“They [security guards] are not in the right when they beat people. But it was a small case so we just closed some of our eyes.”
Mok Chito, acting Phnom Penh police chief, who admitted the police worked in concert with the security guards, 7 January, 2014
“We are not clear whether it [security guards attacking Boeng Kak protesters and demonstrators in Freedom Park] is right or wrong with the law. But sometimes we consider them [security guards] to be competent officials like us, so we do not stop them.”
Military Police spokesman Brigadier General Kheng Tito, 7 January, 2014
It seems the CPP government has outsourced to district security guards its job of cracking down whatever it does not like. It is the security guards armed with metal bars and wooden batons who violently clear protesters from the Freedom Park. It is the security guards who kidnap five anti-eviction activists off the street and take them to prison. It is the security guards who assault participants of a memorial service for a bystander whom police has shot dead near Spean Monivong.
It is not clear, however, why the CPP prefers these security guards to its soldiers, military police, and police, who can as well do the dirty work with brute force. It attracts criticisms and raises the question of legality. The guards have no proper training in the law; they have no judicial authority to attack or arrest anyone. Perhaps the CPP believes many hands make light work and less criminal.
But outsourcing has been the CPP’s vogue in the last few months. Now, it contracts criminal work to security guards. It has outsourced education to private firms; for their business operations, they must have their own in-house training programs if they want qualified staff like engineers, bankers, etc.... The responsibility of the country’s international ship registry right has been sold off to well-connected private firms to use and abuse whichever way they think fit. The CPP also outsources anti-corruption measures to private companies; the first one to take up this option is Coca-Cola Cambodia; and they believe many will follow suit.
However, would the CPP ever outsource its corrupt activities?