Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Local officials urged to work with everyone regardless of politics, religion

Local officials urged to work with everyone regardless of politics, religion

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Minister of Interior Sar Kheng.

Local officials urged to work with everyone regardless of politics, religion

Minister of Interior Sar Kheng on Wednesday instructed police officials and local authorities to serve the people without considering political affiliations or religion.

In the handover ceremony of 1,646 motorbikes to police stations nationwide, Kheng told police officials that they must serve the people regardless of political leanings or religion, and that they need to resolve people’s problems regardless of which party they belong to.

“Police officials have an obligation to help all people, not only one group, and to protect them without discrimination. Commune councils and chiefs who receive the people’s mandate have an obligation to help the community to ensure the security and development of their communities and livelihoods,” he said.

Kheng said if local leaders do not have good vision and resort to political, racial or religious discrimination, it would lead to divisions within their communities.

He said village leaders, in particular, must bring harmony to their village, lest fragmentation and division take root.

“People can join a political party. It is their business and we must respect their rights and decisions. It is their business to join a party … We should not think that this person is with this party and that person is with that party … Thinking like that violates the law. So please, do not discriminate,” Kheng said.

Neutral and Impartial Committee for Free and Fair Elections executive director Sam Kuntheamy said in Cambodia, issuing such instructions won’t eliminate discrimination or labelling at the local level.

“Racial and political discrimination has been happening in Cambodia for a long time, despite government leaders addressing it.

“We can see that the Ministry of Interior has issued such instructions many times, but it keeps happening in the village and by commune chiefs and commune councils. They discriminate on the basis of political leanings,” he said.

People with political persuasions that are different from village and commune officials, he said, found it difficult to receive public services at the commune hall.

However, he agreed that if they can end the practice of discrimination, communities can better develop and grow.

A former lawmaker with the court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party, Cheam Channy, said: “The instruction is the right thing and I support his speech, but officials at the local level continue to discriminate.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    The Ministry of Health has issued a directive on the treatment of people who have tested positive for the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant, following a suggestion from Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of January 21. The directive permits home quarantine for those who

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • Hun Sen gets 4th Covid shot, urges compatriots to follow

    Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany on January 14 received their fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine and called on compatriots to follow suit as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in the community. This marks the launch of Cambodia's fourth-dose vaccination campaign,

  • Fourth dose Covid booster drive jabs 43K in two days

    In the first two days of the fourth-dose Covid-19 vaccination campaign, more than 43,000 people volunteered to get the jabs, while over 4.6 million people have received a third shot. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said that fourth-dose vaccinations, which began on January 14 exclusively with the Pfizer

  • Singapore backs Cambodia's efforts on Myanmar

    Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong supports Cambodia in its efforts to seek a solution to the ongoing Myanmar crisis as the chair of ASEAN. Lee expressed his support during a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen via videoconference on January 14, with the talks focused