The Kingdom is steadily implementing “digital government” systems to manage society by using modern computer techniques that require more skilled human resources, Minister of Interior Sar Kheng said on Monday.

Speaking during a visit to some 2,000 retired civil servants and military veterans in Battambang province, he said Cambodia now has a full range of schools and a wealth of jobs, even though some people continue to migrate to work abroad.

Sar Kheng said the government needs to maximise its human resources, particularly the younger generation who are ever more skilled in science, maths and computer science.

“In order to build a strong country, we need to have a well-trained population,” he said, adding that the government has therefore decided to adopt a policy of continuous strengthening of the education system, including the health education policy that was approved last week.

“I am looking for outstanding students in maths and computer science because we are trying to rebuild ourselves into a digital government to manage society,” he said.

Sar Kheng said digital government consists of collecting all kinds of data into computer systems in order to help uphold the rule of law and manage government officials, civil servants and the general population.

“The systems to identify and collate information on people were completely destroyed during the Pol Pot regime."

“We are working hard to develop ID cards. For instance, when getting paid, people could just bring their ID cards and remember a pin number. You insert the card and punch in your PIN, and the money would come out."

“We are trying to develop that kind of system. That’s what we call digital government. We really need students who are proficient in maths and computer science. We encourage people to study these subjects,” he said.

Socio-political analyst Kin Phea who is the director-general of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia told The Post on Monday that digitisation was not a new thing for most of the world.

He said the world was progressing towards the widespread implementation of digital systems and there is great focus on this matter, while Cambodia is also now working towards this.

“We are on the move, but we need more time. A lack of highly trained people and some outdated systems mean we haven’t yet completely evolved into a digital society, but we are making good progress,” Phea said.

He said the digital government means everything being controlled by smart systems, so the government needs to increase investment in human resources, especially in the field of information technology.

“First of all, we need to let our young people focus on technology, otherwise we won’t evolve and catch up with regional and global trends,” Phea added.