Parties address immigration issues

Taing Vida / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Party representatives debate immigration policies at Khmer Times yesterday. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Three political parties yesterday criticised the ruling CPP for its failure to implement lawseffectively while appealing to voters to support their parties at an election roundtable organised by Khmer Times.

In the fourth roundtable discussion moderated by Khmer Times, representatives of three parties debated illegal immigration, human trafficking, traffic accidents and drug trafficking.

They criticised the government and appealed to people to vote for them as their platforms are intended to address all social issues that the ruling party could not tackle.

On how to deal with immigration, president of Our Motherland Party Chan Bunhorn said that the government has not enforced the laws strictly and corruption remains an issue.

Members of the three parties with Khmer Times’ COO Kay Kimsong. KT/Chor Sokunthea

“We have the laws but the enforcement is very poor,” Mr Bunthorn said. “Those who implement the law are poor, so in order to survive, they deal with the problem as business. The immigration issue is the main cause of social security issues.”

Tep Trou, a representative of the Reaksmey Khemera Party, said he believed immigration negatively affected Cambodian culture.

Mr Trou said that most Cambodian youths tended to forget their own identities and violated the law because of their contact with immigrants.

“Currently, a lot of Vietnamese and Chinese come to Cambodia to invest, some could be legal but others could be illegal,” he said. “Most of them are working illegally because they committed something illegal in their own counties. This could cause a lot of problems in the Kingdom. So, I believe that more or less it would affect Cambodian people in terms of culture and behaviour.”

Seng Sokheng, president of the Cambodian Nationality Party, called on immigrants to apply for Cambodian identities according to the law.

“We need a strong law. I think we should be proud that foreigners want to live and be naturalised in Cambodia,” he said. “Buddhism teaches to forgive. If we are open-minded, problems would not happen.”

Mr Sokheng’s idea was dismissed by Mr Bunhorn, who said that naturalisation of illegal immigrants would lead to the loss of territory.

The three parties also slammed the government’s policy in combating human trafficking, saying the people were not educated enough on the issue while victims were struggling to survive with little help.

“Because of poor living conditions, people move from one country to another country to find jobs. They are cheated and trafficked,” Mr Trou said. “I have observed that embassy officials are unable to help them in some serious cases.”

The three parties also blamed the CPP for failing to reduce traffic accidents and drug trafficking.

“Cambodians, who suffer all these issues, should wake up and make changes,” Mr Trou said.

Reached by phone, CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said the attacks were just a way for the three parties to spread their own platforms.

“More than five million Cambodian people are CPP members and I believe a lot of supporters out there can understand clearly what the government led by the ruling party has done,” Mr Eysan said.

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