Defence Minister Tea Banh yesterday issued a warning to military commanders who cut the pay of soldiers on the pretext of serving the interests of the unit.
“Some units, and in some places, commanders have cut soldiers’ salary,” Gen Banh said. “You have to clearly remember whatever the matters are, do not cut the salary of soldiers. It has happened many times.”
“Even taking one riel in the interest of the unit is absolutely banned. I say this once again,” Gen Banh added while at the 30th anniversary of the establishment of Military Region 5 at its headquarters in Battambang province.
Gen Banh said some military units had cut soldiers’ salaries on the pretext of using the money for other units.
Gen Banh then urged all military units to encourage troops by strengthening human resources and legal instruments related to government policy.
This would create an army with dignity and professionalism to protect the motherland and the legitimate government, he said.
San Chey, executive director of the Affiliated Network Social Accountability, said that the Defence Ministry had just reminded the public about getting support from the army for the upcoming general election in July.
“In fact, they made improvements in reducing corruption by the payment of officials’ salaries through the bank system,” Mr Chey said. “But the ministry has to take measures on the illicit use of RCAF number plates that have a serious impact on the army’s reputation.”
He said some people who were not soldiers used RCAF number plates to smuggle timber.
Earlier this month, Prime Minister Hun Sen said that the government had effectively implemented new information technology systems to battle corruption.
“Now we are using information technology systems to control our civil servants,” he said.
Mr Hun Sen said the government had found thousands of ghost officials in different ministries and the military using the systems, saving money for the national budget.
The reform helped the government monitor ghost officials, which refers to names of officials listed to get salaries without holding a real position.