Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - IRI survey finds Cambodian majority optimistic over future

IRI survey finds Cambodian majority optimistic over future

IRI survey finds Cambodian majority optimistic over future


Motorists watch as construction workers build a bridge over the Tonle Sap river in Phnom Penh last month. Poll respondents pointed to such projects as evidence Cambodia is headed in the right direction. Photograph: Hong Menea/Phnom Penh Post

The vast majority of Cambodians – 81 per cent – believe the Kingdom is headed in the right direction, according to an International Republican Institute survey on democratic governance released yesterday.

Key reasons respondents gave for their upbeat assessment included the building of more roads, bridges, health clinics and schools.

For the 19 per cent who think the country is headed in the wrong direction, the prime culprits were corruption, nepotism and high commodity prices.

IRI’s survey results were compiled from 2,000 face-to-face interviews conducted in all 24 of Cambodia’s provinces over a one-month period from November to December last year.

The group identified corruption as a key theme in public opinion and, across the board, perceptions of corruption in local/municipal and national government officials have increased since the last public opinion survey in July, 2010.

Even for those who said the country was headed in the right direction, 31 per cent said “most” or “all” government officials were corrupt.

For those who said the country was headed in the wrong direction, this figure jumped to 64 per cent.

While on average, 15 per cent of Cambodians said they had witnessed an act of corruption or bribe-taking, this figure was skewed drastically according to the education of responders.

Of those with no education, 11 per cent said they had personally witnessed an act of corruption or bribe-taking, while this figure jumped to 43 per cent for university-educated respondents.

The definition of “bribery” was not explained to respondents, and Koul Panha of election monitoring group Comfrel said the concept of bribery was often confused with “gift-giving” and there was not enough education about illegal payments for public services.

Cambodia’s own Anti-Corruption Unit earlier this week acknowledged that bribery at the commune level was rampant and launched a crackdown on illegal fees.

Another trend identified by IRI was a lack of food. The group found that three per cent of households are so impoverished they cannot afford rice even once a week.

The results released yesterday were only a portion of the public opinion survey.

Other results related specifically to political parties were released to those groups in confidence.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bridget Di Certo at [email protected]


  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all