Washington DC - Prince Sisowath Thomico, former personal secretary to the late former monarch Norodom Sihanouk, says he has declared his assets, following his joining of the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party.
He had not done so previously because he was a part of the royal cabinet, the prince told VOA Khmer Friday. He was now filed with the Anti-Corruption Unit, but he said the ACU had pushed him to do so now because of “politics,” demonstrating the ACU is being used as a political tool by the ruling Cambodian People’s Party.
Sisowath Thomico said he had written to ACU head Om Yentieng in April 2011, explaining that the Royal Cabinet is an independent institution and that its official need not declare their assets under a new anti-corruption law. He said Friday he believes he is now being asked to declare assets because he has joined the Cambodia National Rescue Party. He questioned the timing of the ACU action, which did not ask for his assets in 2011.
“Why did they raise the issue today, when I have entered politics?” he asked. “There is only one answer: they want to use the ACU as a tool.”
“The public and the Cambodian people all over the country, as well as Cambodians outside, know that the ACU is only a tool of the Cambodian People’s Party, and it’s not an agency working to eradicate practical corruption,” he said. “Now it’s clear.”
He declared his assets on Friday, but he did not have much to declare other than a car, he said.
The prince sparked anger from Prime Minister Hun Sen when he joined the opposition in April.
“I returned to politics because I want to preserve the legacy of the former king, who said Cambodians need to unite as one and not let the neighboring countries look down on us,” he said.