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Assembly approves ASEAN terrorism law

Assembly approves ASEAN terrorism law

THE National Assembly on Monday adopted a law that will pave the way for the government to join the ASEAN Convention on Counter Terrorism, aimed at strengthening local and international cooperation in the fight against global terrorist activities.

Em Sam Ann, secretary of state at the Ministry of Interior, said during Monday’s session that the law was an indication of the government’s desire to play a role in suppressing terrorism in the region.

“The law will become an important milestone in the cooperation to curb and fight against terrorism in Cambodia,” he told the parliament.

Of the 90 parliamentarians present for the vote, 80 voted for the passage of the law, which will now be sent to the Senate.

Kimsour Phirith, a lawmaker for the opposition Sam Rainsy Party, said he supported the law, but called on the government to strictly implement laws that are already in place to prevent terrorists from bribing their way into Cambodia.

He said officials working along the border were often all too willing to grant entry into Cambodia in exchange for illicit payments.

“The local authorities accepting bribes at the border gates could make it easy for terrorists to cross the border,” he said.

A report released last year by the RAND Corporation, a US-based global policy institute, found Cambodia had many of the hallmarks of a terror-friendly state, including porous borders, endemic corruption and a small, marginalised Muslim population.

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