Heads of Phnom Penh Municipality since 1941
Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia, was founded more than 700 years ago. It has now around 2 million inhabitants and has more than 700 km². Between 1941 and 1970 Phnom Penh was governed by Nhek Tiulong (father of Tiulong Saumura, MP of the Sam Rainsy Party and Sam Rainsy’s wife), Tep Phan, Un Tromuch and Mr. Y Tuy. In the sixties, Phnom Penh was a “Pearl of Asia” or “little Paris” and was leading in Southeast Asia in term of city planning and modern architecture.
Between 1970-1975 the city was led by Mr. Ung Heam, Chhay Kim Hong and Mr. Hu Hang Sin. During the Khmer Rouge regime, April 1975 January 1979, there was no governor since Phnom Penh became “ghost city”. All 2 million inhabitants that time were forced to leave the city for the countryside within few days and only few thousands of army and Khmer Rouge cadres were allowed to live in the city. Few embassies were allowed to open, among them; the embassies of Vietnam, Laos, China, Rumania and Yugoslavia. After the fall of the regime on January 7, 1979; people were allowed to come back and resided in the city. Since then, we could observe many development projects sprung up and the city is struggling its way to become the mega city again.
From 1979 till now, Phnom Penh was led by Mr. Khang Sarin (1979-1980), Mr. Chan Ven (1980-1982), Mr. Keo Chenda (1982-1985), Mr. Thong Khon (1985-1990), Mr. Hok Lundi (1990-1992), Mr. Sim Ka (1992-1993), Mr. Chhim Seakleng (1993-1998), Mr. Chea Sophara (1998-2003), Mr. Kep Chuktema (2003-2013) and Mr. Pa Socheatavong (Since 3 May 2013). Mr. Kep Chuktema has governed Phnom Penh for more than ten years and is the longest-serving governor since 1941 (information provided by Reaksmey Kampuchea, 03.05.13).
After gaining independence in 1965, Lee Kuan Yew, founder and PM of Singapore, spent two months in Phnom Penh with then Prince Norodom sihanouk. He praised the city beauty and city planning under Sihanouk and would like to learn from it and develop Singapore after the role model of Phnom Penh. After decades of war, political upheaval and destruction, we do need now to learn from Singapore.