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Hun Sen to officials: You are ‘servants not bosses’

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Hun Sen to officials: You are ‘servants not bosses’

Caretaker prime minister Hun Sen on Tuesday called on government officials at all levels to remember that they are “honest servants” of the people and not their “boss”. He also urged them to focus on improving their ability to serve the public.

He continued that with the national elections having an 83.02 per cent turnout, it had clearly shown the world that the Cambodian people had “determined the Kingdom’s destiny”, especially in regards to sustainable development and lasting peace.

The president of the Cambodian People’s Party’s (CPP) edict echoed the words of Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday, who warned all civil servants and police officials to avoid corruption, nepotism, favouritism and the abuse of power.

Hun Sen took to Facebook on Tuesday to remind government officials of all stripes to serve the people honestly and to strive to do so better, using progressive methods.

“Government officials are the honest servants of the people, not their boss. And all in that role need to improve their ability by catching up with technology. They should not be traditional officials [anymore],” he wrote.

In a separate message posted on Tuesday, Hun Sen commented on his expected landslide election win. “In the 2018 elections, Cambodia has clearly shown the world that 83.02 per cent of the people cast their vote to determine the Kingdom’s destiny, because only Cambodians understand what [their country] needs, especially sustainable development and lasting peace.”

Political analyst Hang Vitou said that he supported the recent pronouncements from the prime minister and interior minister, and urged additional monitoring to ensure their implementation at all levels.

“I agree and support Samdech [Hun Sen’s] directives as he reminds all levels of government officials to be servants of the people and to raise their awareness of the issue.

“It is the kind of recommendation which Samdech usually gives, not just at [election] time. But for this [election] he seems to have given more orders than previously. It is something we encourage.

“But I think to only recommend and appeal are not enough. To make such recommendations beneficial, the government needs to arrange a transparent leadership structure with clear monitoring in order to make his recommendations truly effective,” he said.

Vitou also called for the monitoring of government officials in order for the prime minister’s instructions to become the norm.

“Besides the appeals and instructions, the government has to do two important things – firstly, in ministries and institutions from national to sub-national levels, there should be secret observers to monitor the activities and conduct of officials . . . for thorough investigations.

“Secondly, the government should arrange an effective administrative system to stop political discrimination and any inappropriate activities by officials,” he said.

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