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Errant civil servants to face actions, Sar Kheng warns

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Interior minister Sar Kheng during the inauguration of a school building in Battambang province’s Bavel district on May 23. SAR KHENG VIA FACEBOOK

Errant civil servants to face actions, Sar Kheng warns

Minister of Interior Sar Kheng has instructed authorities at all levels to improve public services and solve problems for people in their jurisdictions, while vowing to get tough on law-breaking officials.

Speaking at the inauguration of a school building at Khnach Romeas secondary school in Battambang province’s Bavel district on May 23, Sar Kheng said he would make sure that legal action is taken against any official who commits a crime.

He said officials must have a conscience, possess knowledge and certificates, and other core values including a willingness to serve the people. They must be open-minded and place discrimination and bias aside, and they should also shower praises for a job well done to encourage better results.

“As leaders, we must not be discriminatory or try to sabotage other officials’ progress, career or achievements out of jealousy. Of course, not all officials are good. And if there are those who are bad, it is an individual case.

“I am sorry to say that some officials are not able to mind their words and have said or done something that affect the people. Such incidents happen in every country,” he said.

He vowed to seek justice for people if officials do anything that could affect the interest of the people.

“I am responsible if any official does [anything] bad to the people [which involve] their rights and interests. If I [get to] know of such cases, I will [take the] responsibility to solve the problem and ensure justice for the people,” he said.

Sar Kheng added that the government maintains a strong position that justice is meted out on any misconduct or offence.

During the inauguration ceremony, Bavel governor Luot Saly said two offences were recorded in the district between January and April this year.

One was a criminal case and another was a misdemeanour. The district also recorded a few cases of suicide, fire and drowning.

“The district authority and armed forces will continue to serve the people in the district,” he said, while thanking donors for contributing to Bavel’s development.

Am Sam Ath, deputy director for rights group LICADHO, said Sar Kheng made a “good point” as his advice reminded officials to ensure public service to the people is effective, unbiased and without political discrimination.

“However, in reality, we still notice that the implementation

is not smooth. It is important that those who commit an offence face administrative measures or legal action. The measure ensures that authorities are held accountable,” he said.

Sam Ath added that Cambodia is a democratic country where people should receive fair and equitable public service, and in a timely manner.

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