Sam Rainsy Party Parliamentarians Welcome Increased Expenses for the Military Sector, but They Must Be Handled Transparently – Friday, 7.11.2008

Posted on 9 November 2008. Filed under: Week 585 |

The Mirror, Vol. 12, No. 585

“Mr. Yim Sovann, a Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian from Phnom Penh and former chairperson of the Commission on Interior, National Defense, Investigation, Anti-Corruption, and Public Functions of the National Assembly, said that the increase of expenses for the military sector is good.
“He added, ‘At the same time, while supporting these large expenses for the military sector, we are also very much concerned that there might me corruption related to these expenses. Therefore we have to check the names in the lists one by one, and we have to ask the Ministry of Defense about details of these expenses, especially about how much of the expenses is to be spent where and for what.’
“This experienced parliamentarian said straightforwardly, ‘If we do not do so, we will lose money through corruption. Therefore, the Ministry of Defense has to address this problem and take responsibility for it, in order to avoid losing and wasting resources from the national budget.
“This essential speech of Mr. Yim Sovann was made after a Cambodian People’s Party parliamentarian, Mr. Cheam Yeap, spoke about the draft budget for 2009 which is approximately US$1.9 billion, increased from US$1.2 billion in 2008, with a reserve of US$224 million for emergencies.
“In the meantime, Mr. Cheam Yeap added, speaking to the media, ‘Up to US$500 million is kept separately for the Ministry of Defense.’

“Mr. Cheam Yeap went on to say, ‘The budget for National Defense is increased to approximately US$500 million in 2009, because the government policies aim to improve the military sector while there are border disputes with Siam [Thailand].’
“Mr. Cheam Yeap added, ‘The budget of about US$500 million is not sufficient to improve our Cambodian armed forces, because most material being used is old. In addition, we also want our troops to feel confident for their families’ livelihood while they are at the battlefield.’
“Mr. Cheam Yeap’s speech above shows that our national defense forces face huge shortages; the blame should be put on the Ministry of Defense, as it handled the affairs of the military sector irresponsibly until problems arose, when it is now known that our military sector is poor and lacks everything.
“Mr. Son Chhay, the chairperson of the Sam Rainsy parliamentarians’ group, said, ‘I am very concerned, because recently, there was an announcement to double the expenses for the military sector; this is good, because we want our troops to be capable to confront other countries.’
“However, Mr. Son Chhay emphasized that if we look carefully, it is seen that our forces are not appropriately prepared yet. At the battlefield, if there were not the expert troops of the Prime Minister, it would be difficult to hold out against another country.
“He continued, ‘Our troops seldom do any training, and there is not enough material to equip them to become standard troops – some of them even wore flip-flops to the battlefield. Therefore, we must first prepare plans for our troops before doubling the expenses; our troops have not implemented policies as troops of the nation, but they are troops of a [political] party.’
“According to these reasons, Mr. Son Chhay, added, ‘In fact, the King is the commander of the national troops according to the Constitution. But we have not provided a prerogative to the King, so that our troops receive his clear and correct care.’
“It is not known where the money for the plan to double the expenses for the military sector will come from, but Mr. Cheam Yeap said that the Prime Minister has the special authority to use a reserved budget taken from reserved funds of the government, designated for natural disasters or for war.

“On the other hand, also the Minister of Economy and Finance, Mr. Keat Chhon, reacted by questioning where the US$500 million will be taken from.
“That means that those asking for these expense, and those responsible for the budget spoke quite differently, and it is believed that the expenses for the military sector in 2009 will surely bring notorious problems.
“As for what Mr. Yim Sovann mentioned above, at the same time of support for large expenses for the military, there is also much concern that there might me corruption related to these expenses; therefore, there must be checks to assure transparency.” Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #279, 7.11.2008

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Friday, 7 November 2008

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.7, #1788, 7.11.2008

  • Cambodia Has Provided Life Extending AIDS Medicine to 90% of People Who Have Contracted AIDS [corresponding to 30,782 out of the 67,000 people]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.2, #279, 7.11.2008

  • Sam Rainsy Party Parliamentarians Welcome Increased Expenses for the Military Sector, but They Must Be Handled Transparently

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.1, #135, 7.11.2008

  • Melamine Is Found Also [in Cambodia] in Fast Food Products Imported from Malaysia; World Health Organization Announces Emergency Alert about Malaysian Products
  • The Ministry of Justice Orders Ratanakiri Prosecutors to Open Investigation over the Complaint of 34 Samaki [rubber plantation] Groups against the Tay Seng Company

Koh Santepheap, Vol.41, #6493, 7.11.2008

  • Siamese [Thai] Army Commanders Ask to See Damages on the Dragon King Statue before the UNESCO Delegation Sets Up Signs for Protecting the Preah Vihear Temple
  • Stamps [with Images of the Preah Vihear Temple] Are Issued [by the Ministry of Post and Telecommunication] to Welcome the Preah Vihear Temple Becoming a World Heritage Site

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.16, #4736, 7.11.2008

  • [TV 3 presenter] Ano [whose real name is Suon Pheakdey] Was Cuts with Razors All Over Her Body, There Is Little Expectation That She Can Survive [because of the loss of much blood; it is said that the wife of a high ranking official did this, because Ano has an affair with her husband; however, there is no complaint from the victim’s family, and the Phnom Penh municipal police chief, Mr. Touch Naruth, denied that this case happened]
  • France Continues to Provide Scholarships in the Fields of Culture, of Architecture, of Archeology, and of Film Production
  • 123 People Died from Traffic Accidents in October 2008 Countrywide [449 suffered serious injuries and 479 were lightly wounded]
  • Obama Is Warned by Russian President Medvedev [to develop a procedure to destroy the missile shield stations set up in Poland and in the Czech Republic]
  • New King of Bhutan [Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk, 28] Was Installed to Succeed His Father [on 6 November 2008]

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror. – And please recommend us also to your colleagues and friends.

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