In the run-up to commune council elections, Minister of Interior Sar Kheng put forward the idea of organising a competition to implement the safe village-commune policy, focusing on the provision of services to people including dispute resolution outside of the judicial system.
While presiding over the oath-taking ceremony for new Kampot provincial governor Mao Thonin on October 13, Sar Kheng said the implementation of the safe village-commune policy will strengthen peace at the grassroots level.
He said if all villages and communes have good security and public order, the whole province will also prosper.
Sar Kheng also commended former Kampot provincial governor Cheav Tay for his implementation of the policy during his term with no commune being ranked badly. Citing Tay’s report, the minister said all communes in Kampot had received a ranking from 1 to 3, with one acknowledged for appropriate enforcement of the policy.
Sar Kheng suggested that authorities spread the word and get the support and participation of people. Their participation is important for the policy to be successful.
He said the police and Military Police have to play an important role, but there are also other actors who must support and implement the policy, including citizens, government officials and other authorities.
He noted that the content of the competition should be more than security concerns or providing the family and residence books, but it could cover services such as vehicle number plates and other documents, which require other ministries to get involved.
“So I think it should be a competition prior to the commune council elections. Because I see that if we can do this in Kampot province, other provinces can also get involved. The goal of our proposal is to minimise or eliminate conflicts at the grassroots level. I do not say all the problems … but on sensitive issues,” he said.
The minister added that he will study the initiative with relevant authorities to reach a decision so that the competition can start soon and run until the commune elections.
He praised Thonin for solving land disputes in his former province of Pursat. He said Thonin’s way of solving problems could be used by other provincial governors, especially the good points he has made. He urged officials to spend once a week resolving disputes outside the judicial system.
“It’s not necessary for a governor to resolve all issues. The governor can do it, but department directors or other stakeholders can also resolve disputes outside of the judicial system … it would be easier if the matter did not have to go to court,” he said.