Four more political figures – all commune councillors or members of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party – have agreed to having their assets published online via NGO Accountability Cambodia (AC), which posted the data yesterday.
Earlier this month, CNRP lawmaker Lim Kim Ya and Khmer Power Party president Sourn Serey Ratha became the first political figures to publicly declare their assets with AC. Yesterday, AC published records from Chan Lina, Ngoung Savin and Pul Yan, all running for commune council re-election, and CNRP party member Keo Heang.
An AC press release said the cooperating politicians “acknowledged that they have a role to promote integrity in their society and anti-corruption”.
Mears Samnang Kuy, the NGO’s director, claimed more candidates will follow suit, and repeated appeals for acting CNRP leader Kem Sokha specifically to release his assets.
“KPP will organize a public assembly . . . and they will ask their commune council candidates to declare their assets as well,” Kuy said in an email.
Sokha could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Last week, Transparency International rated Cambodia the most corrupt country in ASEAN for the fourth year running. A Post report in 2015 showed high-ranking government officials on three-figure salaries to be living in $10 million dollar mansions.
Heang, a senior party member based in Kampot, yesterday said he was “not afraid to show his face”.
“I believe that people who are compatriots of the nation, would be willing to do the same . . . If we want to change, we need to change ourselves,” Heang said.
Lina, a commune chief candidate in Kampot province Kraing Ampil, said politicians on both sides of the aisle should be regarded with suspicion for not declaring their assets.
“We need to be honest with each other and we do not want other people to accuse us of corruption,” Lina said.
“Some do not announce their assets because they want to hide their assets and where their money comes from,” he added.
Despite these appeals, spokesman Yim Sovann said CNRP would make no internal rule requiring that officials declare their assets, explaining that it is not currently required by law.
“When we are in power, we will amend the existing Anti-Corruption Law requiring officials to declare their assets,” Sovann said.