Tuesday, 12.8.2008: The New Government Will Have More Than 400 Members

Posted on 13 August 2008. Filed under: Week 573 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 573

“The forth-term Cambodian government will be increased to have more than 400 members. Prime Minister Hun Sen acknowledged this big increase. Officials of civil society organizations have criticized the increase as a big waste of money. As for the Prime Minister, he said that it aims to stabilize the political situation in Cambodia.

“In each ministry, there are at least six secretaries of state and six under-secretaries of state. It was reported that in future, there might be 10 secretaries of state, comparable to the number at the Council of Ministers, which has twelve secretaries of state. The same source said that all parties that have won seats in the National Assembly are included in the new government, excluding, however, the Sam Rainsy Party. Therefore, the number of members of the new government might increase to more than 400 persons. This is the largest number ever, compared to previous governments. It is twice as high as in earlier times.

“The increased number of members in the new government is a big burden for the national budget of a developing country, while the citizens’ livelihood is facing difficulties. Prime Minister Hun Sen had acknowledged that a next mandate government will be somewhat bigger. However, there is no position left open for the Sam Rainsy Party. One official of the Sam Rainsy Party hopes that he can also join the new government through secret negotiations. The same source said also that many names had been sent to the Cambodian People’s Party to be included as members of the government. If so, the new government might increase even to 500 persons.

“Related to this increase, civil society organizations continue to criticize it to be ‘a government with a head bigger than the body’ and expressed concern regarding work efficiency and the related expenses to come from national resources. The director of the Cambodian League for the Promotion and Defense of Human Rights – LICADHO – Dr. Pong Chiv Kek [also known as Dr. Kek Galabru] said, ‘Already during the third mandate, the government of Cambodia was the biggest government in the world, while the number of our Khmer citizens is small. The further increase will trigger concerns about the salaries that the government has to provide for those officials.’ She added that big numbers do not mean that work will be more efficient than with small numbers. Ms. Pong Chiv Kek continued to say that the new government to be formed should not think about the numbers, but it has to think first about quality. She said, ‘Enlarging the government is just distributing the access to power.’ She explained the problems also by referring to examples from different countries, like the countries of Europe and China: they have huge populations, but their governments are smaller than the Cambodian one.

“The increase of the numbers of members of the government has been explained by officials of the government to aim at retaining political stability and national security, and that this increase is not made without clear advance considerations.

“Regarding the considerations about security and stability, Ms. Pong Chiv Kek agreed, but she said, ‘The government has to think about democracy and the capacity of those who work in the new government by monitoring how much those new officials serve the people.’ Referring to the fact that the Cambodian People’s Party has enough seats to form the new government alone, Ms. Pong Chiv Kek suggested that ‘the Cambodian People’s Party should start to reform the government and reduce the large numbers of members of the government, and it should also consider reforms in other sectors, such as strengthening the independence of the courts.’ She went on to say, ‘To achieve a balance the power, it is not necessary to add more officials to the government, it is also important to strengthen people outside of the government to have enough power to monitor all activities of the government.’ She added that the proposed increase will make it more difficult for the people who have to carry the burden, to pay taxes to the state, in order to have funds to spend for the salaries of the many officials.

“In the compositions of the new government, there are open positions for officials from other parties as partners. But this lists includes just officials from the Cambodian People’s Party, without officials from other parties. If other parties, like the Human Rights Party and the Norodom Ranariddh Party, are included in the new government, the number of members will increase, or they might say that each ministry might have ten secretaries of state, and the number of under-secretaries of state might be similar.

“Though there is criticism from different organizations, there is no solution against the inflation of the number of members of the new government. As for the Cambodian People’s Party, they do not care about this increase, because those newly assigned will not manage money. Therefore, the names of those who will hold such positions are like air. It is expected that many officials will hold positions as secretary of state, but they will not have any work to do and cannot make important decisions in their ministries.

“As for the compositions of the Council of Ministers – the cabinet – it is assumed that there, the power will be distributed according to the institutions and the factions of high ranking officials of the party. Some are from the line of the president of the Cambodian People’s Party, Mr. Chea Sim, and some are from the line of Prime Minister Hun Sen. Senior Ministers from Mr. Chea Sim’s line are not as powerful as those from Prime Minister Hun Sen’s line. Officials who came over from the Sam Rainsy Party will be given positions so that they will not leave again. These assignments of officials who had joined only recently are making the majority of long time activists of the Cambodian People’s Party dissatisfied.” Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3382, 12.8.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1717, 12.8.2008

  • Teacher [aged 27] Raped [14 year old female] Underage Student [Kompong Cham]
  • Georgia Asks for a Cease Fire; Russia Increases Attacks and Deploys War Ships in the Black Sea [10 August 2008]

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #71, 12.8.2008

  • Floods in Vietnam Killed 97 People
  • Thousands of Philippinos Fled from the Fighting Area [between government troops and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6421, 12.8.2008

  • Funcinpec Might Receive One Deputy Prime Minister Position, Four Senior Ministers, and Twenty to Thirty Secretaries and Under-Secretaries of State [according to Cambodian People’s Party parliamentarian, Mr. Cheam Yeap, on 11 August 2008]
  • Burmese Opposition Leader [Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi, 62] Allowed to Meet with Her Lawyer [10 August 2008]
    Terrorist Bomb Attack [in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in western China] Killed Eight People

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.15, #3536, 12.8.2008

  • [Former Khmer Rouge minister of foreign affairs] Ieng Sary Was Sent Back from the Calmette Hospital to Detention [late last week]
  • Land Disputes Are Spreading before a New Government Is Formed

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4665, 12.8.2008

  • The Ta Moan Temple of Cambodia Is Remote [because the road to the temple is very difficult, and the geographical situation is complicated]; Siam [Thailand] Does Not Allow Khmer Troops to Enter [except for higher Khmer military officials who enter to discuss the dispute]
  • The Government of Germany Had Already Decided to Grant Euro 34 Million to Develop Some Sectors [there are two agreements: 1. Agreement about financial cooperation in 2007 by which the government of the Federal Republic of Germany provides Euro 18 million to projects, such as reproductive health, joint program about financing of a social welfare (package and program to set up electricity in rural areas in Siem Reap and in Kompong Thom), and 2. Agreement about as technical cooperation in 2007 by which the government of the Federal Republic of Germany provided Euro 16.65 million on projects, such as joint program about finance of social wellfare, the support of land management reforms, new energy program, the implementation of irrigation and agricultural strategies, and supports of the national audit authorities; promotion of women rights and the identification of poor families
  • A Teacher Was Hit on One of His Eyes by [three] Students, Damaging His Eye [Kompong Speu]
  • [Former Thai prime minister] Thaksin Seeks Asylum in England [violating bail conditions]
  • More Than 300,000 Couples Got Married All Over China on [lucky date of] 8.8.2008


Last Saturday, we mirrored this headline:

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4663, 9.8.2008

  • [Former Thai prime minister] Thaksin: I Will Not Escape from the Country [regarding his court cases, that he might be sentenced to jail]

Samleng Yuvachun Khmer, Vol.15, #3382, 12.8.2008

  • The New Government Will Have More Than 400 Members

Click here to have a look at the last editorial – really changes to be expected?

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[…] News » News Tuesday, 12.8.2008: The New Government Will Have More Than 400 Members2008-08-14 17:10:01To Moan Temple of Cambodia Is Remote [because the road to Enter [except for […]

[…] News » News Tuesday, 12.8.2008: The New Government Will Have More Than 400 Members2008-08-17 21:33:03To Moan Temple of Cambodia Is Remote [because the road to Enter [except for […]

[…] News » News Tuesday, 12.8.2008: The New Government Will Have More Than 400 Members2008-08-20 02:18:34Female] August 2008]. Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #71, 12.8.2008 … [14 year old […]

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