Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CNRP eyes health checkup

CNRP eyes health checkup

Health Minister Mam Bunheng at a meeting at the National Assembly in early 2015.
Health Minister Mam Bunheng at a meeting at the National Assembly in early 2015. Pha Lina

CNRP eyes health checkup

Opposition lawmakers have requested Health Minister Mam Bunheng appear at the National Assembly to answer questions over graft, irregularities and poor services within his portfolio, including claims that officials from the National Malaria Centre misappropriated cash from the Global Fund.

In a letter dated December 1, the CNRP asks the prime minister to allow the health minister to appear before parliamentarians on Thursday. The document states they intend to grill Bunheng in person over a number of issues, including poor services in public hospitals, unlicensed clinics and the distribution of medicine and equipment.

They also plan to confront the minister about the selling of public facilities – including its old headquarters in Phnom Penh – and cash milked from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria by officials from the malaria centre.

Reached yesterday, Bun Heng said he knew “nothing” about the summons or the questions it raised.

Chhay said he hoped the minister’s answers to lawmakers would be more comprehensive. “He is a minister; if he knows nothing, this is a problem,” Chhay said.

“We’ll wait to see his answers, if he says he knows nothing like this in the National Assembly, we will judge what to do next.”

In 2013, it was found two top officials received $410,000 in kickbacks for handing out million-dollar procurement contracts paid for by the multibillion-dollar Global Fund.

More recently in May, the Post revealed unit heads at the malaria centre had again misappropriated donor funds by doling out contractor jobs to numerous family members, who then filed at-times fraudulent expense reports to claim per diems.

No one has been prosecuted in either case, though the ministry in June called for closer oversight of contract employees and acknowledged “inappropriate phenomena” in paperwork filed by mid-level officials.

MOST VIEWED

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh