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Comment: A death to make tragedy for a man in poverty, but an opportunity to make profit for a man in business
Pung Sovann aliased Pung Kheav Se, born 1946 in Phnom Penh turned a merchant of deaths in Koh Pich
A death to make tragedy for a man in poverty, but an opportunity to make profit for a man in business
by Kok Sap 24/11/2010
“I am not surprised with Pung Kheav Se’s generosity; it’s all about business as usual in Cambodia nowadays.”
Today Radio Free Asia reported the stampede casualties are higher. Officially the total death is 456 and injured 395. Let’s hope it is the number with no more changes. In light of such tragic event on 22/11/2010 including the officials and relevant authorities seemed to focus on the aftermath and none would raise the concern on the bridge liability and responsibility to the mass. Also it appears folks are quick to focus on the results of the events rather than the relativities. So far the public believe the causes are:
• The bridge is too narrow to hold hundreds of people in same time,
• The bridge is in the suspending mode which it could move without warning due to the speed of the wind and impact of the mass,
• The bridge designed for quick commute not as a platform to hold immobile weight for extensive duration,
• The bridge provided no emergency safety and evacuation path.
For Cambodia society not to say there is no insurance regulatory, insurance coverage for anything sounds as strange as the globe is round consisted of more than 70% liquid and spinning on its own axis. But in modern commercial investment regardless of size, in international common practice, the owner or responsible party must and shall have the liability and owner casualty insurance secured before it can fully operate. To ensure public safety and trust in commerce, the government regulatory and compliance must also be accountable in regulations. So for a shrewd and cunning man like Pung Kheav Se, for sure he is not risking his businesses without proper insurance coverage. First it is to protect his personal assets from unwanted lawsuit and inadvertent business liability and second it is to safeguard him from relevant tax entities in his domicile abroad. However, no one knows for sure how much the owner of Koh Pich Bridge and bridge is insured for? If all insured, with whom, what and which company from where?
To date, people know only the owner of Canadia Bank Plc of Cambodia is Mr.Pung Kheav Se who owns Koh Pich Bridge and the inlet land. Strangely before the final casualties confirmed, Koh Pich owner offers $1,000 to each dead victim beneficiary. In total it would amount to $456,000. But no one knows whether he would pay the same amount to the injured ones. Presumably let’s say he would pay the same and the amount would be $395,000. Until now it’s unclear, he doesn’t say he will pay for the several hospitals emergency cares and funeral services provided for the victims. That not to mention what will be the fine and penalty fees that may be deemed by the public safety ordinance violations.
So far in grand total he would pay $815,000. That will be a lot of money for the Cambodia’s $0.50 per day standard. But for the owner of a bank chain that is especially backed by government and known international bodies, the amount is insignificant. It is also not quite right to assume Pung Kheav Se is giving his own money to the victims.
To begin with, he is in the banking business is to make profit, not donation. Beside given the degree of support and collaboration from relevant and corruptive government officials, we don’t know to what exactly figures that he will put in claim for damage and casualty for Koh Pich Bridge and land holder business loss for the reimbursement from the insurance coverage. He has Cambodia government in his under pant pocket for 24/7. Nevertheless for certain at the end of the day so many officials in the finance and economy or commerce ministries will receive a share in kick back pay when the business transaction is a done deal.