Prime Minister Hun Sen will whittle down his flock of advisers from more than 100 to just 10 to help save the government money, former advisers said Sunday.
“That’s it. Finito. Gone. Bye-bye,” said government spokesman Sieng Lapresse about the jobs of as many as 100 people, including himself, who used to be advisers to Hun Sen.
King Norodom Sihanouk signed the official appointment of the list of Hun Sen advisers, published in Sunday’s Khmer-language Evening News.
The list includes Ho Sothy, chief of Hun Sen’s cabinet; Kun Kim, first deputy governor of Kandal province; Mol Roeup, security adviser; You Sun Long, security adviser; Yi Don, director of National Assembly relations; Aun Porn Moniroth, financial adviser; Yey Kimseng, adviser on agriculture and the environment; Ung Richard Ponara, adviser on industry, mines and energy; and Chan Tany, legal adviser.
The announcements come amidst a series of declarations from Hun Sen on trimming the fat from the country’s bloated civil service.
However, the number of ministerial positions in the new government is expected to at least double. Government officials last week called for the establishment of more than 100 new top-level ministry jobs as a ‘compromise’ necessary to form the new Funcinpec-CPP coalition.
Still, the cost-cutting and revenue-boosting promises have been piling up in the past week. Civil servants will no longer be able to import cars tax-free, government salaries will be taxed, mobile phones taken away and some jobs axed.
On Friday, the Council of Ministers approved taxes on the salaries of all government officials making more than $300 per month, said the cabinet‘s spokesman Khieu Thavika.
Undersecretaries of state will officially earn about $360 per month, secretaries of state about $435, and ministers get almost $514 monthly, said Sam Bun Heng, an official with the Ministry of Finance.
There was no discussion Friday on whether or not Hun Sen would also have his income taxed or how much money the leader officially earns from the government, Sam Bun Heng said.