Ratanakkiri provincial police chief Yin Chamnan on Wednesday presided over a ceremony that saw 140 promotions and 60 new staff appointments, including four women.
At the event held at the provincial police station, the officials swore allegiance to the nation, religion and the King as they committed themselves to enforce the law without fear or favour.
Chamnan said at the ceremony that all officials were obliged to fulfil their roles and duties well and implement the programmes of the government under the leadership of Prime Minister Hun Sen.
At the ceremony, 140 officials, including three women, were promoted – 130 to lieutenants, nine to sergeant majors and one to sergeant, while 60 officials, including a woman, were appointed to new positions.
“I urge all of you, and especially at the administrative police stations, to participate in providing security for citizens, have good manners and continue to implement the government’s nine-point safe village-commune policy,” he said.
Banlung town deputy police chief Seng Savuth said on Thursday that he had attended the ceremony, but had not been promoted.
He said he was happy to see officials who performed well being rewarded with new roles and ranks.
The senior leadership, he said, had considered promotions based on merit and performance, and rewarded hard work, which would encourage others to push themselves to do better as well.
“Those of us who attended the ceremony, even though we did not get promoted, are encouraged by witnessing hard work being rewarded. It sends a very positive message to the rank and file,” he said.
Rights group Adhoc investigator Soeng Sen Karuna said the appointments of the officials to new roles and their promotion was the right of the senior leadership.
However, he claimed that Cambodia has been criticised as some officials were promoted because of being well connected, using bribes or internal corruption.
The civil organisation, he said, wanted full transparency on the appointments and promotions.
He said people should be promoted if they had earned it, and it should be made clear that the promotion was based on merit, to encourage others.
“But if those who do not deserve it are promoted, it will discourage the police from working hard as they will see the system as rigged.
“Senior leaders have to clamp down on cases where promotion is not achieved through hard work, as it leads to internal conflict, jealousy and negativity within the units,” he said.