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Government Unveils Five-Year Anti-Corruption Plan

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

The government says it now has a five-year strategy to fight corruption that will allow new agencies to punish perpetrators of graft.

The strategy, released by the National Council for Anti-Corruption last week, includes provisions for prevention and punishment, as well as a plan to raise awareness.

The new policy is the result of an anti-corruption law that was passed earlier this year.

“We're using a zero-tolerance principle in our fight against corruption,” said Keo Remy, a spokesman for the anti-corruption body. “This means that there are no exceptions, no matter how big or small a case is.”

Keo Remy said the strategy is built around integrity, accountability and confidentiality, which will encourage public participation.

The in the near-term, officials will begin to educate people about the anti-corruption law and the penal code, he said. By early next year, government officials, lawmakers, judges and heads of non-governmental organizations—even security guards for the anti-corruption council—will have to declare their assets.

“Our main goal in doing all of these is to boost our economic growth,” he said. “We want to build confidence among big investors and promote the living conditions of the people.”

Anti-corruption officials have been “carefully recruited,” he said, and can be punished for a range of ethical offenses, including having meals with alleged offenders. Infractions are punishable with up to five years imprisonment, for leaking information on informants.