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Preah Sihanouk, the new land title holders savvy about loans and lotteries

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Landowners in Villages I and II of Stung Hav District verify that their land has been properly surveyed. PROVINCIAL ADMINISTRATION

Preah Sihanouk Province Governor Kuoch Chamroeun is urging residents who have just received land titles not to take out loans to gamble or bet on the lottery, as authorities have seen an increase in such activity.

Chamroeun issued the warning as he chaired a meeting on August 15 to release the specific date for the systematic land registration judgments in Villages I and II in Stung Hav District.

“Do not use these securities to take out bank loans just to gamble, even the lottery. You should avoid gambling – it affects families’ livelihoods and can lead to domestic violence,” he said.

Chamroeun praised the district authorities, especially the cadastre officials, for their “excellent” job of surveying nearly 500 plots of land.

“It will lead to the acquisition of rights and titles for many families,” he said.

He said the data will be posted for 15 days so landowners can verify that their land has been properly surveyed. If they find irregularities, they must report them within 15 days.

Cheng Srong, director of the provincial department of land management, town planning, construction and cadastral affairs, said the main purpose of the public display is to ensure that it is technically and legally exact.

“Objections, protests or requests for corrections can be made until August 29,” he said, adding that 489 plots were submitted.

Cheap Sotheary, provincial coordinator of advocacy group ADHOC, said some people in the province, especially housewives, enjoy betting the lottery and playing cards. There were even some who gambled in the many casinos in the province, she noted.

“We have observed that many housewives enjoy playing cards. In the past, most of the people who came to gamble in the casinos were foreigners who gambled with dollars, but now I heard that they gambled with Khmer currency,” she said.

She applauded the governor’s call for people not to gamble, but feared residents would heed the call unless strong legal action was taken.