Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - No talking out of turn: PM

No talking out of turn: PM

No talking out of turn: PM

Government officials have begun to stay away from NGO-organized forums following

a government order October 25 that forbids disagreement with government policy, said

Khmer Institute of Democracy executive director Dr Lao Mong Hay. The order, from

Prime Minister Hun Sen, is meant to protect the country's "peace and solidarity".

"Some government officials, including ministers, have already refused to speak,"

he said.

"In a democracy you have to interact with people outside government circles

[and] react to the wishes of civil society."

The order covers participation in conferences, workshops and consultations organized

by NGOs. The order starts with an endorsement of the importance of public discussions:

"In accordance with the democratization policy ... the Royal Government always

supports public forums".

However it then goes on to state that "some people have abused the freedom of

the democratization policy and have intentionally used forums to attack directly

or indirectly the Royal Government and the Nation and exaggerate reality in order

to destroy the solidarity of the country".

Mong Hay said that it was "regrettable" that the Prime Minister had signed

the order and said that it was counter to the government's own policy of decentralization.

"[The order] includes a prohibition on government officials attending meetings

without the Prime Minister's approval. Why should there be approval from the top?"

Mong Hay asked.

The order lists five instructions to "all members of the Royal Government of

Cambodia and all high ranking officers from the members of the [RGC] and all high

ranking officers of the government to the directors of departments of each ministry".

The stated purpose of the order is to strengthen "peace and the solidarity,

reconciliation, democracy and development of the country". Civil servants are

to avoid "providing opinions, concepts that create insecurity and conflicts,

division, non-reconciliation that cause disorder and slants the good subject of the

forums".

It also exhorts excellencies to be familiar with government policy on the subject

of the forum and refrain from expressing any "opinion or personal ideas that

could cause the instability of national policy and contradict [the] principle and

policy of the government".

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • 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