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‘Don’t pull rank’ with traffic cops, Kheng says

Interior Minister Sar Kheng yesterday urged high-ranking officials to swear off their showy insignia lest regular cops be too intimidated to stop them for traffic violations.

During a speech he gave at the Siem Reap airport, Kheng said the civil service’s upper crust must dress “like regular citizens” when they travel.

“When travelling normally, if you’re a deputy prime minister, senior minister, or regular minister . . . you need to take off your ranks and consider yourself a citizen,” he said.

“Some provincial police chiefs are brigadier generals, some are captains, but the regular traffic police are [only] first lieutenants or second lieutenants . . . Asking them whether they dare to fine a brigadier general when he breaks the Traffic Law or whether they dare to stop the car of a deputy or senior minister, or anyone else with a high rank who breaks the law – the [traffic police] do not dare,” he said. “But for these incidents, we need to fine.”

Last week, Kheng called for boldness on the part of rank-and-file cops, saying they would be promoted if they were to pull over and fine a government minister.

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