Gov’t slams edict pushback

June 23rd, 2015

Council of Ministers Secretary of State Tek Reth Samrach yesterday rebuked opposition lawmakers Ho Vann and Son Chhay over their criticism of a government directive forbidding ministry employees from dealing directly with lawmakers on corruption issues, calling both misinformed and accusing Chhay of “incitement and provocation”. …

Vong Sokheng
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/govt-slams-edict-pushback

Right to remain silent

June 19th, 2015 , The Phnom Penh Post

Opposition lawmakers and transparency groups have slammed a recent Council of Ministers directive ordering government employees to deny access to parliamentary commissions investigating corruption, saying it severely undermines democracy.

Released yesterday by Secretary of State Tek Reth Samrach, the letter dictates public employees must follow the Anti-Corruption Law’s Article 22 when dealing with information about corruption, which states that complaints should be taken to the Anti-Corruption Commission rather than parliamentary commissions. …

Taing Vida and Shaun Turton
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/right-remain-silent-0

Facebook users may face charges, gov’t says

May 21st, 2015 , The Cambodia Daily

Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan on Wednesday threatened criminal proceedings against Facebook users who insult or defame government leaders in apparent violation of the new so-called “culture of dialogue” between the ruling and opposition parties.

In a post to his own Facebook page titled “A Letter Regarding Prejudiced and Unethical People,” Mr. Siphan claimed that some Facebook users have recently been abusing the freedom of expression they find online. …

Reached by telephone, the government spokesman said he was particularly concerned by ethnic insults from supporters of the opposition, who often accuse the government of continuing to serve the interests of Vietnam. …

Alex Willemyns
http://https://www.cambodiadaily.com/news/facebook-users-may-face-charges-govt-says-84071/

Med students accuse uni of graft, gouging

February 27th, 2015 , The Phnom Penh Post

The University of Health Sciences (UHS) rejected allegations from staff and students yesterday that their management is embezzling funds from the national medical exit examinations.

On Tuesday, UHS staff and students accused the university of pocketing funds from the $125 exams that were held between February 5 to 15. …

Khouth Sophak Chakrya and Sarah Taguiam
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/med-students-accuse-uni-graft-gouging

Council of ministers calls for review of contract with Cintri

February 12th, 2015 , The Cambodia Daily

The government’s faith in Phnom Penh’s embattled trash-collection company appears to have finally been lost after the Council of Ministers announced in a letter on Tuesday that a shake-up was on the way as it considers rescinding Cintri’s exclusive right to manage the city’s garbage for the next 25 years. …

Khy Sovuthy
http://www.opendevelopmentcambodia.net/wp-admin/post-new.php?post_type=news

US mayor wants government to release activists

January 17th, 2015 , The Cambodia Daily

The mayor of Lowell, Massachusetts—which has the second-largest population of Cambodian-Americans in the U.S.—on Friday visited 10 anti-eviction activists inside Phnom Penh’s Prey Sar prison, emerging to announce that he would lobby the government for their release.

Wrapping up a five-day visit to Phnom Penh, Rodney Elliott spent about an hour inside the maximum-security facility, where the female activists have been detained since their convictions over a pair of protests in November. …

Khuon Narim and Holly Robertson
http://https://www.cambodiadaily.com/news/us-mayor-wants-government-to-release-activists-76339/

Med school stands firm on fee

January 12th, 2015 , The Phnom Penh Post

Despite outcry from medical students, the government is refusing to reduce the latest in a string of proposed fee hikes, this one nearly doubling the charge for the University of Health Science’s exit exam. …

In a letter sent to the university’s rector on Friday, the National Exam Committee at the Council of Ministers maintained that the fee hike was necessary to cover the rising costs of the test.

Aspiring medical school graduates yesterday expressed disappointment at this newest spike in costs for their degree. In November, the University of Health Sciences, the state’s main medical school, raised the price of tuition and the entrance exam. …

Pech Sotheary
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/med-school-stands-firm-fee

Commune staff get up to 60 pct pay rise

January 10th, 2015 , The Phnom Penh Post

Cambodia’s local authorities will receive a pay bump of up to 60 per cent starting this month, the government revealed yesterday.

A commune chief will now get 400,000 riel (about $100) per month, up from 300,000 riel ($75); first and second deputy commune chiefs will get 350,000 riel ($87.50), up from 240,000 ($62.50); commune councillors will get 300,000 riel ($75), up from 200,000 ($50). …

Chhay Channyda
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/post-weekend/commune-staff-get-60-pct-pay-rise

Monk to use court platform

November 25th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

An activist monk set to face trial today on widely disputed charges of incitement alongside a so-called “terrorist” leader vowed yesterday to use the hearing to preach to the judiciary. …

In a statement released Sunday, 16 NGOs called for authorities to drop the charges against Sovath, adding that, “disconcertingly”, confusion in the court summons made it unclear whether Sovath, too, will be tried for treason and election interference. …

May Titthara
http://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/monk-use-court-platform

‘Cyber War Team’ to monitor web

November 20th, 2014 , The Cambodia Daily

The Council of Ministers’ Press and Quick Reaction Unit has created a “Cyber War Team” to monitor and collect information from Facebook and other websites in order to “protect the government’s stance and prestige,” according to a proclamation published in the Royal Gazette.

The document, signed by Deputy Prime Minister Sok An and published on October 15, says that the Cyber War Team (CWT) will monitor and diffuse information from “websites, Facebook, Twitter, Google-plus, blogs, YouTube and other media outlets.” …

Matt Blomberg and Kuch Naren
http://www.cambodiadaily.com/news/cyber-war-team-to-monitor-web-72677/

Cambodia ranks 14th in prevalence of ‘slavery’: index

November 19th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

More than 155,000 people in Cambodia are living as modern “slaves”, according to a global index released this week.

The Global Slavery Index 2014, released on Monday by Australia-based NGO Walk Free Foundation (WFF), ranks Cambodia 14th out of 167 countries for the prevalence of slavery, with an estimated 155,800 people enslaved, or 1.03 per cent of the population.

The report defines slaves as people subject to forced labour, debt bondage, trafficking, sexual exploitation for money and forced or servile marriage. …

Alice Cuddy
http://phnompenhpost.com/national/cambodia-ranks-14th-prevalence-%E2%80%98slavery-index

Chhay aims to purge Nat’l Assembly of ‘ghosts’

October 23rd, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

Senior opposition lawmaker Son Chhay has formally requested that the entire staff list of the National Assembly’s more than 1,000-strong secretariat be turned over to him for investigation as part of a bid to root out “ghost” workers and nepotistic appointments.

As part of his one-man crusade to clean up parliament, Chhay has also accused a senior secretariat official of appointing more than 20 members of his own family to paid positions on assembly staff and asked for a probe.

In a letter sent Tuesday to assembly Secretary-General Leng Peng Long, Chhay, who also serves as deputy head of the parliamentary Commission on Economics, Finance, Banking and Auditing, says that he has received information that Mith Karen, a deputy secretary-general, used his influence to appoint family members to a slew of positions. …

Pech Sotheary and Kevin Ponniah
http://phnompenhpost.com/national/chhay-aims-purge-natl-assembly-%E2%80%98ghosts%E2%80%99

Input floated on traffic law

October 21st, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

A coalition of NGOs are to submit to the National Assembly today a list of recommended additions to the amended traffic law, a draft of which was approved by the Council of Ministers in August.

Road safety advocates hope the amended law, which creates higher fines for drunken driving and mandates that passengers on motorbikes wear helmets, among other measures, will help lower the rate of deaths from traffic accidents from an average of five a day. …

Phak Seangly
http://phnompenhpost.com/national/input-floated-traffic-law

Cybercrime law’s status uncertain

October 20th, 2014 , The Phnom Penh Post

A Ministry of Commerce official said in a speech last week that the controversial draft cybercrime law was almost ready to appear before the National Assembly, though another government official dismissed this yesterday.

At a conference on cybersecurity attended by representatives of the public and private sector, including corporate officers from Microsoft, Commerce Ministry Secretary of State Pan Sorasak said the draft law was nearing the final hurdle before being implemented. …

Sean Teehan
http://phnompenhpost.com/national/cybercrime-law%E2%80%99s-status-uncertain