Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday urged civil servants and members of the armed forces to seek moral education in a bid to reduce drug cases and traffic accidents involving them.
Mr Hun Sen made the call because he said that he is concerned about drug and traffic crimes being committed by students, civil servants and soldiers.
“I appeal to you to pay attention in strengthening your morality and virtue because students get influenced by outside cultures,” he said. “The most important thing are drugs and traffic issues.”
“I think it is time to educate them, not only students, but members of the armed forces and civil servants,” Mr Hun Sen added. “Their morality and virtue must be strengthened. This is based on what I saw in the past few days.”
Mr Hun Sen said authorities must take legal action efficiently, noting that drugs remain an issue.
“Officials must respect traffic laws and not use drugs,” he said. “We need morality in our communication.”
According to a recent Ministry of Public Works and Transportation report, last year a total of 3,267 traffic accidents occurred nationwide, causing 1,761 fatalities and injuring 4,770 people.
The ministry said on average, five people died and 13 were injured per day last year, noting that most accidents happened in Phnom Penh and the provinces of Kandal and Preah Sihanouk.
“We saw our people die every day. There were more victims than there were during the civil war,” Mr Hun Sen said. “During the civil war, we didn’t see battles or people die every day, but with the current traffic problem, we saw seven people die per day.”
According to a report by the National Authority for Combatting Drugs, authorities last year cracked down on more than 8,000 drug cases and confiscated 533 kilograms of drugs.
San Chey, executive director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, said the authorities should enforce current laws in order to reduce the number of drug cases.
“We see in general that it’s not hard for civil servants and members of the armed forces to understand the law,” Mr Chey said. “I think some of them already have knowledge of the laws in the Kingdom.”
“Some traffic accidents involved people who were armed or those who were wealthy. These are the people who have the opportunity to abuse their power,” he added. “So in order to stop them, we need to strictly enforce laws. They must respect the law.”