Tired Police Await Bonuses

With the end of the Asean Sum­mit—hailed by the government as Phnom Penh’s most successful event ever—police and security guards all around the capital are doing something they haven’t done in weeks: Taking it easy.

“We are exhausted. I worked too hard without sleep during the meetings,” one Daun Penh district police officer said. They are also waiting for their reward.

“We are thrilled with the results, but we are unhappy with the bonuses,” the officer said.

For weeks leading up to the summit, swaths of Phnom Penh were locked down, with police and guards working overtime to close main streets and keep summit delegates secure.

Each officer was scheduled to get 10,000 riel (about $2.50) as a per diem, along with food and drinking water, Phnom Penh Police Chief Suon Chheangly said. But some officers said they were still waiting for merit bonuses and overtime pay, to which they feel entitled. “We worked as hard as everyone else. But it seems we haven’t received our money yet,” Daun Penh district Deputy Police Chief Ouch Thorn said.

Senior officials have countered that, while they appreciate their officers’ efforts, it was, after all, their jobs.

“We appreciate they were at their best. But that is their duty,” Suon Chheangly said. But the extra bonuses that police feel they are owed are on the way, Ministry of Inter­ior Chief of Staff Mao Chandara said. And, he added, they are well deserved.


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