Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Govt must address the real issues of concern



Govt must address the real issues of concern

Govt must address the real issues of concern

Dear Editor,

I refer to your article "New CPP-dominated Assembly sworn in" [Phnom Penh Post, September 25.] The recent swearing-in is a historical moment for Hun Sen's political leadership - his way to premiership was smooth and democratically legitimised. Previously, his path to premiership had experienced some hardships. For instance, in 1993 he was the second prime minister with Prince Norodom Rannaridh as first prime minister; in 1998 there was the coup that allowed him to consolidate his sole premiership; in 2003 parliament was stalled for almost one year before his premiership was given to him again.

I appreciate the fact that this 2008 assembly mandate has been smoothly, legally sworn in, and in particular the participation of the Sam Rainsy Party's 26 representatives who endorse Hun Sen's premiership for another five years as mandated. But the successful ascent to premiership through parliament does not warrant the level of centralisation in the executive branch. His government comprises far more high-ranking members than before, especially those from the dominant CPP party.

The challenges ahead are daunting - such as ensuring national security. Key issues to address this mandate are security, illegal immigration, the high rate of corruption under the current system of crony capitalism, land price speculation leading to land grabs and the ongoing border dispute with Thailand.

Security is a central claim for the next five years in power for Hun Sen. He says Cambodia in future decades will not worry about terrorism, civil war and social chaos. But the core issue of security here is not terrorism - it is food security, social equity security, democratic security and especially government officials who should be security-checked before being sworn in.

Many countries have different methods of ensuring lawmakers meet certain security standards, such as checking the background of persons to ensure that they are not abusing their position and mandate in government to do harm to their country.

This new approach of security should be amended by the parliament checking the background of any person who will be employed as military, police or state officials. Achieving this security clearance stabilises the government's leaders as well as the whole nation.

Crony capitalism has been widespread in Cambodia. After the civil war, the open horizon of market-based economics in Cambodia swiftly and horrendously embodied itself in a type of crony capitalism. Cambodia has significantly evolved itself a "national crony capitalism", which means all national economic mechanisms and dynamics are controlled by just a few businessmen. This kind of emergent economic trend will hinder the emergence of economic equity and will widens levels of inequality in the Kingdom.

Sophan Seng

PhD student in political science

University of Hawaii at Manoa

MOST VIEWED

  • Phnom Penh placed in two-week lockdown

    The government has decided to place Phnom Penh in lockdown for two weeks, effective April 14 midnight through April 28, as Cambodia continues to grapple with the ongoing community outbreak of Covid-19, which has seen no sign of subsiding. According to a directive signed by Prime Minister

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Covid-19 vaccination now obligatory

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 11 issued a sub-decree making Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for individuals unless they have a medical certificate proving they have pre-existing health conditions that prevent them from doing so. «This applies to all members of the armed forces and civil servants