CMAC management is riddled with nepotism, sexual bribery and political misuse of
So says Son Chhay, National Assembly member for the Sam Rainsy Party and a veteran
While Chhay is scathing in his appraisal of CMAC Director General Sam Sotha and Chairman
Ieng Mouly ("Neither person is suitable for their position"), he attributes
much of the blame for the organization's widespread corruption on "some, not
all of" CMAC's foreign Technical Advisors (TAs).
"Foreign Technical Advisors working with CMAC have been corrupted by Khmer
[management] and have known about [fraud and mismanagement] and have benefited from
it," Chhay alleged.
Chhay's allegations have been supported by CMAC insiders who have long questioned
management irregularities that have been overlooked by certain foreign colleagues.
According to Chhay, Chairman of CMAC's Governing Council Ieng Mouly has told the
National Assembly that "a large sum" of CMAC funds have been used to lobby
TAs to support CMAC efforts to secure funding from their respective governments.
"TAs have been given a good time, such as free meals and sex with beautiful
girls to keep [the TAs] eyes blind [to corruption and mismanagement]," he says.
One of the long-rumored elements of CMAC operations that the "compliant"
foreign advisors to CMAC have apparently turned a blind eye to over the years is
CMAC's recruitment practices.
"People have to pay to get positions in CMAC," Chhay says. "That's
not rumor, that's fact, it's just that nobody's ever looked deeply into the problem."
Chhay further contends that top CMAC staff are in effect "allotted" CMAC
positions which they in turn sell for personal gain or bestow as gifts on supporters.
"Out of every 100 vacant CMAC positions, at least 40 to 50 have to be divided
among Ieng Mouly and Sam Sotha's friends and relatives," Chhay explains. The
remaining 60 [jobs] are given to [lower-ranking] CMAC staff's family members."
The result of CMAC's corrupt recruiting practices, says Chhay, has been the development
of an institutional "code of silence" which discourages potential whistle
"So secrets are kept," Chhay explained. "People keep their mouths
Recruiting practices also encourage tolerance of personnel "re-deployments"
to tasks not related to CMAC's stated mission of mine reduction.
"CMAC staff were forced to support Ieng Mouly's political party [the BLDP] during
the last election," Chhay claims. "During the election [Mouly] used CMAC
for a source of expense [payments]. . . there was lots of manipulation to squeeze
money out of CMAC so the BLDP would have enough funds for the election."
According to Chhay, the problems within CMAC require urgent and immediate government
"The government needs to understand that [CMAC} survives by getting money from
donor countries," Chhay says. "We need people who are more accountable
to take care of this work."