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Stronger Public Administration Needed: Analyst

Lao Monghay says Cambodian society is changing, and the administrative system must change with it.

Cambodia’s public administration needs to be strengthened or it risks increased instability, a political analyst says.

Speaking as a monthly guest on “Hello VOA,” the analyst, Lao Monghay, compared public administration to the “arms, legs and body” of a government.

The body must be strong to “respond to social change,” he said. And if it can’t, the challenges will be “insurmountable.” “That can lead to social instability,” he said.

Cambodian society is changing, and the administrative system must change with it, he said. Laws must be enforced, power decentralized at both the local and national levels, corruption dealt with and the abuse of power curtailed, he said.

The main goal is people’s wellbeing, he said, and to create a social atmosphere where people live “together as a nation.”

Speaking to international groups and the media in Washington this week, the UN’s special envoy for Cambodian human rights, Surya Subedi, said the rights environment has improved, but there is still “not enough political will, not enough determination.”

Donors and the rest of the international community must push the government towards “serious” reform in the judiciary, parliament and other agencies responsible for human rights, Subedi said.

Specific improvements are needed in the areas of land grabbing, a law to regulate NGOs, and the judiciary, among others, he said.

Government spokesman Phay Siphan said officials are working to reform the country, which is still plagued by the legacy of the Khmer Rouge and civil war.