Friday, 04 September 2015

Cambodia

Cambodian Corruption Becoming Worst in Region, Advocate Warns

Cambodia ranks 164th of 182 countries on Transparency International's corruption index.

Social activists carry an anti-corruption banner during a rally in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.Social activists carry an anti-corruption banner during a rally in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
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Social activists carry an anti-corruption banner during a rally in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Social activists carry an anti-corruption banner during a rally in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Sok KhemaraVOA Khmer

WASHINGTON DC - Cambodia's corruption problem easily surpasses that of its neighbors and could soon be worse than Burma's, a transparency advocacy group warns.

Preap Kol, head of Transparency International's Cambodia office, said NGOs need to work with the government's Anti-Corruption Unit to tackle the "complicated" problem.

Preap Kol spoke to VOA Khmer by phone from Berlin, Germany, where he was attending an anti-corruption conference that he says gave him a better understanding of how corruption works and how difficult it can be to eliminate.

Cambodia ranks 164th of 182 countries on Transparency International's corruption index.

"If Cambodia does not reform on time, [Burma] can improve a step ahead," Preap Kol said. But Cambodia can also reform in the coming years, as Burma has, he added.

Meanwhile, the Cambodian government has been making moves toward rooting out some corrupt public servants. Last week, authorities arrested four officials from the Ministry of Land Management for allegedly embezzling money in a housing construction plan for retired soldiers and the poor.

Preap Kol said such steps were necessary for Cambodia's reform.

"The action is part of the participation of law enforcement against corruption, and it is also part of prevention," he said.
"We encourage the authorities to do more work, because we know that there are many complaints with the [Anti-Corruption Unit]."

40th Anniversary of Khmer Rouge Takeover

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Australia Says Deal to Send More Refugees to Cambodia Still Oni
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Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop on Monday denied a refugee deal with Cambodia had collapsed after Cambodian officials said Cambodian did not intend to accept any more refugees from a South Pacific detention centre under an agreement. Australia and Cambodia agreed last September that some refugees from Nauru would be resettled in Cambodia in exchange for Australian aid, but only four have arrived since then. Cambodian Interior Ministry spokesman General Khieu Sopheak told Reuters that they "have no plans to receive more refugees from Nauru." Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop denied the deal had collapsed. Pin Sisovann, VOA Khmer.

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