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State plates for state biz: minister

An SUV with a state licence plate arrives at the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh in 2013.
An SUV with a state licence plate arrives at the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh in 2013. Heng Chivoan

State plates for state biz: minister

Finance Minister Aun Porn Moniroth is tired of seeing ministry vehicles parked outside karaoke bars and massage parlours.

In a public statement dubbed Guidelines on the use of state cars issued on Saturday, Moniroth said the practice must end “to ensure the effective management of state properties, as well as the reputation and dignity of institutions and civil servants”.

“[Civil servants] Must not use cars with state licence plates while off duty, in particular, they must not drive these cars to any entertainment venues, which includes entertainment clubs, karaoke bars, massage parlours, etc,” the announcement reads, adding that civil servants must not allow others to use their vehicles for anything other than official state business.

San Chey, executive director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, called for civil servants who use their state vehicles off duty to be disciplined.

“It’s anarchy,” said Chey. “While on holiday, I have seen cars with [state] licence plates at resorts. It should be an administrative punishment, like a ban on using the car.”

Finance Ministry spokesman Ros Phirun was unreachable.

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