>Son Chhay questions Hun Sen over advisors’ appointment

> A picture of MP Son Chhay.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Translated from Khmer by Socheata

To Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia

Through the intermediary of Samdech Heng Samrin, President of the National Assembly

Subject: Request for an immediate ending of the practice of nominating of advisors holding the rank of ministers and state secretaries. Request to send the names of all the advisors who received a government salary to the National Assembly.

Based on:
Article 90 (2) of the constitution which stipulated that: “The assembly shall pass a vote of confidence in the Royal Government by an absolute majority of all members.”
The nomination of numerous people, including businessmen, low-ranking officials, to the position of advisor of the prime minister, of the president of the National Assembly, of the president of the Senate, with the rank of ministers, secretaries of state, and under secretaries of state.

Based on the subject and the references cited above, I am informing Samdech Prime Minister that, based on observation, the third mandate government have nominated businessmen, government workers, and members of various parties who defected from their parties as advisors to the government, with the rank of ministers and secretaries of state, and nobody knows how many hundreds these are, nor do anyone know their individual expertise in helping the country with good governance as a state of law, because the government must spend a lot of budget for the salaries of these people.

With the complaints from ministers, who are the ministry leaders, saying that they have difficulties organizing work at their ministries when the low-ranking officials are nominated as advisors of the country leadership, and they also hold the position of ministers like them (actual ministers), this situation prevent the ministers from actually ruling over these advisors who have the same rank as them (ministers).

There are also complaints from the police saying that a number of crooked businessmen who received the title of advisors to the country leaders, used their positions and titles to violate various laws, and created difficulties for the police to fight against these violatioins, such as land-grabbing activities from the people, contraband, and the avoidance to pay tax to the state, etc…There are criticisms from a number of parties about the ruling party using its power to nominate political defectors who joined it, and these defectors received benefits as advisors with the rank of ministers, for example, saying that this rights violation of other equal political parties by the use of money and illegal government positions, will affect the free and fair election.

Knowing that the King is very reluctant in forcing himself to sign the decrees nominating these individuals to high ranking position, only to serve the interest of the ruling party,

Based on the opinion that the nomination of any individual to the rank of ministers or secretaries of state must require the agreement from the National Assembly through a majority approval vote from all the MPs beforehand,

Because there is no country in the world where the Prime Minister has so many advisors and spends state budgets as he wants, unlike what is happening in the current Kingdom of Cambodia,

I am asking the Prime Minister to review for an immediate end of these nominations of advisors with the rank of ministers or secretary of states, and to review those who were already nominated but do not have the expertise, or they are not necessary, in order to remove them so as to preserve the order in the governance in a responsible country, and to cut down the unnecessary expense on these advisors also.

At the same time, in order to learn about the number of government advisors, I am asking the Prime Minister to please send the list of all these advisors, with the specification of their expertise, and the advises they provided to the government in the past.I hope that the Prime Minister will agree with the request above.Please accept my highest respect.

Done in Phnom Penh, 18 February 2008

Son ChhayPhnom Penh MP

Viewed and Sent to Hun SenPhnom Penh, 20 February 2008

Heng Samrin
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