Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on government officials, especially traffic police, not to drink while on duty.
Speaking at a graduation ceremony in Phnom Penh, Hun Sen appealed to traffic police, military police, and government officials who he said should instead devote their energy to “strengthen[ing] the social order”.
He asked how traffic police can legitimately fine those who violate traffic laws if they themselves are drunk.
“If they both are drunk, how can we sentence this case? When you are on duty, make sure you don’t drink alcohol,” he said.
Hun Sen also drew attention to the current wedding season, which he said is usually a marked by increased accidents caused by drinking. “2011 is the year we make the economy grow, reduce poverty, strengthen the social order and reduce traffic accidents,” he added.
Hun Sen’s call followed a similar plea from the Ministry of Health on December 31, when it called for people to limit their alcohol consumption in a bid to cut government spending on related health and social problems.
During a meeting last month, a coalition of civil society groups called on the government to restrict advertising and increase taxes on alcoholic beverages in a bid to control alcohol consumption.