Cambodia

Corruption Continues To Stymie Development, Transparency Advocate Says

Corruption remains a major impediment to Cambodia’s development, but the systemic practices associated with it can be curbed if the government takes serious action.

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 - Corruption remains a major impediment to Cambodia’s development, but the systemic practices associated with it can be curbed if the government takes serious action, a transparency advocate says.

Preap Kol, executive director of Transparency International Cambodia, told VOA Khmer in a studio interview recently that Cambodia has an anti-corruption law that combined with political will has the power to scare some officials away from corrupt practices.

Preap Kol was in Washington for a three-day trip earlier this month, meeting with US State Department officials and civic groups.

If no action is taken, corruption will continue to harm the country’s development, he said. However, he added, simply arresting those at fault will not work, due to the widespread nature of the practices.

“Cambodia doesn’t have enough prisons to detain all the corrupt officials if enforcement of the law required all the arrests,” he said.

Instead, he suggested better education and leadership of the country to curb the practice where it starts. He also appealed to individuals to stay their own practices of corruption.

Cambodia has made some progress in the prosecution of corrupt state officials, including the arrests of judges, prosecutors and others charged with malfeasance. But systemic corruption continues, from the lowest levels of government and business, to the top levels of public office.

“If the government and the institutions involved don’t pay attention, and take effective action, corruption will be an impediment for the development of Cambodia,” Preap Kol said. “So the strategy is to look into these key issues.”
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Yearlong Political Deadlock Endsi
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22 July 2014
Cambodia’s political deadlock has ended. For nearly a year, the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party has refused to join the government, calling for electoral reforms in a system it says was deeply flawed. Following nearly five hours of meetings between top opposition officials and Prime Minister Hun Sen, that deadlock has ended. The two sides finally reached agreement on a formula for selecting the National Election Committee, which the Rescue Party has said was biased toward the ruling Cambodian People’s Party. Hun Sen and Rescue Party President Sam Rainsy emerged from talks Tuesday smiling and shaking hands. “Victory,” Hun Sen told reporters after the meeting. “You can all applaud.” (Heng Reaksmey, Phnom Penh)

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