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Sok Touch tells staff to pull up socks

Sen David / Khmer Times Share:
Sok Touch delivers a speech yesterday in Phnom Penh. KT/Sen David

Royal Academy of Cambodia president Sok Touch yesterday urged his staff to pull up their socks and do more research to provide insight for the government to help develop the country.

Presenting the academy’s report for this year, Mr Touch noted that some researchers are not doing their jobs and are merely clocking in and working on other projects instead of the ones they were assigned to do.

“Since I became president, I have instituted a lot of reforms,” he said. “We made it compulsory for researchers to sign in for work but find that they merely sign in and do not do their work.”

Mr Touch suggested that departments at the academy recruit researchers who are experts in their relevant fields, noting that experts in history were once recruited by the IT department.

“The Royal Academy is an institute set up to research into all topics to provide feedback to the government to develop the country, but I find there are some officials who are inactive and do not have good work ethics,” he said.

According to its annual report, the academy researched 11 topics this year, including women intellectuals and leaders, inefficiencies in the construction sector, Cambodia’s international relations and the use of solar energy.

Sorn Samnang, the academy’s ex-president, said yesterday that it was set up 20 years ago as an institute to groom politicians, but has since expanded its role to be a training centre for intellectuals to excel in their respective fields.

Nou Chansophy, director-general of the academy’s culture and fine arts department, said that this year they researched the country’s cultural heritage at Techo Sen Russei Treb National Park and also in Kampong Thom, Stung Treng and Kratie provinces.

Last week, the academy launched a free e-learning programme to teach the public about environment management and policies in the Kingdom. The programme was developed in collaboration with the Korea Environment Institute.

In October, Mr Touch drew the ire of monks on social media after he suggested that a law should be drafted to ensure they are disciplined.

Mr Touch had said that the academy and the Ministry of Cults and Religion should look into monks who do not follow their code of ethics and commit bad deeds. The monkhood accused him of interfering in religious affairs.

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