Cambodia’s economy continues to perform strongly, but the government will face rising spending pressures that need to be tackled by enhanced revenue collection through more stringent tax measures to contain near-term deficits, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said yesterday at the conclusion of its annual Article IV consultation. “Cambodia over the medium term faces several important pressures relating to development including improving infrastructure,” said IMF economist Jarkko Turunen. “And as Cambodia moves up in terms of income, the sources of [government] income will change and the country will receive fewer grants as a higher income economy.”
Cambodia National Rescue Party leaders yesterday summoned members from across the Kingdom instructing them how to comply with impending new laws that will see former party President Sam Rainsy scrubbed clean from their prolific billboards – but not without a hint of defiance. As images of Rainsy clasping hands with current party President Kem Sokha continued to be crudely covered over with blue and black paint, the party yesterday resolved to replace their picture with a slogan. “The slogan ‘Joining together to rescue our nation’ will replace the spot where [the leaders are] shaking hands,” said CNRP Deputy President Eng Chhay Eang.
Funds continue to flow for the Khmer Rouge tribunal, and the case against alleged former Khmer Rouge naval chief Meas Muth is moving forward even as the ultimate fate of the case still hangs in the balance, according to announcements made yesterday. The prosecution and defence team for Muth were yesterday given a three-month deadline to file their final submissions but whether Case 003 against Muth, along with cases 004 against Yim Tith and 004/02 against Ao An, will actually go ahead remains unclear. Co-investigating judges proposed halting those cases in May for the “sole reason” of “lack of funding”, a claim which several observers said likely masked more nefarious reasons.
The UN’s refugee agency has slammed Australia in a statement for reportedly informing the agency it would no longer accept refugees it had previously agreed to take in, telling the body to relocate them to the US or Cambodia instead. Vivian Tan, a spokeswoman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Bangkok, said the body is concerned about Australia’s “outsourcing” of refugees to other countries after it struck deals with the US and Cambodia to take in many of the refugees it has controversially detained in Nauru and Papua New Guinea for years. In its statement, the UNHCR said it had “no other choice” but to recommend the relocation of all refugees to the US.