GLOBAL Witness released a statement yesterday warning donors that Cambodia’s new anticorruption strategies “will fail to tackle corruption at the top of the political elite”, and criticising the appointment of Om Yentieng as the head of the Anticorruption Unit.
“The government has established a body which risks being undermined by undue executive influence,” the statement says.
“The head of the new Anti-Corruption Unit is a close associate of Prime Minister Hun Sen and has links to mining interests. The concentration of the unit’s decision making powers in this man’s hands seriously undermines the chances of there being any real challenge to the behaviour of the prime minister’s corrupt cabal of family members, senior business people and government officials and politicians.”
ACU head Om Yentieng, who is also a senior adviser to Prime Minister Hun Sen and chairman of the government-run Cambodian Human Rights Committee, yesterday declined to comment on the statement in detail.
“I think that for me there is no need to react and there is nothing strange about the statement from Global Witness, which is always anti-Cambodia,” he said.
He said he and other people in positions of power had been democratically elected.
“Global Witness has to understand that people close to Hun Sen or people around Hun Sen were selected by the Cambodian people via vote,” he said.