Teuk La’ak I commune chief says bipartisan council is more effective

Pech Sokhoeun, chief of Teuk La’ak commune in the capital’s Tuol Kork district, and a member of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP). Photo provided

PECH SOKHOEUN – head of Teuk La’ak I commune in Tuol Kork district of Phnom Penh and a member of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) – is known to locals for his achievements in the local economic development, improving public services and maintaining neighborhood safety. According to preliminary NEC election results, Sokhoeun won re-election in the 5th term communal council elections held on June 5, with a majority of some 7,000 eligible voters in the commune choosing him to continue in office. post of town chief. Sokhoeun was interviewed. by The Post on his political career and his challenges and achievements during his tenure.

When did you first take up your post as head of commune?
I became the Chief of Teuk La’ak I Commune in September 2000 following an appointment by the former municipal governor of Phnom Penh, Chea Sophara, based on my qualifications such as my personal abilities and my level of education. So I was not elected to the position when I first got the job.

Why are you interested in being a community leader?
Well, when I graduated in 1998, Chea Sophara announced that they were selecting students to train to be ASEAN or Interpol police at Borei Keila Center and I was accepted. Later, Sophara appointed some of the group’s students to work in townships and district administrations. After some of the former administrators were accused of being involved with the Ara Smach gang, Sophara promoted me to help clean things up in 2000.

What were the challenges of being a commune chief at that time?
As an inexperienced student, this was a challenge for me. I needed to work hard and gain experience in district administrative work. Overall it was very difficult as I was new and without much experience at only 27 years old.

I learned a lot working as a commune chief and living among the people here and serving them. This can sometimes be difficult because anytime you have two or more people collaborating on a project, you are going to have contrasting ideas. Sometimes you find yourself working against the grain or in parallel rather than together.

But overall, there has been a lot of development in the commune. The roads are all paved with concrete and streetlights and drainage systems etc. Everything has improved.

You’ve been a commune chief for five terms, including this one, haven’t you?
Not enough. In total, there have been five terms since the formation of the current government, but I did not run for the first term. I was appointed municipal councilor during this mandate, then from the second to the fifth mandate, I was elected chief of municipality.

To what do you attribute your electoral success?
I think the important thing is to serve people, both in terms of what they need and responding to what they ask for. With the civil service, even if we do our best, it is still impossible to meet everyone’s wishes all the time. But the important thing is to try to serve them wholeheartedly.

Even though not everyone always gets everything they want or need, if you do your best, Cambodians will love you for it. But it’s true for everyone, Cambodian or not, if you serve them well they will appreciate it.

This craft involves paying attention to common details that are important to daily life. Whether it concerns security and public services or requirements such as acting as a civil registrar or issuing the necessary documents, if we are not attentive to their needs or are negligent in our work, they will not like us and they will certainly not vote for us. Cambodians have a very practical mindset like that.

What are your plans for your term during this new term?
The CPP still organizes its own summits and determines the direction of development and other services down to the local level. Based on the pre-election meetings, I would say that we will continue to focus on improving the one-stop-shop mechanism, including in Teuk La’ak I commune.

In accordance with the instructions of the city administration, we want to strengthen our customer service with the one-stop mechanism by being hospitable and welcoming to everyone who comes to ask for help and improve our service response times across the one-stop shops.

In terms of other developments apart from those I have mentioned there are plans for improvement in other areas such as social services, health and education, the council following term planning policies five-year.

We want to respond more quickly to requests from people in general. Problems such as sewer blockages, power cuts, problems with requesting documents, we must work hard to gain the support of the population throughout this new mandate.

How well did your party perform in the commune during the last elections?
Assuming the final results match the initial tally, it appears the CPP won nine of 11 seats, with the Candlelight Party taking the other two council seats.

Having competition for these offices is a good thing. This means that to win the elections, we must do our job well and continue to serve the people, based on the Commune Administration Law and its clear distribution of roles and responsibilities of the commune chief and deputy chiefs. .

We will work with all council members to meet the needs of the public in accordance with the law and our council’s bylaws.

So it’s a good thing to have two parties working together?
It’s actually much better to have two parts working together. If a party does it alone, they are not able to judge as accurately whether their job performance or policies are good or bad.

How will the village communal security policy be implemented?
Overall, in Tuek La’ak I commune, we are planning three initiatives to enhance security and public order.

The first target is Kim Il Sung Boulevard and another is an intersection of 598 Street where we have received complaints about people using and selling drugs there. And then we will also intensify the regular patrols through the commune which move from place to place.

However, communal security is not only the business of the police and the authorities. The inhabitants must also participate in the work of securing their villages and communes. We rely on good citizens to let us know when problems arise and to provide information about suspected criminal activity or other dangerous situations taking place in their neighborhoods.

Joan D. Boling