Cambodian Parliament Not Investigating Nepotism Claim by Opposition MP

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Cambodia's National Assembly holds its first meeting between ruling Cambodian People's Party members and opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party members in Phnom Penh, Aug. 8, 2014.
Cambodia's National Assembly holds its first meeting between ruling Cambodian People's Party members and opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party members in Phnom Penh, Aug. 8, 2014.
AFP Photo/Cambodia National Assembly

Cambodia’s parliament will not investigate opposition charges of corruption and nepotism leveled at a high-ranking ruling party official who allegedly used his influence to appoint family members to positions in the legislature’s secretariat.

National Assembly (parliament) spokesman Chheang Von said there was no legal basis for conducting investigations on the charges brought by opposition MP Son Chhay against deputy secretary general and ruling Cambodian People’s Party lawmaker Mith Karen.

“I don't want any nepotism inside the National Assembly, but we don't have any law to prevent such practices,” he told RFA’s Khmer Service on Thursday. “We can't accuse them of corruption when family members work at the same place.”

He said that any probe on such charges can be considered when legislation against nepotism is enacted.

Son Chhay, from the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), said last month that several family members of Mith Karen held positions in the legislature’s secretariat due to his influence.

He submitted a complaint letter to Leng Peng Long, the secretary-general of parliament, on Oct. 21, requesting that the services of Mith Karen’s family members be terminated or they be suspended from their posts pending an immediate investigation.


In his complaint, Son Chhay, who is deputy president of the parliament’s Commission on Economics, Finance, Banking and Auditing, listed seven of Mith Karen’s relatives who worked in the National Assembly’s secretariat, including his son and daughter who both hold senior positions.

Chheang Von said that if there were enough evidence of corruption, parliament would create a committee to investigate, but such a decision could only be made by the assembly’s president.

He accused Son Chhay of violating a truce between the CPP and CNRP not to attack each other politically following a July compromise between Prime Minister Hun Sen and opposition leader Sam Rainsy.

Son Chhay, however, denied that he had breached the truce, telling RFA on Friday that parliament had to investigate the case if it wanted to prove that the legislative branch was a clean institution respected by voters.

He had discovered the alleged act of nepotism after he asked parliament’s secretary general for a list of staff members and contracts involving the legislature so that he could conduct an audit and take action against suspected nepotistic appointments.

In August, the country’s Anti-Corruption Unit pledged a crackdown on such appointments in government institutions.

“This is not about civil servant status, this is about corruption in an institution,” Son Chhay said. “If there is an irregularity, there must be an investigation. They are recruiting family members to manage the assembly budget.”

Son Chhay conceded that he could pursue the matter no further because only the president of the National Assembly had the power to order an investigation.

“I have completed my task,” he said. “I can’t force anyone to do it. The voters will judge this matter.”

Reported by Samean Yun for RFA’s Khmer Service. Translated by Samean Yun. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin.

Comments (9)


from Lowell,MA

Lately, I heard they are going to form another
party. Why they didn't think about the downside
of having multiple parties against with one strong
opponent like CPP? I don't mind if the system in
cambodia is smooth like in the u.s (republican and
democratic). All opposition leaders in the party
must ask a question, "Who is my real enemy main
party? If the leader answer "CNRP" is the one, then
it is wrong? Why is that? Because in Cambodia the
system or foundation is not purely establish for the
cambodia. It is some for Cambodia/Vietnam. Besides,
you all knew very well that CNRP is not formed to serve
for Vietnam despite you may think that CNRP is not 100
percent clean. If you are going to pick one party, of
course you are going to pick CNRP, not CPP because CPP
has some flavor of vietnam. Here is the rule of thumb.
1. First, know your enemy (not CNRP)
2. Don't form a new party (join with main opposition
and work out together of their differences)
3. Don't break up despite the different mindset because
our enemy is not what we are going through the
different in our party. Have mercy, understanding,
except idea, analyzing idea, and put into form of
meaningful plan that we all can accept to execute our
goal to win over CPP. If our differnces make us argue
and run away to form a new party, this will give benefit
to CPP. Remember!!! Together we are strong. When we are
break up, our strength is just like sand. Devil can attack
us once it knows our weakness.
4. Many voices in one form and in one party, it can be amplified
in any wave length and strong. Note: success is happened
when you are trying to work hard of the differences in the
problem. Once we grab our victory from enemy, we can set a
true democracy, a true law for the country, a policy for the
party. Then, it will open door to other people to form a new
party run for a new election. It is fine to form a new party
as long we clean out disease from inside first because this
disease always make problem in the party. Once it is clean,
whichever party win doesn't matter anymore because all serve
for the best interest of the people. That is why U.S and other
true democratic country the system is so good.

Nov 10, 2014 06:07 PM


from monkey

in the banana republic of Cambodia the CPP chimpanzees believe that CPP superior stupidity and gangster logic overpowers by force the sane, the poor, the slow and the lazy Cambodians.

CPP bribed and bought off SAM RAINSY and KEM SOKHA, the opposition leaders, but forgot to bribe the CNRP underlings.

This is a blatant proof that CPP does NOT want to change their status quo -- bully, sadistic monkeys' rule over masochistic Cambodians forever and ever.
SAM and KEM are satisfied with the bananas (money) given by the CPP chimps. So, they stop making troubles with CPP and back-pedaling with their promises of change.

The more things changed; the more they stayed the same in the banana communist republic of Cambodia.

WETSU! (we eat that ... up) NO bananas...

[This comment has been edited by RFA Editorial staff per our Terms of Use]

Nov 10, 2014 06:46 AM


from Long Beach

25 years ago, people in West and East Germany went to the Berlin Wall and broke it with hammers. They were fighting against a dictatorial regime that was breaking apart with its own cruelty. Germany became united again.

Now we are on the verge of seeing the same thing happen in Cambodia. Khmer people are SICK and TIRED of their joke of a country. The same prime minister has ruled for over 30 years now. Families are forced to sell their daughters to be prostitutes. The country is getting eaten up by its two neighbors. Khmer people everywhere must be united and get past our differences. It does not matter if you live in Cambodia, Thailand, Kampuchea Krom, USA, or wherever. Also we have to stop being afraid of CPP/HunSen/Vietnam/Thailand. With this we can tear down this dictatorial regime and ensure a new and better future for us and our children.

Jeyo Khmer!!!

Nov 09, 2014 03:00 PM


from Lowell,MA

I have been following every movement that CPP are stepping. Cambodian is a trojan horse virus that can't be cure by using the law because the law itself is already infected inside the kernels. So, this is it and it is over!!! The last option is the power of the people have to wake from sleeping cell and fight for their own freedom by walking peacefully, connecting like dots or mushrooms. This will disable an umbrella that have been shielding your freedom. You, the people who voted to elect for your leader to help you. If they can't help you, you are the one that need to untie this law so the useless law will be come the tsunami law of the people. This is called - reverse engineering law.

Nov 09, 2014 12:32 PM

Anonymous Reader

we are congress have to clean nepotism and anti corruption in order to this top constitution serve the people by royalty and country's ruling party official should
concept good summit of opposition parliament and do not nepotism take more national's advantage than self.

Nov 09, 2014 03:25 AM

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