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Transparency Watchdog Deals Discounts To Fight Corruption

Preak Kol executive director of Transparency International Cambodia. (Photo: Lim Sothy, VOA Khmer)
Preak Kol executive director of Transparency International Cambodia. (Photo: Lim Sothy, VOA Khmer)

Transparency International Cambodia has launched a new campaign to encourage citizens to fight corruption, issuing a card that provides discounts with more than 100 companies to people who vow to work against the practice.

The card includes a hotline to report corruption that its holders may face and is issued in exchange for a pledge. Before being issued the card, a person must vow not to pay or seek bribes; to actively work to curtail corruption; and to support for political office only those who demonstrate integrity.

“With the new initiative, we are allowing Cambodian people to use the anti-corruption card, individually and collectively,” Preap Kol, executive director of the organization, told “Hello VOA” Thursday.

Those who take the pledge to fight corruption and use the card will have discounts at companies that have made agreements with Transparency International.

Preap Kol said the initiative is to support government officials in their fight against corruption and is not meant as an “anti-government” program.

“People should not be fearful, and we must be clear on this point,” he said. “We must report to protect ourselves.” The idea is to prevent people from being forced to accept corruption, either through paying bribes or taking them, he said.

When people call the hotline, they will be advised as to whether they are being asked for an illegal bribe or not. “And in case they want to file a complaint, we can provide them with ideas, and help provide legal documents and witnesses to be submitted to the government’s Anti-Corruption Unit,” free of charge, Preap Kol said.

The government has made progress in fighting corruption, and the new program is meant to provide more support in that fight, he said. Besides, not only are bribes illegal, but they create a loss of human value, he said.