Prime Minister Hun Sen has given free access for the public to attend the upcoming 32nd SEA Games and ASEAN Para Games, adding that TV broadcasting rights will also be free of charge.
In a voice message sent to his Telegram channel on Thursday, Hun Sen said Defence Minister Tea Banh, who also heads the SEA Games organizing committee CAMSOC, had informed him about the sale of tickets, prompting him to issue the announcement that they will be free for people to watch.
Hun Sen said that hundreds of millions of dollars have already been spent on the infrastructure, including with aid from China, towards organizing the games, therefore, people should be able to view the events for free.
“We’ve spent hundreds of millions of dollars; how can we collect money from our nationals?” Hun Sen said. “How much can we get? Who wants money? Please come to get it from me, I am responsible for it.”
“I didn't expect that some of our officials lack thinking and attention on this issue. This is my first blame since the beginning of organizing SEA Games,” he added.
In a cabinet meeting on Friday, Hun Sen also said from foreign TV stations broadcasting from the SEA Games should not be charged, according to Information Minister Khieu Kanharith’s post on his Facebook page.
“Participating sports federations also do not have to pay. Foreign TV broadcasts have to be reduced or free because it is important to broadcast from Cambodia,” the post said.