Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - High hopes for the new anti-corruption efforts



High hopes for the new anti-corruption efforts

High hopes for the new anti-corruption efforts

Dear Editor,
Despite the oaths taken by officials from the newly formed Anticorruption Unit that they will fight graft, the ACU will probably still be perceived as ineffectual – in the words of an opposition Sam Rainsy Party spokesman: “oaths to preserve territorial integrity, to fight corruption, to protect national assets – these are not enforced in practice....”

As well, a senior investigator for the local human rights group Adhoc asserted that as long as ACU officials are members of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party, it would be impossible to eliminate corruption in the Kingdom.

In interviews with the Post, students and grassroots activists who live on shoestring budgets expressed little hope that the newly approved anti-corruption law, as implemented by the ACU, will completely rid the Kingdom of corruption.

Too many instances of corruption are found in almost every government sector, but graft is especially problematic in areas related to public services, for example medical treatment, the judiciary, land management, traffic regulation, and even education and employment.

Because of this, corruption has become a part of the Cambodian identity – something that is known by all Cambodians and even abroad.

We, Cambodian citizens, really appreciate and support such unprecedented legislation as the Anticorruption Law.

But as I said before, we are worried because we know that many laws exist only on paper, especially those that are likely not to have any direct benefit for [government officials].

Many existing laws seem simply to be tools to serve the interests of government officials, rather than to work for Cambodia’s citizens or in the national interest.

We don’t want this condition to exist, but corruption has already prevailed in many cases. Now we are waiting to see how effective, transparent and just ACU officials are in executing this new Anticorruption Law, regardless of what oaths they’ve taken or vows that they have pledged.

Most cases of graft are typically buried in public entities for reasons such as: (1) insufficient salary for lower-ranking civil servants, (2) ambition and greed in the ranks of senior officials, (3) individualism rather than nationalism and, (4) networking by public officials for private business interests.

I know that these problems are not unique to Cambodia, but occur also in other developing countries.

In order to effectively implement the Anticorruption Law ... I support whatever ideas and procedures that are proposed by ACU, such as a drop box where people can lodge criticisms, a website, a property-declaration policy.

We roughly 14 million citizens are keeping our eyes on the ACU’s performance and are waiting to see its effectiveness and achievements. We do hope at least some changes will prevail.

Marker Zhour
Phnom Penh

Send letters to: [email protected] or PO?Box 146, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The Post reserves the right to edit letters to a shorter length. The views expressed above are solely the author’s and do not reflect any positions taken by The Phnom Penh Post.

MOST VIEWED

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Hun Sen: Lakes filled in for national developments

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced continued operations to fill some lakes in Phnom Penh to create land for developments, though he is against the unrelated practice of damming rivers or blocking waterways. Speaking at the inauguration of the Ministry of Public Works and Transport

  • Koh Preus upgrades 70% complete

    Initial construction of a nearly $30 million tourism infrastructure project on Preah Sihanouk province’s Koh Preus Island is “about 70 per cent complete”, according to an official with the developer. Heng Thou, construction site manager of Angela Real Estate Co Ltd (ARE), told The Post that

  • Local media loses a giant, and The Post a great friend

    Cheang Sokha, a gifted and streetwise reporter who rose to the highest ranks of Cambodian media and was beloved for his sharp intelligence, world-class humour and endless generosity, died on Friday in his hometown of Phnom Penh. He was 42. His wife, Sok Sophorn, said he

  • Cambodia, India agree to start direct flights, tourism exchanges

    Cambodia and India have agreed to start direct flight connections and promote closer tourism exchanges and cooperation in all areas after the Covid-19 saga comes to a close. The agreement was reached during a meeting between Cambodian Minister of Tourism Thong Khon and newly-minted Indian