seems like a father-son relationship.

In the end, Mr. Sambath gets his truth: The victims, Mr. Nuon Chea says, were enemies of the people that needed to be “solved” and killed, a horrifying admission but one that also offers some measure of satisfaction, since at least the truth is being told.

The documentary continues to make its way around the film circuit world-wide and is scheduled to run on Channel NewsAsia Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Singapore and Hong Kong (at 5 p.m. in India; 6:30 p.m. in Jakarta). It is slated to open in Bangkok and Melbourne in May and screenings are also scheduled in Wellington, New Zealand, this month.

Additional reporting by Sun Narin.

Enemies of the People

By Sun Narin

Documentary Film: Enemies of the People

Cambodia experienced a brutal Khmer Rouge Regime, which claimed almost 1.7 million people. Some people are aware of the reason behind the mass killing but most of the people, especially young generation have not known about the reason of the killings. A lot of document films concerning Khmer Rouge regime have been done to show for the public, but it seems that reason of killing has not been pointed out. Recently, a documentary film called the Enemies of the People has been produced which I think and other people agree that it is a great film which seeking about the truth of massacre in Cambodia during Pol Pot regime.

Enemies of the People is a documentary film which has been produced by Mr. Thet Sambath who is currently working as the senior reporter for the Phnom Penh Post newspaper. He spent almost ten years of his life time making this film by getting through many difficult tasks and hardship. He was really amazing that he persuaded people who experienced killing to tell him about what did they do during Khmer Rouge regime. More important than this, he interviewed Brother Number Two Nuon Chea.

The impact of Vietnamese business and investment on Cambodia

By Sun Narin and Cheng Lita

Politically, Vietnam has had a very strong and intricate relationship with Cambodia for a long time, especially after the collapse of the Khmer Rouge regime. Besides political clout, Vietnam has forged noticeably intimate and strong economic ties with the Kingdom. A variety of businesses have been operated in Cambodia by Vietnamese and a lot of products on sale throughout the country’s markets are Vietnam-made products. Recently, a Vietnamese supermarket opened in Phnom Penh as well as other big businesses, like the Metfone company.

Vietnam is also one of the largest investors in Cambodia compared with other neighbouring countries. In 2009, Vietnam and Cambodia signed deals worth US$6 billion at a conference held in Ho Chi Minh City to promote Vietnamese investment in Cambodia. The investment mainly focuses on the exploration and exploitation of minerals, oil and gas, the construction of hydro-power electric plants and power transmission lines, rubber plantations and developing transport infrastructure. However, some critics claim that Vietnam’s investment is a problem since it impacts the nation’s interests.

Son Chhay, a lawmaker with the Sam Rainsy Party, said that every Vietnamese business is run fast and progressive and gave the Metfone mobile service as an example – it is owned by Vietnamese, but it can compete with the longer established mobile service companies.

“All Vietnamese businesses are strongly supported. Metfone is used within Cambodia’s arm forces,” he said.

He said that Vietnamese investment has impacted on Cambodia’s environment, people’s living and the whole country’s interest. He said the companies investing here do not care about the consequences on people’s lives, including land conflicts, evictions and forest destruction.

“Vietnamese investors are provided with special land concessions by the government, especially rubber plantations,” he said. “Vietnam does not only have tremendous political influence on Cambodia, but also economic leverage. It seems they are competing with China over investment in Cambodia.”

Vietnam has been given special rights to invest in minerals and other natural resource sectors which concerns Son Chhay. He said the Vietnamese are not experts in mineral exploration, which if done wrong can bring about the destruction of the environment.

Vietnamese companies including Chu Se Rubber Company Kampong Thom and PNT have been clearing the forest in Kampong Thom province to plant rubber trees, which affects people’s lives and leads to the devastation of natural resources and native trees. In 2009, the government allowed Vietnamese company Krong Buk to invest in a 6,000-hectare area in Rattanakiri province, which caused land conflicts and impacted on people’s lives and their farms.

Cambodian People’s Party lawmaker Cheam Yeap said Cambodia benefits from Vietnam’s investment, especially with job creation through rubber plantations and through taxation.

“Vietnamese companies bring their technicians and experts, but they will employ Cambodia’s workforce, so people can benefit from that,” he said.

Cheam Yeap acknowledged that there have been wrongdoings and loopholes, but said the government will deal with the problems, adding that Cambodia has investment laws and other policies for foreign investors to abide by, so companies cannot do anything they want.

“We have the authority to oversee all of the companies’ activities,” he said, “The Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC) and local authorities study the land and forests before allowing them to do investment, making sure it will not affect the people’s interest and environment.”

However, Son Chhay said that so far there have been no Cambodian workers for the rubber plantations and he said he was concerned that Vietnamese investors would not use Cambodia’s labour.

“They will live on our land for a long time since the government provides 99-year land concessions and then what happens?” he said.

There are a lot of investors and business people in Cambodia, mostly large-scale investment done by foreigners. For Vietnamese investors, Cheam Yeap pointed out that they have the ability and capacity to invest in many sectors.

“We welcome both local and foreign investors. If they have enough capital, they can do it. We prioritise local investors, but if they cannot do it, we will allow foreign investors,” he said.

However, Son Chhay said: “Local investors have the ability to invest. The government should have a master plan for development, an effective law and take care of the people, making sure the people can benefit.”

Bilateral co-operation between Cambodia and Vietnam has developed in many fields, with two-way trade reaching US$1.8 billion last year and Vietnamese businesses investing about US$2 billion in Cambodia, according to news sources in Vietnam.

Kang Chandararoth, the president of the Cambodia Institute for Development Study, explained that there are always benefits and negative impacts with foreign investment, but Cambodia needs more foreign investors to increase its domestic industries.

“At this time, Cambodia is heavily contingent on foreign investment,” he said.

CDC deputy secretary general Duy Thov said Cambodia welcomed all investors in order to develop the country, and added that Vietnam has invested a lot in Cambodia compared with other neighbouring countries.

“Vietnam invests in all sectors which are beneficial to the country, including agriculture, industry, banking, telecommunication and tourism, which are beneficial to Cambodia,” he said.

Last week, the national assemblies of Vietnam and Cambodia agreed to strengthen co-ordination and create the most favourable legal foundations for increasingly deep and effective co-operation between the two sides.

Son Chhay said: “The government should provide the opportunity to local investors and guarantee that any investment does not affect Cambodia.”

ដោយ ស៊ុន ណារិន និង​ចេង លីតា

ចំពោះ​បញ្ហា​នយោបាយ ប្រទេស​វៀត​ណាម​មាន​ទំនាក់​ទំនង​យ៉ាង​ខ្លាំង​​​និង​​ស្មុគ​ស្មាញ​ជា​មួយ​ប្រទេស​កម្ពុជា​អស់​រយៈ​ពេល​ជា​យូរ​មក​ហើយ​ ជា​ពិសេស​បន្ទាប់​ពី​ការ​ដួល​រលំ​នៃ​របប​ខ្មែរ​ក្រហម​។ ក្រៅ​ពី​នយោបាយ​ ប្រទេស​កម្ពុជា​បាន​​ពង្រីក​ទំនាក់​ទំនង​​យ៉ាង​ស្និត រមួត នៅ​ក្នុង​​ផ្នែក​សេដ្ឋ​កិច្ច​​ជា​មួយ​ប្រទេស​កម្ពុជា​។ អាជីវកម្ម​ជា​ច្រើន​ត្រូវ​បាន​បង្កើត​នៅ​ក្នុង​ប្រទេស​កម្ពុជា​ ហើយ​ផលិត​ផល​វៀត​ណា​ម​ជា​​ច្រើន​ត្រូវ​បាន​ដាក់​លក់​នៅ​ក្នុង​ប្រទេស​កម្ពុជា​។ ថ្មី​ៗ​នេះ​ផ្សារ​ទំនើប​វៀត​ណាម​​​បាន​ចាប់​បើក​​នៅ​រាជ​ធានី​ភ្នំ​ពេញ​ ហើយ​ពាណិជ្ជ​កម្ម​ធំ​ៗ​ក៏​មាន​ផង​ដែរ ដូច​ជា​ក្រុម​ហ៊ុន​ទូរស័ព្ទ​មិត្ត​ហ្វូន (Metfone)ជាដើម

ការ​វិនិយោគ​របស់​វៀត​ណាម ត្រូវ​បាន​ចាត់​ទុក​ថា​ជា​ការ​វិនិយោគ​​ធំ​មួយ​ផង​ដែរ​នៅ​ក្នុង​ចំណោម​អ្នក​វិនិយោគ​ធំៗ​​ បើ​ប្រៀប​ធៀប​ទៅ​នឹង​ប្រទេស​ជិត​ខាង​។ កាល​ពី​ចុង​ឆ្នំា​២០០៩ វៀត​ណាម​និង​កម្ពុជា​បាន​ចុះ​ហត្ថលេខា​លើ​កិច្ច​ព្រម​ព្រៀង​​មួយ​ចំនួន​ដែល​​មាន​ទឹក​ប្រាក់​៦​ពាន់​លាន​ដុល្លារ​​នៅ​ក្នុង​សន្និសីទ​មួយ​ដែល​ប្រារព្ធ​ធ្វើ​នៅ​ក្នុង​ទីក្រុង ហូជីមិញ (HCM) ដើម្បី​ជំរុញ​ការ​វិនិយោគ​​វៀត​ណាម​នៅ​ក្នុង​ប្រទេស​កម្ពុជា​។ ការ​វិនិយោគ​ផ្តោត​សំខាន់​ទៅ​លើ​អាជីវកម្ម​និង​ការ​រុក​រក​រ៉ែ​ ប្រេង​និង​ឧស្ម័ន​ ការ​បង្កើត​រោង​ចក្រ​វារី​អគ្គិសនី​ និង​ខ្សែ​បញ្ជូន​អគ្គិសនី​ ចំការ​កៅស៊ូ និង​ហេដ្ឋា​រចនា​សម្ព័ន្ធ​​ដឹក​ជញ្ជូន​។ ទោះ​បី​ជា​យ៉ាង​ណា​ក៏​ដោយ ក្រុម​អ្នក​រិះ​គន់​បាន​បង្ហាញ​ថា ការ​វិនិយោគ​របស់​វៀត​ណាម​គឺ​ជា​បញ្ហា​បារម្ភ​​ពី​ព្រោះ​ថា វា​អាច​ប៉ះ​ពាល់​ដល់​អត្ថ​ប្រយោជន៍​ជាតិ។

លោក សុន ឆ័យ (Son Chhay) តំណាង​រាស្រ្ត​គណបក្ស​សម​រង្ស៊ី បាន​បង្ហាញ​ថា រាល់​អាជីវកម្ម​វៀត​ណាម​ទាំង​អស់​តែង​តែ​រីក​ចម្រើន​លឿន ដោយ​លោក​លើក​ឡើង​អំពី​​ក្រុម​ហ៊ុន​ទូរស័ព្ទ​មិត្ត​ហ្វូន​​ដែល​មាន​ម្ចាស់​ជា​ជន​ជាតិ​វៀត​ណាម​ ដែល​ទើប​តែ​​​បើក​ថ្មី​ ប៉ុន្តែ​វា​អាច​​ប្រកួត​ប្រជែង​ជា​មួយ​​ក្រុម​ហ៊ុន​​ទូរសព្ទ​​ចាស់​ៗ​។

លោក​បាន​ថ្លែង​បន្ត​ថា​៖ «​រាល់​អាជីវកម្ម​វៀត​ណាម​ទាំង​អស់​តែ​ង​តែ​មាន​ការ​គាំ​ទ្រ​ខ្លាំង​ក្លា​ ដូចជាទូរស័ព្ទ​​មិត្ត​ហ្វូន​ត្រូវ​បាន​ប្រើ​​​ដោយ​អង្គ​ភាព​យោធា​កម្ពុជា​»។

លោក​បាន​ថ្លែង​ថា ការ​វិនិយោគ​របស់​វៀត​ណាម​មាន​ផល​ប៉ះ​ពាល់​​ដល់​បរិស្ថាន​កម្ពុជា​ ការ​រស់​នៅ​របស់​ប្រជា​ជន​ និង​អត្ថ​ប្រយោជន៍​ជាតិ​ទាំង​មូល​ ដោយ​លោក​ពន្យល់​ថា ក្រុម​ហ៊ុន​វិនិយោគ​មិន​​គិត​អំពី​ផល​វិបាក​​​ទៅ​លើកា​រ​រស់​នៅ​របស់​ប្រជា​ជន​នោះ​ទេ​ ដូចជា​ជម្លោះ​ដី​ធ្លី ការ​បណ្តេញ​ចេញ​ពី​ដី​ធ្លី និង​ការ​បំផ្លាញ​ព្រៃ​ឈើ​។

លោក​បាន​ថ្លែង​បន្ត​ថា​៖ «​អ្នក​វិនិយោគ​វៀត​ណាម​ត្រូវ​បាន​ផ្តល់​ឲ្យ​នៅ​សម្បទាន​ដី​ពិសេស​​ ជា​ពិសេស​ចំការ​កៅ​ស៊ូ»។​ «​វៀត​ណាម​មិន​ត្រឹម​តែ​មាន​​ឥទ្ធិ​ពល​នយោបាយ​ខ្លំាង​មក​កម្ពុជា​នោះ​ទេ ប៉ុន្តែ​​​ក៏​មាន​ឥទ្ធិ​ពល​ខ្លាំង​ទៅ​លើ​សេដ្ឋ​កិច្ច​ផង​ដែរ​។ វា​ហាក់​បី​ដូច​ជា​ថា​វៀត​ណាម​​កំពុង​ប្រកួត​ប្រជែង​ជា​មួយ​ចិន​ក្នុង​ការ​វិនិយោគ​នៅ​កម្ពុជា​»។

វៀត​ណាម​ត្រូវ​បាន​ផ្តល់​ឲ្យ​នូវ​សិទ្ធិ​ពិសេស​ចំពោះ​ការ​វិនិយោគ​នៅ​ក្នុង​វិស័យ​រ៉ែ​និង​ធន​ធាន​ធម្ម​ជាតិ​ ដែល​លោក សុន ឆ័យ បាន​បង្ហាញ​​អំពី​ក្តី​បារម្ភ លើ បញ្ហា​ដែល​ថា​​វៀត​ណាម​មិន​មាន​អ្នក​ជំនាញ​ខាង​រុក​រក​រ៉ែ ដែល​អាច​នឹង​នាំ​មក​នូវ​​ការ​ខូច​ខាត​បរិស្ថាន។

ក្រុម​ហ៊ុន​វៀត​ណាម​រួម​មាន​​ ក្រុម​ហ៊ុន​ចំការ​កៅ​ស៊ូ​ជូសេកំពង់​ធំ (Chu Se Rubber Company) និង​ក្រុម​ហ៊ុន PNT បានកាប់បំផ្លាញព្រៃលង់ក្នុង​ខេត្ត​កំពង់​ធំ សម្រាប់ ដាំ​កៅ​ស៊ូ​​ ហើយប៉ះ​ពាល់​ដល់​ការ​រស់​នៅ​របស់​ប្រជា​ជន​​ និង​​អាច​នាំ​ទៅ​ដល់​ការ​វិនាស​ធ្ងន់​ធ្ងរ​ដល់​ធន​ធាន​ធម្មជាតិ​និង​ព្រៃ​ឈើ​ប្រណិត​។ កាល​ពី​ឆ្នំា​២០០៩ រដ្ឋា​ភិបាល​បាន​អនុញាត​​ឲ្យ​ក្រុម​ហ៊ុន​វៀត​ណាម​ឈ្មោះ Krong Buk ធ្វើ​ការ​វិនិយោគ​​លើ​ផ្ទៃ​ដី​ចំនួន​៦០០០ហិក​តា​នៅ​ខេត្ត​រតន​គិរី​ ដែល​បណ្តាល​ឲ្យ​មាន​ជម្លោះ​ដី​ធ្លី​និង​ផល​ប៉ះ​ពាល់​​ដល់កសិកម្ម​និង​​ការ​រស់​​នៅ​របស់​ប្រជា​ជន​។

លោក ជាម យៀប តំណាង​រាស្រ្ត​គណបក្ស​ប្រជា​ជន​កម្ពុជា​ បាន​ថ្លែង​ថា កម្ពុជា​បាន​ទទួល​អត្ថ​ប្រយោជន៍​ជា​ច្រើន​​ពី​ការ​វិនិយោគ​របស់​វៀត​ណាម​​ ជា​ពិសេស​ការ​បង្កើត​ការ​ងារ​​តាម​រយៈ​ចំការ​កៅ​ស៊ូ​និង​ការ​យក​ពន្ធ​ពី​អាជីវកម្ម​។ លោក​បាន​បន្ថែម​ថា​៖ «ក្រុម​ហ៊ុន​វិនិយោគ​វៀត​ណាម​គ្រាន់​តែ​នាំ​អ្នក​បច្ចេក​ទេស​និង​អ្នក​ជំនាញ​របស់​ពួក​គេ​ប៉ុណ្ណោះ ប៉ុន្តែ​​ពួក​គេ​ជួល​​កម្លាំង​ការ​ងារ​របស់​កម្ពុជា​ ដូច្នេះ​ប្រជា​ជន​អាច​ទទួល​អត្ថ​ប្រយោជន៍​ពី​នោះ​»។

លោក ជាម យៀប បាន​ទទួល​ស្គាល់​ថា មាន​​ចន្លោះ​ប្រហោងនិង​ការ​​ខុស​​ឆ្គង​មួយ​ចំនួន​ ប៉ុន្តែ​រដ្ឋា​ភិបាល នឹង​ដោះ​ស្រាយ​បញ្ហា​នោះ​ដើម្បី​​ប្រជា​ជន​។ លោក​បន្ថែម​ថា​ កម្ពុជា​មាន​ច្បាប់​វិនិយោគ​និង​គោល​នបាយ​​ផ្សេង​ៗ​​សម្រាប់​ឲ្យ​អ្នក​វិនិយោគ​បរទេស​គោ​រព​តាម​ ដូច្នេះ​ក្រុម​ហ៊ុន​ទាំង​នោះ​មិន​អាច​ធ្វើ​អ្វី​តាម​តែ​ខ្លួន​ចង់​នោះ​ទេ​។

លោក​បាន​ថ្លែង​បន្ត​ថា​៖ «​យើង​មាន​អំណាច​ត្រួត​ពិនិត្យ​​លើរាល់​​សកម្ម​ភាព​របស់​ក្រុម​ហ៊ុន​ទាំង​នោះ​»។ «​ក្រុម​ប្រឹក្សា​អភិវឌ្ឍន៍​កម្ពុជា​ (CDC) និង​អាជ្ញា​ធរ​មូល​ដ្ឋាន​ បាន​សិក្សា​លើ​ដី​និង​ព្រៃ​ឈើ​ទាំង​នោះ​​ពី​មុន​ពេល​អនុញ្ញាត​ឲ្យ​​ពួក​គេ​ធ្វើ​ការ​វិនិយោគ​ ដើម្បី​ធានា​ថា​វា​នឹង​មាន​ប៉ះ​ពាល់​ដល់​អត្ថ​ប្រយោជន៍​ប្រជា​ជន​និង​បរិស្ថាន​»។

ទោះ​បី​ជា​យ៉ាង​ណា​ក៏​ដោយ លោក សុន ឆ័យ បាន​ថ្លែង​ថា រហូត​មក​ដល់​ឥឡូវ​នេះ​ មិន​ទាន់​មាន​កម្មករ​កម្ពុជា​ណា​ត្រូវ​បាន​ជួល​សម្រាប់​ចំការ​កៅ​ស៊ូ​ទាំង​នោះ​នៅ​ឡើយ​ទេ​ ហើយ​លោក​បាន​បង្ហាញ​អំពី​ក្តី​បារម្ភ​​ថា​ អ្នក​វិនិយោគ​វៀត​ណាម​នឹង​មិន​យក​កម្លាំង​កម្មករ​កម្ពុជា​នោះ​ទេ​ ប៉ុន្តែ​ពួក​គេ​នឹង​យក​កម្លាំង​កម្មករ​របស់​ប្រទេស​ពួក​គេ​ ជា​ពិសេស​នៅ​ព្រំ​ដែន​។

លោក​បាន​ថ្លែង​បន្ត​ថា៖ «​ពួក​គេ​នឹង​រស់​នៅ​លើ​ដី​កម្ពុជា​រយៈ​ពេល​យូរ​​ដោយ​សារ​រដ្ឋា​ភិបាល​ផ្តល់​សម្បទាន​ដី​រយៈ​ពេល​៩៩​ឆ្នាំ​ ហើយ​បន្ទាប់​មក​តើ​អ្វី​នឹង​កើត​ឡើង​»។

ទោះ​បី​ជា​​មាន​ពាណិជ្ជ​ករ​និង​​អ្នក​វិនិយោគ​ប្រទេស​កម្ពុជា ច្រើន​ក៏​ដោយ ប៉ុន្តែ​ចំពោះ​ការ​វិនិយោគ​ខ្នាត​ធំ​ ភាគ​ច្រើន​​គឺ​ជា​របស់​បរទេស​។ ចំពោះ​ករណី​អ្នក​វិនិយោគ​វៀត​ណាម  លោក ជាម យៀប បាន​លើក​ឡើង​ថា អ្នក​វិនិយោគ​វៀត​ណាម​មាន​សមត្ថ​ភាព​​ក្នុង​ការ​វិនិយោគ​ក្នុង​វិស័យ​ទាំង​នោះ​។

លោក​បាន​ថ្លែង​បន្ត​ថា​៖ «​យើង​ស្វាគមន៍​អ្នក​វិនិយោគ​ក្នុង​ស្រុក​និង​បរទេស​។ ប្រសិន​បើ​ពួក​មាន​ទុន​គ្រប់​គ្រាន់​ ពួក​គេ​អាច​ធ្វើ​បាន​។ យើង​ផ្តល់ អាទិ ភាព​ដល់​អ្នក​វិនិយោគ​ក្នុង​ស្រុក​ ប៉ុន្តែ​ពួក​គេ​មិន​អាច​ ប្រសិន​បើ​ពួក​គេ​មិន​អាច​ យើង​នឹង​អនុញ្ញាត​​ដល់​អ្នក​វិនិយោគ​បរទេស​»។

ទោះ​បី​ជា​យ៉ាង​ណា​ក៏​ដោយ លោក សុន ឆ័យ បាន​ថ្លែង​​​ថា «​អ្នក​វិនិយោគ​ក្នុង​ស្រុក​មាន​សមត្ថ​ភាព​វិនិយោគ​​»​។ រដ្ឋា​ភិបាល​គួរ​មាន​ផែន​ការ​មេ​សម្រាប់​ការ​អភិវឌ្ឍន៍​ ច្បាប់​មាន​ប្រសិទ្ធិ​ភាព និង​​ការ​យក​ចិត្ត​ទុក​ដាក់​ចំពោះ​ប្រជា​ជន​ ដើម្បី​ធ្វើ​ឲ្យ​ប្រាកដ​ថា​ប្រជា​ជន​អាច​ទទួល​អត្ថ​ប្រយោជន៍​»។

បើ​យោង​តាម​ព័ត៌​មាន​វៀត​ណាម សហ​ប្រតិបត្តិការ​ទ្វា​​ភាគី​រវាង​កម្ពុជា​និង​វៀត​ណាម​មាន​ភាព​ខ្លាំង​ក្លា​នៅ​ក្នុង​គ្រប់​វិស័យ​ ដែល​កាល​ពី​ឆ្នាំ​មុន​ពាណិជ្ជ​កម្ម​ទ្វា​ភាគ​រវាង​ប្រទេស​ទាំង​ពីរ​បាន​ឈាន​ដល់ចំនួន​ទឹក​ប្រាក់​​១,៨​ពាន​លាន​ដុល្លារអាមេរិក​។

លោក កង ច័ន្ទ​ដារ៉ា​រត្ន (Kang Chandararoth) ប្រធាន​វិទ្យាស្ថាន​កម្ពុជា​ដើម្បី​ការ​សិក្សា​អភិវឌ្ឍន៍​ បាន​ពន្យល់​ថា សម្រាប់​ការ​វិនិយោគ​បរទេស​នៅ​ក្នុង​ប្រទេស​មួយ វា​តែង​តែ​មាន​អត្ថ​ប្រយោជន៍​និង​ផល​ប៉ះ​ពាល់​អវិជ្ជមាន​ ប៉ុន្តែ​ប្រទេស​កម្ពុជា​ត្រូវ​ការ​ការ​វិនិយោគ​បរទេស​ច្រើន​ដើម្បី​​បង្កើន​ឧស្សា​ហកម្ម​ក្នុង​ស្រុក​។

លោក​បាន​ថ្លែង​បន្ត​ថា​៖ «​ពេល​នេះ​ កម្ពុជា​មាន​សក្តានុពល​សម្រាប់​ការ​វិនយោគ​បរទេស​»។

លោក ឌុយ ធៅ (Duy Thov) អគ្គ​លេខា​ធិការ​រង​នៃ​ក្រុម​ប្រឹក្សា​អភិវឌ្ឍន៍​កម្ពុជា​ បាន​ថ្លែង​ថា កម្ពុជា​ស្វា​គមន៍​​រាល់​អ្នក​វិនិយោគ​ទាំង​អស់​ដើម្បី​មក​វិនិយោគ​និង​អភិវឌ្ឍន៍​កម្ពុជា​។ លោក​បាន​បន្ថែម​ថា វៀត​ណាម​បាន​វិនិយោគ​ជា​ច្រើន​នៅ​ក្នុង​ប្រទស​កម្ពុជា​បើ​ប្រៀប​ធៀប​ទៅ​នឹង​ប្រទេស​ជិត​ខាង​។

លោក​បាន​បន្ថែម​ថា​៖ «​វៀត​ណាម​ធ្វើ​ការ​វិនិយោគ​នៅ​ក្នុង​គ្រប់​វិស័យ​ រួម​មាន កសិកម្ម ឧស្សាហកម្ម ធនាគារ ទូរគមន៍​នាគមន៍ និង​ទេសចរ ដែល​ផ្តល់​អត្ថ​ប្រយោជន៍​ដល់​ប្រទេស​កម្ពុជា​»។

កាល​ពី​សប្តាហ៍​មុន សភា​វៀត​ណាម និង​កម្ពុជា​​ត្រូវ​ការ​ពង្រឹង​​ការ​សម្រប​សម្រួល​និង​បង្កើត​មូលដ្ឋាន​ច្បាប់​អនុគ្រោះ​បំផុត​សម្រាប់​កិច្ច​សហ​ប្រតិបត្តិការ​ប្រកប​ដោយ​ប្រសិទ្ធិ​ភាព​និង​​ស្និត​ស្នាល​ខ្លាំង​ឡើង​រវាង​ប្រទេស​ទាំង​ពីរ​។

លោក សុន ឆ័យ បាន​ថ្លែង​ថា ៖​ «​រដ្ឋា​​ភិបាល​គួរ​តែ​ផ្តល់​ឱកាស​ ដល់​អ្នក​វិនិយោគ​ក្នុង​ស្រុក​ និង​ធានា​ថា​ការ​វិនិយោគ​មិន​ប៉ះ​ពាល់​ដល់​កម្ពុជា​»។

 

Kang Chandararoth, the president of the Cambodia Institute for Development Study, explained that there are always benefits and negative impacts with foreign investment, but Cambodia needs more foreign investors to increase its domestic industries.

“At this time, Cambodia is heavily contingent on foreign investment,” he said.