A company with powerful shareholders is creating a new coastline in Ream by pouring an estimated 100 million tons of sand into the Gulf of Thailand. After a year of filling, company and government officials say they’re still in the process of assessing potential environmental and social impacts.
One of Cambodia’s biggest conglomerates was handed some 6 hectares of beach and lake on prime Sihanoukville land after the company made a donation to the city’s road renovation.
Sihanoukville’s centrally located administrative buildings are being relocated to the city’s outskirts in a move that will open up parcels of land each worth a few million dollars.
In the past several months, some of the most powerful people in Cambodia have been granted Preah Sihanouk land that boasts stunning ocean views and proximity to key tourist developments. Much of the area sits empty, and interviews with hired guards and local officials suggest there is a web of elite landholdings as many hold onto the plots while their value steadily climbs.
A government sub-decree named the daughter and son-in-law of a CPP senator as the new owners of 600 hectares of land in Preah Sihanouk, claiming the state land and flooded forests were unused and not of public interest. Residents there disagree.
The government has granted nearly 200 hectares of Ream National Park and flooded forest land that a local official said was disputed in Preah Sihanouk province’s Prey Nob district to companies and private individuals, to the surprise of two commune officials.