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Youth Will Determine State of Corruption, Advocate Says

Social activists carry an anti-corruption banner during a rally in Phnom Penh, file photo.
PHNOM PENH - With a major election on the horizon, the time has come for Cambodian youths to decide whether they want to eliminate corruption in their country, a transparency advocate says.

Cambodia is ranked one of the most corrupt countries in the world, at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars each year, but a great majority of the population is now under the age of 30. It is up to this group to decide whether ongoing corruption will be tolerated, Preap Kol, head of Transparency International Cambodia, told “Hello VOA” Thursday.

“They have only two choices to make now: either to remain victims of corruption forever or to stand up against it and make a clean society with integrity and social justice for them and their children to live in,” he said. “If they demand that society be clean, join in the fight against corruption and create a corruption-hating culture, then we will be certain of positive change in the near future.”

That includes decisions to be made in the upcoming national elections, in July, he said.

Families and society, too, have a role to play in decreasing corruption.

“Parents also need to tell their children to say no, absolutely, to corruption, rather than encouraging them to be involved in that practice,” said monk Sin Deoun. “Teachers have to teach their students to stay away from corruption, and instill in them high morals against not—not take money from them.”