Ghost stories: ‘Most show up only on payday’

Ghost stories: ‘Most show up only on payday’

• A National Police Commission border police official, who arranged with his superior to take two years leave while still receiving his $55 per month salary, said he couldn’t afford the daily trip from his home in Russey Keo to his office on the city’s outskirts. He earns more as a handyman. “During the two years, I only take 18 months of my salary while the other six months go to my superior,” he said. “It’s been more than a year so far that I have not gone to the office. When it is over, I will ask to prolong it more years.”

• A Ministry of Information bureaucrat, paid $75 a month, said he hadn’t been to work since 2005 and is now working for a private firm earning $400 a month. “All of my salary is kept by payroll,” he said. “Before I stopped working, I only went to the office twice a week. In the department there are about 300 workers. Only about 100 come to work regularly. Most only show up on payday and otherwise work elsewhere.”

• An official from the Ministry of Defense said he was sent to stand by near the border with Thailand but he only visits the office once a month, to attend meetings or make reports. The other days he spends with his own business. “The government tries to increase the salary but it still not enough compared to the price of goods at the markets. This is why we go out of the office to find more money.”

• An official with the Ministry of National Assembly-Senate Relations and Inspection said he had been working elsewhere part-time for four or five years. “The salary from the Ministry is less than one million riel so it is not enough,” he said. “Most of the staff do not come to work full-time or regularly because they also work elsewhere to get more money. I believe most of the government institutions do the same thing, and if they ignore it, they tell a lie because this has been happening for a long time now.”

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