Sar Kheng Calls for Posting Of Criminals’ Photographs

The Ministry of Interior vowed Monday to strengthen national security, with co-Minister Sar Kheng calling for suspected and convicted criminals to be publicized.

To accomplish this, Sar Kheng suggested that photographs of 400 suspected criminals be posted in public places around the nation and that court proceedings be opened to the public.

“If the suspected criminals’ pictures are released to the public and court hearings are conducted in public, the suspect will be afraid of committing more crimes,” Sar Kheng said on the first day of a two-day workshop at the Interior Ministry, which continues today. Prime Minister Hun Sen is expected to speak.

Sar Kheng said he’s pushed for such transparency before, but that court officials say they would be afraid for their personal safety if the process were more open.

Sar Kheng, who also is deputy prime minister, said he wants to eliminate illegal border crossings, trafficking and other crimes and encourage investment by offering a safe environment and “clear-cut investment laws.”

“When [potential investors] arrive in the airport, they know how Cambodia is. It will be bad if our police officers are undisciplined,” he said, explaining that potential investors are unlikely to stay here if they are concerned about their safety.

Mike Bicker, chairman of the British Business Association of Cambodia, said Monday that it is important for the government to be concerned with security. How­ever, he said many investors he deals are “pleasantly surprised” by the amount of security here, compared to what they expected before arriving in Cambodia.

“Companies thinking of investing here are perhaps more worried about [security] than they need to be,” Bicker said. “When they actually come here, they’re surprised at how safe [Cambo­dia] really is.” (Additional reporting by Hillary A Jackson)

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