Interior Minister Sar Kheng yesterday reminded high-ranking CPP officials within national-level working groups not to disguise their civil servant duties as work being carried out on behalf of the CPP using party funds.
Speaking during a public forum at Battambang province, Mr Kheng said he was aware of criticism from the public and other political parties that some national-level officials currently use government budgets to serve people while informing them that the services are funded by the CPP.
“If government officials use their roles and state equipment to serve their party’s interest, it’s definitely wrong,” he said. “The government uses state budgets to offer public services because people voted for them.”
Mr Kheng said that just like other political parties, CPP is also a party registered at the Interior Ministry, and there is no excuse for its members to use state budgets to promote the party.
“If we use the national budget to serve a party, it’s wrong. Such an act violates the law and the principles of democracy. That is why people and other political parties criticize us,” he said.
Mr Kheng said that members of the national working group are not only civil servants, but also party officials, noting that they were in the hot seat and must be attentive to public work.
“We must ensure that they are walking in the right line until 2023. They must be strong and do their best to offer public services to people,” he said.
Mr Kheng said the national working group must be aware of the problem and from now on figure out ways to earn the public’s trust and confidence.
Khmer Will Party president Kong Monika yesterday said it is impossible for CPP officials to effectively provide services to the people belonging to different political groups.
“I do not think his call will result in any change unless there are clear policies and guidelines. Officials who do not follow these guidelines should be severely disciplined,” he said.
Soeng Sen Karuna, senior investigator with the rights group Adhoc, yesterday said in order to ensure that the national working group is working on the right track, an independent monitoring group is needed.
“It’s important to point out their problems and change it. I acknowledge that some government officials have implemented their roles rightly, but some did not,” he said. “If we have a monitoring group, it’s compulsory to have a mix of different people, including NGO officials.”
Battambang provincial Governor Nguon Rattanak, who is also provincial deputy chief of the national working group, yesterday said the provincial working group has received nearly 1,000 complaints lodged by people so far this year.