Saturday, 25 October 2014

Cambodia

At All Levels, the Pinch of Corruption

Cambodia is one of Asia’s most corrupt countries, sharing company with Burma, Laos and North Korea, and it is among the 20 worst countries in the world, according to Transparency International’s annual index.Cambodia is one of Asia’s most corrupt countries, sharing company with Burma, Laos and North Korea, and it is among the 20 worst countries in the world, according to Transparency International’s annual index.
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Cambodia is one of Asia’s most corrupt countries, sharing company with Burma, Laos and North Korea, and it is among the 20 worst countries in the world, according to Transparency International’s annual index.
Cambodia is one of Asia’s most corrupt countries, sharing company with Burma, Laos and North Korea, and it is among the 20 worst countries in the world, according to Transparency International’s annual index.
Reasey PochVOA Khmer
WASHINGTON DC - Cambodia is ranked one of the 20 most corrupt countries in the world, and on the streets of Phnom Penh, citizens say they can believe it.

But corruption in Cambodia, recently ranked as some of the worst in Asia by US-based Transparency International, has effects well beyond everyday citizens. It can also effect the economic development of the country, investors say.

From extralegal traffic tickets, to extensive fees for marriage licenses or birth certificates, to bribes to teachers, citizens often pay higher prices, in an informal subsidy for public officials.

“My friends who are mototaxi drivers and I have experienced this problem many times,” Chum Van, a motorcycle taxi driver in Phnom Penh, told VOA Khmer recently. “The traffic police sometimes demand that we pay as much as 30,000 to 40,000 riel,” he said, the equivalent of $8 to $10.

Corruption also hurts the country’s economy, as investors shy away from the “informal” fees they are required to pay if they want to do business in Cambodia.

“For the most part American companies are excited about Cambodia,” Alexander Feldman, president of the US-Asean Business Council, told VOA Khmer. “But there are a number of concerns. And one of them is corruption. Unfortunately one company that was looking to invest on our most recent trade mission decided not to, because it had actually had first-hand experience with corruption on that mission. So there is a problem that needs to be addressed.”

Cambodian officials say they are trying to curb the practice, which has become endemic across the country.

“We now have a system where we agree with the Anti-Corruption Unit, that you can officially charge a small amount of money” to companies, Commerce Minister Cham Prasidh told VOA Khmer in a recent interview. “So what used to be ‘under the table’ is now official. So the American companies won’t have a problem.  American companies can pay, but they cannot pay without a proper receipt.”

However, Pa Nguon Teang, president of the Cambodian Center for Independent Media, while acknowledging that some efforts have been made, said the government is not doing enough to tackle a systemic problem.



Anti-corruption moves made by the government so far have only focused on rival factions within the administration, he said. “Meaning that if you are corrupt, but belong to their group, then it’s OK,” he said. “But if you belong to another group, they will arrest you.”
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Demonstrators Call on Government To Fulfill Principles of Peace Accordsi
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24 October 2014
Hundreds of activists demonstrated in Phnom Penh on Thursday, gathering to protest the government’s failure to fulfill the promises of the Paris Peace Accords, which were signed in 1991 and brought liberal democracy and a constitution to a country that had been shattered by war. The demonstrators submitted a petition to the US and other embassies, calling for international pressure on the Cambodian government to follow the accords. (Kong Sothanarith, Phnom Penh)

English with Mani & Mori

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Face the Music (Movie: Yes Man)i
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20 October 2014
You can say, "You lied, and lied, but this time you got caught. It's time you 'face the music'. It's time you confess and tell the truth." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.com.
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Video Face the Music (Movie: Yes Man)

You can say, "You lied, and lied, but this time you got caught. It's time you 'face the music'. It's time you confess and tell the truth." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.com.
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Video Hit the Nail on the Head (Movie: Inside Job)

You can say, "The professor 'hit the nail on the head' when she said, that we cannot demand respect, respect must be earned and not given freely." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to www.youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish or www.khmer.voanews.com/maniandmori. To contact Mani & Mori
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Video Speak of the Devil (Movie: Easy A)

You can say, "Speaking of the devil, there she is! Hey, we were just talking about you a moment ago." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.com.
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Video Rock the Boat (Movie: 500 Days of Summer)

You can say, "Things are going really well between the two of you - he's happy and you're happy, so why 'rock the boat'?" What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to www.youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.com.
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