Civil Society Agrees with the Declaration of Their Property in Order to Encourage an Anti-Corruption Law to Be Adopted Soon – Tuesday, 16.6.2009

Posted on 19 June 2009. Filed under: Week 617 |

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 617

“Most civil society organizations agree to declare their property so that an anti-corruption law can be adopted soon by the National Assembly. But according to the law, such encouragement of the government is not appropriate, because civil society organizations do not earn their salaries from the government, but donors directly monitor them and if they found any irregularities or corruption among the leaders of civil society organizations operating in Cambodia, they will no longer assist them.

“The executive director of the Cambodian Defenders Project, Mr. Sok Sam Oeun, said that his organization is thoroughly monitored by donors relating to different expenses by careful inspection. However, he welcomes the encouragement by civil society officials to declare their property, if it is an opportunity to accelerte the adoption of an anti-corruption law soon. He added that actually, civil society is not in control of power, so if there are any cases of corruption, it does not affect the political stability and the economy of the society. In contrast, the government is in control of power and the ruler of the nation, both in politics and for the economy. And if there is corruption, it is really a hazard for the citizens living in that society.

“Corruption is a major topic, that is why the government of Hun Sen and of the Cambodian People’s Party was very uneasy when the US ambassador, Mr. Carol Rodley, stated at the end of May that there is widespread corruption in Cambodia. After the statement of the ambassador, high ranking officials of the Cambodian government and a senior advisor to Prime Minister Hun Sen, the chairperson of the government anti-corruption unit, Om Yentieng, released clarifying statements on TV, and there are as well continuing attacks against civil society criticizing ongoing corruption. Even a series of comedies performed on TV is attacking civil society unreasonably, in order to protect the actual corruption of some government officials. This is a example of really protecting corruption.

“The president of the Cambodian Center for Human Rights, Mr. Ou Vireak, expressed it position as a civil society organization by agreeing to declare his property, so that an anti-corruption law, which is crucial, can be adopted and put into practice soon to prevent corruption, which is alarmingly widespread in Cambodia at present. Though the intention of civil society organizations to declare their property is not so important, nevertheless, civil society organizations are not afraid to make their property known.

“Cambodia is among the countries with serious corruption in a report published by USAID, where each year Cambodia is alleged to lose US$350 million to US$500 million through corruption. This makes the living standard of citizens more difficult, even though over the years, Cambodia received billions of dollars of foreign aid from the international community. At present, high ranking officials of the Cambodian People’s Party are asking those who provided loans to Cambodia to cancel the debts of Cambodia.

“Regarding the suggestion to see that civil society officials make their property known, some legal experts said that this is not a right method, as civil society officials are not in control of state power, through which corruption can be committed to take advantage of state property, both in real estate and in natural resources. Civil society organizations operate based on aid from the international community. If the heads of any organization commits corruption which leads to the loss of trust from donors, donors will stop granting aid to them. Thus, this problem is related to donors and programs only, between international donors and civil society, while the government does not need to worry about it, and donors do not just spend money to hire people to curse the government [as has been alleged].

“Many civil society organizations want to see an anti-corruption law adopted soon, which can guarantee the continuation of national development as well as to ensure that there is no corruption using the aid provided to Cambodia. Moreover, in the next few years, the revenue from natural oil, which is an important financial source for Cambodia, will need to be focused also, and this needs a clear law to control such income.

“The intention for civil society organizations to declare their property is not their own idea, aiming at development or at eliminating corruption. But it is a kind of idea introduced to silence them, without having at the same time the real intention to see the adoption of an anti-corruption law. Observers said that the Cambodian People’s Party government seems to have no intention to adopt an anti-corruption law to help reduce the spreading corruption in Cambodia.” Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3785, 16.6.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Deum Ampil, Vol.3, #211, 16.6.2009

  • The Bangkok Government Plans to Finish the Insurgency in the South in Three Years

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1971, 16.6.2009

  • [The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation] Mr. Hor Namhong Denies Thailand Dismissed the Demand for Compensation to Cambodia [for the burning down of the vendor’s market at the Preah Vihear temple]
  • Cambodia [through the World Wildlife Fund] Installs 200 Fixed Cameras and Adds Two Sniffing Dogs to Observe the Presence of Tigers
  • North Korea Warns There Might Be Nuclear War if the Tension Increases Further

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6677, 16.6.2009

  • The Permanent Committee of the National Assembly Decides to Discuss the Suspension of Ms. Mu Sochua’s Immunity on the Agenda at a Meeting on 22 June 2009

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3785, 16.6.2009

  • Civil Society Agrees with the Declaration of Their Property in Order to Encourage an Anti-Corruption Law to Be Adopted Soon
  • [Sam Rainsy Party parliamentarian] Son Chhay Asks the Government to Show Oil Exploitation Contracts and the Income from Natural Resources Publicly
  • Citizens Encourage the Ministry of Interior and the National Police to Strengthen Social Security More [after there have been many robberies]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4921, 16.6.2009

  • Japan Grants Yen 2,143 Million [approximately US$21 million] to Cambodia [for the repair of the Roleang Chrey major water gates, for the construction of schools in Phnom Penh, and to support the efforts of the Royal Government of Cambodia to improve the structural reforms of the economy]
  • The Salt Producers Association: This Year Cambodia Has to Import 50,000 to 60,000 Tonnes of Salt [because the production of salt this year is affected by unfavorable weather, and this is the first time that Cambodia has to import salt, as the local production cannot meet the demand]
  • Two Died and Four Were Wounded when a Car Collided with a Rubber Truck [Kompong Chhnang]
  • The Head of the Sovann Thomareach Pagoda Committee and His Assistant Are Arrested for Raping and for Acts of Debauchery with Hundreds of Women [Kandal]

Sereypheap Thmey, Vol.16, #1730, 16.6.2009

  • Illegal Logging Still Occurs after [Prime Minister] Hun Sen Declared to Maintain 60% of the Green Forest

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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