Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Senate passes rule to punish absenteeism

Senate passes rule to punish absenteeism

Senate members stand in queue to cast their votes on changes to the body's internal rules yesterday in Phnom Penh
Senate members stand in queue to cast their votes on changes to the body's internal rules yesterday in Phnom Penh. Facebook

Senate passes rule to punish absenteeism

The Senate amended its internal rules yesterday to punish senators who miss sessions by docking their salaries, while also voting down a measure to appoint the wife of Hong Sok Hour to fill his former seat on the body’s anti-corruption committee.

According to a statement from the Senate, the rule change is meant “to increase faith and confidence of the public in the senators and the Senate through strengthening the respect of discipline”.

Opposition senators, however, said yesterday that the amendments would impose unnecessary limits on the work of the body’s members. But Senate spokesman Mam Bun Neang said the measure was just to “have discipline”.

A similar amendment passed in the National Assembly last October to dock absent lawmakers’ salaries was criticised by the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party because it was seen as punishing them for past boycotts of assembly sessions.

“It’s as if democracy is going backwards. We don’t have the right to express ourselves anymore,” said opposition Senator Kun Lum Ang, who took up her seat to replace her husband, jailed former Senator Hong Sok Hour, who is serving a seven-year sentence for social media posts concerning a border treaty with Vietnam.

Lum Ang was nominated by the party to take her husband’s place on the anti-corruption council within the Senate, but the body voted against her. Instead, the seat will remain vacant, and Cambodian People’s Party Senator Bun Neang will likely remain in charge after replacing Sok Hour.

Lum Ang speculated that the vote may have been related to the opposition’s objection to the amendments, but Bun Neang countered that it was likely her husband’s conviction that swayed the Senate. “[Lum Ang’s] husband committed an offence and was sentenced to prison,” he said.

Yoeung Sotheara, a legal officer at Comfrel, said the vote could be tied to efforts to quash the opposition. “Kun Lum Ang is the wife of the convicted Hong Sok Hour . . . Maybe they’re not happy with her and her party,” he said.

He also raised concerns about an amendment approved yesterday allowing for senators to oversee multiple committees.

“The Senate has many members, so one person should only be responsible for one commission,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro

  • ACLEDA, WU to enable global money transfers

    Cambodia's largest commercial bank by total assets ACLEDA Bank Plc and global money transfer firm Western Union (WU) have partnered to offer customers cross-border money transfers to 200 countries via “ACLEDA mobile” app. In Channy, president and group managing director of ACLEDA, said the June 22 agreement

  • Aeon, Micromax partner again for third mall

    AEON Mall (Cambodia) Co Ltd and a locally-owned Micromax Co Ltd have entered into a partnership agreement to develop fibre optic infrastructure for $200 million Aeon Mall 3, which is expected to be opened in 2023. The agreement was signed on June 20 between Masayuki Tsuboya, managing director of

  • Walmart plans to diversify stock of Cambodia goods

    Walmart Inc, the world’s biggest retailer, on June 22 reiterated recent plans to scale up and greatly diversify its purchases of Cambodian products, according to the labour ministry. This came during a virtual working meeting between Minister of Labour and Vocational Training Ith Samheng and