Thursday, September 28, 2006

US ambassador slams Cambodia graft [- Land grabbing by the rich is a prime indicator of corruption]

U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia Joseph Mussomeli, right, talks during anti-corruption forum in the capital Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Thursday, Sept. 28, 2006. The top U.S. diplomat in Cambodia warned Thursday that the impoverished Southeast Asian country would never get out of 'the same bleak existence' from recent decades, if its current leaders pay lip service to the fight against massive corruption. (AP Photo/ Heng Sinith)

An opposition law maker Yim Sovan, right, gestures as U.S. ambassador to Cambodia Joseph Mussomeli listens during anti-corruption forum in the capital Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Thursday, Sept. 28, 2006. The top U.S. diplomat in Cambodia warned Thursday that the impoverished Southeast Asian country would never get out of 'the same bleak existence' from recent decades, if its current leaders pay lip service to the fight against massive corruption. (AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

Phnom Penh (dpa) - Cambodia was risking its position in the region and the world if it continued to fail to display any serious political will to curb endemic corruption, US ambassador to Cambodia Joseph Mussomeli told reporters Thursday.

Speaking at a press conference in the capital after a meeting with non-government organizations to discuss the issue, Mussomeli launched a stinging attack, accusing the government of paying lip-service to the problem but failing to back up its words with action.

"The political desire to fight corruption is very real and genuine. The leadership is very sincere in confronting this monster, but it is still not certain whether there is any political will to combat corruption," he said.

"The government can make all the good speeches and enact all the laws it wants on corruption and transparency, and draft all the tough, clear regulations for implementation, but if the political will is still lacking, all the efforts, all the laws and rules will come to nothing."

He said Cambodia had a well documented culture of corruption which had seen it slump to a rating of just 2.3 out of 10 on the Transparency International (TI) corruption perception index this year and fall well behind neighbours Vietnam, Laos and Thailand to a ranking of 130 out of 158 countries surveyed for transparency and corruption by the organization.

In the latest TI ratings, Vietnam ranked 107, Laos 77 and Thailand 59.

"Cambodia is too far behind its neighbours due to tragedies of the recent past and it must set itself apart and above if it is to take its rightful historical place in the region and the world," Mussomeli warned.

Analysts said Mussomeli's attack may have been prompted by donor frustration as the year draws to a close without any sign of the government forwarding a promised anti-corruption law to the National Assembly.

Prime Minister Hun Sen vowed earlier this year to donors at the annual Consultative Group meeting that the law would be passed before 2007. However other new laws, including a law criminalizing adultery, have taken precedence.

International donors, which provide the bulk of aid-dependent Cambodia's annual budget, have warned repeatedly that the government must show them it is taking steps to control what they say is endemic corruption at all levels of society and government or risk having its funding cut.

Mussomeli said the issue of landgrabbing by the rich and powerful, leaving the rural poor, in particular, ever more disenfranchised, had already proven a prime indicator of corruption and the government's will to act against it.


Anonymous said...

Go for it Sir! They need it bad ! Really really bad! Thanks a million Mr. Embassador!!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Embassador,
I am very impressed, Sir that you politicaly slam Hun Sen government on this anti-corruption isssue. You're absolutly right, Sir. The corruption is a monster or virus that destroy all poor Khmer people generation to the next.
Please make your statement more often so that all Khmer people can hear it.
Thank you very much, Sir.

Anonymous said...

Everybody knows about the corruption and its impact, and it would be naive to expect Dracula not to drink blood. The more important question is: is there anybody else who can be in charge of the blood bank?


Anonymous said...

There should not be a Dracula and there has to be a good man & woman out there. Why don't we form a watch men or women group? and will finish the Draculas off if we catch them? Bring them down on the election day, compile their blood drinking times and show them to the world! Yeha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Ambassador,
I am writing in a double capacity - a Khmer and an American citizen: evidentially, a carrot and stick approach has not been working and will not work with this Viet-endoctrinated HUN SEN and his cronies. May I impose and suggest more sticks for the current P. Penh regime before Cambodia is completely vietnamized please? Thanks a milion in advance Mr. Ambassador.

Very respectfully yours,

Anonymous said...

His excellency Joseph Mussomeli is right about massive corruption and Cambodian people continue to suffer! At the same time, the world need to understand that Mr. HUN SEN had been ruling Cambodia base on a philosophy to make Cambodian people very poor so that it is very easy for him to control the mass Cambodian population from resisting him in anyway!

To improve Cambodian people living of standard will mean only one thing and that is the end of Mr. HUN SEN himself!

To pass anti-corruption, It would mean the end of HUN SEN regime because every HUN SEN officials had committed of corruption!

Mr. HUN SEN can't accept any of the recommendation from his excellency Joseph Mussomeli because it is a death sentence for him and his regime!

Ordinary Khmers said...

To Aknijakhmer,

Please accept our sincere and heartfelt thank you for extending our concern to Mr. Embassador. If anyone that we are to look up to,it would be you. You are the one true Cambodian man that we love and respect. God Bless!

To Mr. Embassador,

It is very hard for us to do the job alone. We have faith in you that you know what is right and what is wrong and that you will never rest until it's solving. May God bless you with great strenght and courage to do your job for your country, for our beloved Cambodia and for the World!. Your good judgement, wisdom and kindness will not go unnotice. You have earnt yourself a special place and recognition in our heart.
Thank you Mr. Embassador

Ordinary Khmers said...

To all Patriots Brothers & Sisters,

You deserve A BIG THANK YOU NOTE AS WELL! Please keep pounding and continueing to shape up our government until we see new light of hope and change.
Love & Take cares

Anonymous said...

Thank you very and very much Sir Embassador!!!!The Dictator Hun Sen and his memberships don't want the corruption law.
The best way for all Khmers poeple to do against corruption from dictator regime:to chang this dictator regime to chang the Hun Sen ,Choam Praseth,Sok Ann,....
Please,all Khmers have to stand up against this regime on your vote!!!!We have enought from this Hun Sen regime!!!!

Million thank Mr:Embassador.

Anonymous said...

The Gov't leaders do nothing and the critics are just saying then the problem remain. So many problems in the world are unresolved. People walk to walk and talk to talk.

Anonymous said...

once again, great job mr. US Ambassador on speaking out against bad stuffs.

we really appreciate what you are doing. Thanks alot.
bravo USA.

Anonymous said...

Re: Ordinary Khmers et al...

Compatriots dearest,
Thank you. If we, KHMER, don't love KHMER, who will? Good luck to all of us. only times will tell whether or not this intensive vietnamization of our beloved homeland can be reversed. We must help ourselves first before God can help us!