Source: Radio Free Asia
Reported in English by Khmerization
Mr. Soy Sopheap (pictured), publisher of Deum Ampil newspaper and an anchorman for CTN TV, has been given a licence by the Ministry of Information to open a radio station, reports Radio Free Asia.
Mr. Soy Sopheap said that his radio, to be called Radio Deum Ampil, will serve the Cambodian nation and the Khmer people. He said: "We will be focusing on social issues and issues affecting our future. The role of our radio is to pay attention to all angles of the issues for the interests of our nation. What I think is that we must know ourselves first. When we know ourselves, we will know the values of our nation."
He added that his radio will not serve any political interests. He said: "The first Khmer newspaper was founded on 19th December, 1936. As a Khmer son and as a younger generation, I want to uphold the original aims of the birth of that newspaper. What I want to say is that we will not accept financial supports from foreigners or any political parties. These money (to fund the radio) come from our savings."
Mr. Son Chhay, MP from the opposition Sam Rainsy Party (SRP), said that the government has not been fair in giving licences to people to operate radio stations. He said the SRP had previously applied for a licence to operate a radio station but was rejected. Later, a member of the party applied for a licence to open a private radio station but was rejected on the grounds that there is no more frequency available.
Mr. Son Chhay added that it is unfair that the Ministry of Information approved a radio licence for a known supporter of the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) when it rejected the same application from an opposition party. He said: "What is more important than this is that the Ministry (of Information) did not respect its previous words that there is no frequency available. But this time it provided someone with a licence, so it means that the ministry has lied and this will no doubt damage the reputation of the Ministry."
Mr. Son Chhay said that the Cambodian government is a government for all Khmer people, therefore it should approve a radio licence to all Khmers equally, but to just give licences to supporters of the ruling CPP only is very biased indeed.
When contacted on telephone by Radio Free Asia, Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith refused to make any comments by saying only that he is busy