Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Cambodia unveils anti-graft body

via Khmer NZ News Media

Jun 15, 2010

PHNOM PENH - CAMBODIA unveiled the make-up of an anti-corruption body on Tuesday but critics doubted the effectiveness of an anti-graft panel many of whose members are from the ruling party.

Cambodia invariably appears near the bottom of any list of countries with corruption problems, coming 158th out of 180 in the anti-graft watchdog Transparency International's 2009 ranking.

Corruption is a major worry for both foreign investors and the aid donors that keep afloat a country still dealing with the legacy of decades of conflict including the communist Khmer Rouge 'Killing Fields' rule.

'From now on, the mechanism to fight corruption is created and this event is considered historic for the Kingdom of Cambodia,' Top Sam told a news conference after being elected chairman of the National Council for Anti-Corruption.

Asked how the council could fight corruption when many of its 11 members were from the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) of Prime Minister Hun Sen, Mr Top Sam said everyone had to obey the law.

The council has been set up under an anti-graft law adopted in March amid protests by rights groups and opposition politicians who said it would entrench official corruption. Mr Om Yentieng told the news conference the unit would be hiring 120 members of staff over the next few months and investigations had already begun into illegal logging and other crimes. -- REUTERS

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