A Change of Guard

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Thursday 27 November 2014

Ticketing at temple defended [Apsara Authority Rejects Claim Angkor Wat ‘Rented Out’]

A view of Angkor Wat earlier this year
A view of Angkor Wat earlier this year. Accusations that managerial control of the Angkor temple complex has been granted to Sokha Hotel was denied by the Apsara Authority. Hong Menea
The Apsara Authority has clarified the details of its controversial profit-sharing deal with Sokha Hotels, a company owned by hotel tycoon Sok Kong that has the ticket-selling rights to Siem Reap’s temple complex.
A letter released on Tuesday in response to questions over the temple complex’s management and ticket sales says that Sokha Hotels is contracted only to provide ticket revenue collection services.
It states that revenue from each ticket sold is divided into 20 per cent VAT, 15 per cent goes towards conservation and development of the temple complex, 15 per cent goes to Sokha Hotels and the remaining 50 per cent to the government.
“Apsara Authority does not hire out the temples to Sokha Hotel. In fact, the authority only hired the company to provide ticket revenue collection services on our behalf – a common action that public administrations or governments in other countries have also implemented,” the letter dated November 25 reads.
“The company [Sokha Hotels] pays the revenue from ticket sales directly to the National Treasury in the Ministry of Economy & Finance and does not go through the Apsara Authority,” the letter states.
The letter comes after opposition lawmakers questioned Tourism Minister Thong Khon last week over the lack of transparency surrounding ticket sales to the Angkor Archaeological Park and the amount shared with Cambodia’s national budget.

The Apsara Authority, which oversees business operations at Cambodia’s biggest tourism draw, handed over the ticket sales responsibilities to Sokha Hotels in 1999. Sokha Hotels is a subsidiary of Sok Kong’s Sokimex Group.
“Revenue collection over the past years has been improved to achieve efficient outcomes,” the letter reasons.
Siem Reap welcomed some 1.7 million foreign tourists over the first nine months of this year, up 10.6 per cent compared with the same period last year. The Apsara Authority reported gross revenue from ticket sales for 2014 reached $47 million at the end of October. Ticket sales totalled $57.6 million in 2013 and $51 million in 2012.
As a condition of the agreement, Sokha Hotels is also reportedly obliged to invest more than $700,000 in local infrastructure projects every year.
Yem Ponhearith, an opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party parliamentarian and the National Assembly’s chairman of the education, religious, culture and tourism committee last week called on the government to give the Ministry of Tourism control over the temple complex’s ticket sales and revenue.
Contacted yesterday, Ponhearith said he welcomed the letter from the Apsara Authority, but that full transparency means detailing the monetary figures and to what part of the budget they were allocated.
“I have seen the letter. But, in fact, we just see to the total revenue, they don’t show the detail of the revenue sharing,” he said. “We need to know, how much goes to the government? And how much goes to the company? As we know the government spends a lot of money to attract tourists.”
The Tourism Minister yesterday said he had no plans to take control of the Siem Reap temple complex.
“We still want Apsara Authority handle it because they have done a lot of work to manage and preserve the temple,” Khon said.
“The Apsara Authority has been cooperating with many other international institutions, like the ICC [the International Coordinating Committee for the Safeguarding and Development of the Historic Site of Angkor]. If the money from ticket sales is not properly managed, other international institutions will blame us,” he added.


Anonymous said...

Begin of Drgunzet's comment.

Khmer race conquered and enslaved other race to build the Angkor Wat. Sometime, Khmer race would wiped out an entire race such as the Funanese. Funanese capital was discovered at Oc-Eo in Vietnam's Mekong delta. An entire civilization was disappeared because of the Khmer race.

Vietnam had conflicts with neighboring race such as the Chams. And the Chams are still around today in both Vietnam and Cambodia.

Thais were a vassal race to the Khmer but revolted after a couple hundred years under the yoke of Khmer empire. Thais sacked the Khmer capital again, again, again, again and again, so many times. Each time, the smart and brave Khmer died or got captured in battle. What's left were stupid and coward Khmers today.

It's easy to rule the Khmers. You just need to set an example to one Khmer then the rest will immediately surrender. In other countries, when people protested and fought the polices, hundred dies. In Cambodia, when the Khmer fought the police, nobody died at the protest sites. Mysterious, these wounded Khmer died at the hands of other Khmer protesters.

The scary part is: The oversea Khmer anti-government folks have been calling for incitement, and induced deaths at the hand of the Cambodian police to use as the evidence against the Cambodian government. I am afraid these wounded Khmer protesters were facing great risked being killed by other Khmers who wanted to frame the Cambodian government.

So far, there were only 5 mysterious deaths from last year violent protests. There was zero death on the street recorded. So, Cambodian government and police have done a great job keeping order and stability, protecting the factories with zero death.

There was this one Khmer who was calling for inducing thousand of protesters' deaths at the hands of the Cambodian police. I think the person should go to jail.


Anonymous said...

I think Mr. Hun Sen made a mistake in the ramp up of the garment industry. He clumped so many factories in a small area for transportation and electricity supply. But the moment the garment workers gather in numbers, trouble brews. They become a mob.

The best way is to disperse the Cambodian workers. Have them work at Vietnamese concession area, plantation. Spread them out to diffuse their strength.

Cambodia needs jobs, not fights.