New Security Ministry Expected by Generals Say

A Ministry of National Security will be created shortly after the new government is formed, three CPP generals said this week.

Jurisdiction for the powerful National Police force will be taken away from the Interior Ministry and given to the new ministry, they said.

“It is true the Interior Ministry will be split and a Ministry of National Security will be formed,” a police general said Thurs­day.

He said documents for the or­der have been drafted and are ready for when the Na­tional Assembly convenes. He said he expects the proposal to be adopted. “Some strong people support the plan,” he said, asking not to be named.

He said the Interior Ministry would retain administrative au­thority over pro­vinces and governors, but not control police for­ces.

He said, however, that Interior co-Mini­ster Sar Kheng had not been consulted on the move and that the CPP executive committee had not debated it.

Second Prime Minister Hun Sen supports the move, an army general said Tuesday. “The ministry will be created but they are still talking about who will lead it,” the RCAF general said.

He said National Police Di­rector Hok Lundy is the most likely candidate. Hok Lundy said Thursday he knew nothing of the proposal for the new ministry.

You Sunlong, Hun Sen’s director of security, also said he had not been informed.

Political analyst Kao Kim Hourn said the proposal would generate heated debate in the National Assembly: “On one hand, security is an important issue for Cambodia and this would consolidate control of the police. But on the other hand, it could be dangerous because there would be no check, no division of powers.”

An Asian diplomat expressed concern. “Depen­ding who’s handling the ministry, it could be used for purposes other than law enforce­ment,” he said. “Such a ministry was abused in [my country]. It would probably be abused here.”

 

 

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