Prime Minister Hun Sen said yesterday he was confident that the country was on the right track to eliminating graft and called on all non-corrupt government officials to “join hands” and report those who are corrupt.
Speaking at a graduation ceremony at Phnom Penh’s National Institute of Education, the prime minister said that although corruption was a serious issue, only a small number of government officials were actively involved in corruption.
“So those who do not commit corruption, we encourage them to join hands with us to get rid of corruption,” Mr Hun Sen said. “Among 100, only two or three do the [corrupt] deed, so most of them will make a report to us.”
“They will join hands with us to get rid of corruption because corruption damages the institution’s reputation and dignity,” Mr Hun Sen said of the non-corrupt officials.
CPP lawmaker Cheam Yeap said yesterday that the prime minister’s speech was a warning.
“I think that this is a warning to [those corrupted] to consider refraining themselves from committing graft,” Mr Yeap said.
He added that although some government officials are corrupt, most were innocent and committed to fighting graft. Mr Yeap also said that just because a government official drives an expensive luxury vehicle-the roads outside the National Institute of Education were filled with luxury SUVs during the premier’s speech yesterday-it does not mean that he or she is corrupt.
“There are many reasons-some officials have wives whose businesses make profits,” Mr Yeap said of the fancy vehicles preferred by government officials. “So they buy their husbands luxury cars to help their reputations,” he said.
King Norodom Sihamoni signed off on the long awaited anti-corruption law in March, enacting the majority of the provisions contained within, including the creation of the Anti-Corruption Institution.