Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sar Kheng: Red Cross apolitical




Sar Kheng: Red Cross apolitical

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Sar Kheng at the 156th-anniversary celebrations of the World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day in Prey Veng province on Thursday. SAR KHENG VIA FACEBOOK

Sar Kheng: Red Cross apolitical

Minister of Interior Sar Kheng on Thursday instructed Cambodian Red Cross officials across the country to come to the aid of vulnerable people without discrimination and regardless of political affiliation.

Sar Kheng, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, was speaking in Prey Veng province at the 156th-anniversary celebrations of the World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day.

“The Red Cross is neutral and independent. It is not a political organisation. As a public mechanism, our people do not have to be divided into blue or red, or this party or that. Citizens are people. This means all people deserve a helping hand. We have behaved like this in the past, so please continue doing the right thing."

[The Red Cross] is an organisation that helps society. It has to look at all people – our people. Although people may have political affiliations, under any framework in a multi-party democracy, it is always like that,” Sar Kheng said.

He also urged the Red Cross to act transparently in managing and spending its budget – whatever the source, be it from middle-class donors or celebrities – to avoid losing the confidence of the general community.

“We call on generous donors to help them. If they do not, we cannot spend money. But squandering the budget without specifying where it has gone will cause people to lose faith,” he said.

Sar Kheng referred to irregularities he has seen before regarding donated funds.

“I’m not saying Prey Veng province has experienced the problem, but in the past, there have been problems – I simply don’t want to name names. Some places experience issues, so they don’t trust the mechanisms anymore. So don’t waste the budget – that’s crucial,” he said.

‘Keep to those standards’

Cambodian Red Cross Disaster Management Department director Uy Sam Ath told The Post on Thursday that the remarks by the senior leadership were intended to remind Red Cross members to have a strong spirit because, in the past, implementation had generally been done correctly.

He said irregularities had sometimes occurred because some individuals had used the Red Cross’ name to commit bad deeds, but he noted that when the leadership makes such remarks, everyone should listen.

“Normally, 80 to 90 per cent of the time all is good, but the other handful of individuals need to keep to those standards. He [Sar Kheng] reminded people like this because he is in the leadership and he is also an active member. He has a duty to speak up."

“For me, it’s not 100 per cent yet. There are still opportunists in the Red Cross movement. But I am convinced that now Samdech Krala Hoam [Sar Kheng] has made these remarks, the behaviour will improve and those who have done wrong in the past will be able to change,” Sam Ath said.

The Cambodian Red Cross received more than $20 million in donations during the 156th-anniversary celebrations of the World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day to support good causes.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Potential shield’ for virus hangs in balance

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) suspended trials of the drug that US president Donald Trump has promoted as a coronavirus defence, fuelling concerns about his handling of the pandemic that has killed nearly 100,000 US citizens. Trump has led the push for hydroxychloroquine as a potential

  • Gov’t rolls out stimulus to keep businesses afloat

    The government has introduced the fourth round of stimulus measures aimed at ensuring economic and social stability during the outbreak of the Covid-19 disease. The move, which was announced on Tuesday, is designed to help businesses, factories and enterprises to stay afloat while reducing the

  • E-cigarette back in spotlight amid virus pandemic

    The Ministry of Health’s Department of Communicable Disease (DCD) department has released a video about the effects of smoking, while the NGO Cambodia Movement for Health (CMH) warned against the use of electronic cigarettes or vape. The short video clip that was posted on

  • Por Sen Chey woman murdered

    Por Sen Chey district police are searching for a suspect who robbed and killed a woman in a rented room in Samraong Kraom commune in Phnom Penh at 6:30pm on Monday. Deputy district police chief Chea Sovann told The Post on Tuesday that the victim,

  • Police chief: remove all roadblocks

    National Police chief Neth Savoeun warned Phnom Penh and provincial police chiefs to remove all roadblocks, saying that traffic police officials in some provinces had tightened traffic law implementation against guidelines. In a leaked voice message which was shared on social media on Tuesday, Savoeun

  • Man held for violating daughter and niece

    Kandal Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Department officers sent a man to the provincial court on Tuesday after arresting him the day before for allegedly molesting his daughter and niece in Sa’ang district. Department chief Ros Savin said the 30-year-old construction worker was questioned