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Kidnaps and corruption

Thank you very much for bringing up an amazing story, "Kidnapped on the high

seas" (Post, July 15 - 28]. It gave us insights into the lives of helpless Cambodians

in search of a decent life in an unknown and risky world. I believe that the story

will awaken the government - our public service providers and facilitators of job

creation - to work harder to better serve its people by providing a livable environment

for poor Khmers.

One way to do this is a temporary, if not perpetual, abstinence from corruption,

a murderer of development in Cambodia. I am quite sure that a national boycott on

corruption will lead the way to the country's prosperity in a very short period of

time. The absence of corruption will see national revenues increase, better distribution

of budget for development and a friendlier environment for investment and business,

thus creating virtuous cycles of development.

This simple idea of a corruption-free society is widely shared by most, if not all,

Cambodians. By eliminating corruption, politicians will win popularity with the people

and will be able to stay in power forever with dignity. That is why I think it is

a natural stand that all Cambodian leaders should adhere to.

It is quite common in most advanced countries that dignity is defined by ethics,

professionalism, compassion, creativity, honesty, learning, acceptance, tolerance,

and not purely by a "rat race" of fortune-making. I see no dignity in the

current trend of moneymaking in Cambodia, since very often it is done through illicit

means.

Believe me, you earn no respect from the world for the fact that you are living in

a multimillion dollar residence or driving a luxurious limo from embezzling public

money, while the majority of your people are living on less than 4,000 riel a day.

It is time for dignified rulers (servants?) of Cambodia to protect our Khmer race,

the home of the wonderful Angkor Wat, from slipping onto the darker pages of modern

civilization.

Oum Sothea, Australia

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