Sar Kheng’s official Facebook ‘hotline’ soldiers on despite case backlog from last year

Sar Kheng’s official Facebook ‘hotline’ soldiers on despite case backlog from last year

Requests for assistance by members of the general public made in comments or via messages to the Facebook page of Minister of Interior Sar Kheng continued steadily in April, with more than 60 cases resolved and over 100 more still in the process of being addressed.

Sar Kheng wrote on his Facebook page on May 11 that his social media team had responded to many requests for assistance and had resolved 67 cases, while 118 more were still in progress.

At the same time, there were various requests, questions and other problems brought to their attention that were determined to be under the authority of a different ministry or state institution and those cases were forwarded to the relevant officials.

“This work can be achieved due to the cooperative efforts between the leaders and officials within the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Interior at both the national and sub-national levels in tandem with my Facebook working group,” he said.

He suggested that all leaders and officials under the jurisdiction of the interior ministry should make every effort to expedite these cases for resolution, but they must ensure that all aspects of the problem are taken care of and the situation is resolved rather than just addressed on paper or passed on and made someone else’s problem.

Sar Kheng also thanked the citizenry of Cambodia for their comments and suggestions through his Facebook page because it allowed the ministry to solve problems outside of the judicial system and make people’s lives easier.

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“Once again, I ask for understanding, patience and tolerance from my compatriots for some of the cases that the working group and stakeholders have not yet resolved. Some cases require more time in order to follow all procedures,” he said.

According to the summary report on all comments, suggestions or requests from the public who expressed their opinions or sent messages to Sar Kheng’s Facebook page, of the remaining 650 unsolved cases from 2021, the working group’s summary states that 125 of them have now been resolved and 525 of them are still being addressed.

Am Sam Ath, deputy director of rights group LICADHO, said that setting up a direct complaint or request line for citizens to ask for help from Sar Kheng via his Facebook page was a good way to help people without them incurring costs for travel or hiring lawyers to file lawsuits.

However, he requested that the working group speed up the resolution of all cases in a transparent and non-discriminatory manner – including the caseload left over from 2021.

“We know that some problems the interior ministry can solve by itself and some problems need to be referred to other institutions. We request that all of this be done transparently – which means without discrimination against anyone – regardless of their political affiliation.”

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