Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Tuesday said the Kingdom’s public administration needs to be strengthened in order to maintain political stability should there be a change of government.
Mr Kheng made the statement during a speech at a forum on legislation and government reform in Phnom Penh.
“We need to have a strong enough public administration system so that when the political system changed, the status quo can still be maintained,” he said. “If the system is not strong when there is a change in government, there could be setbacks in the Kingdom.”
Mr Kheng said Thailand has a strong system that allowed them to maintain economic growth during periods of political uncertainty.
“What is our purpose regarding reforms on public administration? For me, I want to have a strong public administration system that has good quality,” he said. “We should learn from their country.”
The forum Mr Kheng attended focused on reforms across numerous sectors, including justice, economy and public service.
Aun Pornmoniroth, Minister of Economy and Finance, on Tuesday said the government is aiming to conduct reforms in order to promote capabilities, strengthen transparency and improve governance.
“Reforms must be made in the sixth mandate in order to strengthen law enforcement,” Mr Pornmoniroth said.
Youk Bunna, a secretary of state with the Civil Service Ministry, said in order for the public administration system to be reformed, challenges, such as lack of human resources and law enforcement, must be addressed.
“We have done a lot of reforms and we don’t know when it will end because we face human resources challenges,” Mr Bunna said. “We have many legal instruments, but implementation of those legal instruments are not yet effective.”
“Our vision is that we want to change our public administration system to be more digital and transparent,” he added.
Political analyst Lao Mong Hay yesterday said he supports Mr Kheng’s idea.
“Public administration [must be] politically neutral, impartial, and [there must be] a law prohibiting civil servants from joining any political party,” Mr Mong Hay said. “To ensure quality, public administration need to choose and promote civil servants […] through open competition. Those civil servants must be clean and good at serving people.”