Officials responsible for issuing new identity cards, which every adult will eventually need, must get a grip on the task and speed up, the Ministry of Interior said yesterday.
In an “instruction” to staff, Interior Minister Sar Kheng said the number of new ID cards issued each day had fallen dramatically and was well below the ministry’s target.
“The ministry has observed that the statistics of identity card distribution, in comparison with the assigned number for daily implementation, has experienced a remarkable drop,” he said.
Kheng urged the General Department of Identification and other officials to gather the information they needed.
“They have to find out exactly the number of people who have not got the new generation identity cards,” he said.
The ministry estimates 10 million people are eligible for the new ID card, but so far only 6.4 million applications have been registered, and 6.2 million cards printed.
According to the deputy director of the department, Chan Kemseng, delays were due to the challenge of issuing cards in areas with thinly dispersed populations, people moving, and a general reluctance amongst older people to switch.
But the old form of identification would still be valid for those wishing to vote, Kemseng added.
“Under election laws, the new and old style identity cards have the same value,” he said.