Interior Minister Sar Kheng yesterday instructed his subordinates to immediately respond to any media criticisms made without having to wait for an order.
“I will give you an example: the press criticises every day. If the criticism impacts your institution, you must respond – do not wait for an order,” Mr Kheng said. “You must respond by giving an explanation immediately.”
Mr Kheng’s comment came one month after Khmer Rise Party president Sok Sovann Vathana Sabung accused General Thim Sopha, director-general of the ministry’s general department of internal audits, of nepotism.
“Please don’t point to others. I speak the truth, especially about the general department of internal audits,” Mr Kheng said. “Facebook users criticise you every day and you never even gave it a glance.”
He noted that if ministry officials continue to remain quiet in the face of criticism, he will take the matter into his own hands.
“If you do not solve it, let me solve it. Then things are really going to be serious,” Mr Kheng said.
Additionally, he said that officials who need to increase their skills are urged to return to school.
“Sometimes, we ask them about something and they can’t answer,” Mr Kheng said. “You cannot repeat this any more. Please go back to school and know your duties.”
“When it comes to managing a country, we need to have knowledge of what our strategy is,” he added. “No need to wait for orders all the time.”
Pen Bona, president of the Club of Cambodian Journalists, yesterday said he agrees with Mr Kheng’s instructions.
“When things are in need of an explanation, they should respond to avoid public confusion,” Mr Bona said. “I support his idea. If officials are always quiet then issues would become bigger and bigger.”
“If they could not give a public explanation, then people will think accusations are true,” he added.