Minister of Interior Sar Kheng has urged civil servants across all ranks of the ministry to remain committed to their roles.

Addressing attendees at the recent graduation ceremony at the Police Academy of Cambodia (PAC), he emphasised the importance of dedication to the country and its citizens.

He revealed his impending transition from the role, as the government shifts from its sixth to seventh mandate.

“It is normal to have a change or transfer of civil servants, as most Cambodian officials in this current mandate have ended their terms. Some remain on the same mission, while others will move on to different institutions,” he said.

Sar Kheng further explained that all levels, from the position of director-general downwards, would maintain their operational status quo.

“All general departments under the interior ministry continue to work normally and should strive even harder,” he said.

Sar Kheng mentioned that while politically appointed officials such as secretaries and undersecretaries of state may see new appointees, the essence of their tasks remains unchanged.

He expressed hopes that every official will continue their dedicated service to the nation, with a focus on civil administration and National Police.

Pech Pisey, executive director of Transparency International (TI) Cambodia, weighed in on Sar Kheng’s tenure.

He saw the minister’s remarks as both support and encouragement for ministry officials.

“While Cambodia experiences leadership changes, institution heads need the continued backing of their technical teams,” he said.

Pisey lauded Sar Kheng for his numerous accomplishments as a national leader.

Under his watch, the ministry earned widespread trust from both the public and fellow dignitaries, noting that two major feats stand out.

Firstly, he said, Sar Kheng has been instrumental in maintaining the balance of power within the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), ensuring its internal stability.

Secondly, his dedication to enhancing public services has led to marked reductions in corruption and the creation of the nationwide network of One Window Service Office (OWSO).

As for the incoming interior minister, Pisey believes that the focus should be on sustaining the equilibrium between the new minister and prime minister.

“The new interior minister must continue to tackle corruption and empower local officials. Their aim should be to improve public services, especially targeting the vulnerable in society,” he said.

On July 26, outgoing Prime Minister Hun Sen made a public announcement about the country’s leadership transition, extending to some heads of ministries in his administration.

The decision has been framed as a way to pave the way for successors, with his son Hun Manet slated to lead the government in the next mandate.