CPP Lawmaker Wants CNRP Colleague to Keep Quiet on Graft

National Assembly spokesman Chheang Vun on Wednesday called on CNRP President Sam Rainsy to gag a senior opposition lawmaker who has repeatedly agitated for an investigation into gross misspending and nepotism within parliament.

Son Chhay, deputy head of the assembly’s finance and auditing commission, has accused Leng Peng Long, secretary-general of the assembly, of squandering state funds through a number of purchases, including buying 30 new cars at $200,000 apiece.

Following a press conference Wednesday to disseminate the assembly’s monthly achievements, Mr. Vun, a CPP stalwart, took aim at Mr. Chhay.

“He has no right to demand documents through his commission by requesting that the standing committee take documents and give them to him,” Mr. Vun said. “There are mechanisms [to make such requests] and it doesn’t include shouting loudly from a meeting room, demanding this and demanding that.”

Asked if there was any way to halt Mr. Chhay’s incessant requests, Mr. Vun said there were two options.

“First, give him the documents. [Or] second, make sure he is not allowed to talk anymore.”

Mr. Vun then called for Mr. Rainsy to step in, and warned that Mr. Chhay that he could be voted out of his position as deputy head of the finance and auditing commission.

“[We] have to request His Excellency Sam Rainsy to tell his subordinate not to say things that are unlawful,” he said. “If he still doesn’t listen, three members of the CNRP can vote with the CPP to drop him.”

Mr. Rainsy could not be reached Wednesday. Mr. Chhay, however, reiterated his demands for an investigation and said that he was still waiting for Mr. Peng Long to produce documentation, which the secretary-general said he would do only with the permission of CPP National Assembly President Heng Samrin.

“To buy a photocopier costing $3,500, we want to know which company. What is the name? Because that is very expensive,” Mr. Chhay said, going on to question the $11.5 million spent by the assembly on “services” last year.

“And spending on services such as flights: who is the guest? What was the date? Because this is the money of the National Assembly,” he said.

“The culture of dialogue is not a culture to collude in corruption,” he added. “It is to resolve issues and find justice for the people.”

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