Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sar Kheng: ‘Cooperate with forum members’

Sar Kheng: ‘Cooperate with forum members’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Prime Minister Hun Sen met with Supreme Consultation Forum members last week. Facebook

Sar Kheng: ‘Cooperate with forum members’

Minister of Interior Sar Kheng on Monday ordered all provincial and municipal governors to cooperate with Supreme Consultation Forum members on fact-finding missions concerning disputes and officials’ inactivity.

Sar Kheng’s call was hailed by members of the forum, created by Prime Minister Hun Sen following last year’s national elections to promote cross-party cooperation in government.

However, an analyst claimed it was just part of attempts to show that the forum is an effective political entity.

“To help facilitate the implementation of the duties of the Supreme Consultation Forum, I request that all governors cooperate closely with the forum as it carries out missions in cities and provinces in a smooth manner as per the planned programmes and receive good results,” Sar Kheng’s letter said.

Sar Kheng, who is also deputy prime minister, highlighted in his letter to municipal and provincial governors dated Monday that, according to the duties of the Supreme Consultation Forum as stipulated in Article 10 of the Royal Decree, it can monitor the implementation of the law and policies of the government both at the national and sub-national levels, and offer recommendations for improvements.

Khmer Rise Party president Sok Sovann Vathana Sabung said he welcomed Sar Kheng’s instruction because, in the past, local authorities had seemed to be not fully cooperating with such working groups, in some cases asking for unnecessary documentation in order to delay or disrupt missions.

He said that most local authorities did not seem to understand the responsibilities of the forum as information on it was limited.

“I think relevant officials should disseminate information on the duties and roles of the Supreme Consultation Forum and advise local authorities more clearly because in the past we have really faced difficulties,” he said.

Cambodian Nationality Party president Seng Sokheng said he had also faced a lack of cooperation from local authorities, with them likewise asking for documentation to prevent his working group from visiting the areas requested.

“I support his [Sar Kheng’s] decision because [it] will help us carry out our work. It is not only me who has been hindered but also the working groups of other parties."

“Most of the issues we went to help resolve were land disputes. It has happened in most provinces.”

However, Preah Sihanouk Governor Yun Min said authorities in his province had always welcomed and cooperated with the forum’s working groups.

“We have always cooperated with civil society as well as the Supreme Consultation Forum. We have always welcomed them and never obstructed or caused them any difficulty."

“However, we would like them to let the authorities know when they are to arrive so that we can be prepared to cooperate. If I don’t know they are to come, how can we cooperate with them?”

Governor of Kampong Speu province Vey Samnang echoed Min’s sentiments and also called on the forum’s working groups to give local authorities notice before arriving.

This, he said is because local authorities also worked to serve the Cambodian people and had nothing to hide. Hence, forum members could receive the best assistance.

Social analyst Meas Nee said he thought the instruction was intended to show that the forum was an effective body and highlighted the plurality of Cambodian politics.

“The appeal from the Ministry of Interior is an attempt to show the effectiveness of the Supreme Consultation Forum, and to show that although there is no longer a main opposition party, there are also other parties working with the government.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior

  • Bullets to bracelets: Siem Reap man makes waste from war wearable

    Jewellery is often made from valuable gemstones like emeralds or diamonds and precious metals like gold or silver, or valueless things like animal horns. But a man in Siem Reap has approached the manufacture of delicate pieces from a different angle. His unique form of

  • 61% of 2022 imports came from just 3 markets

    The three largest exporters to Cambodia – mainland China, Vietnam and Thailand – accounted for 60.94 per cent of the Kingdom’s total merchandise imports last year, at $18.245 billion, which was up 11.99 per cent over 2021, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise. Cambodia’s total imports