Anti-Corruption Cards: Cambodia’s new craze

Kol Preap, Executive Director of Transparency International Cambodia, holding a giant replica of the Anti-Corruption Card at the launch a few weeks ago.

Transparency International Cambodia recently launched its Anti-Corruption Cards that offer shopping discounts to citizens who sign up to the Declaration Against Corruption.  

So far more than 8,000 people in the capital Phnom Penh and provinces have received their cards, entitling them to savings of up to 60 per cent at a variety of shops in the city, including cafés, computer shops, even dentists.

We caught up with Kol Preap, Executive Director of Transparency International Cambodia, to find out more about the initiative:

How have Cambodians reacted to the launch of the card?

People of all walks of life, especially the younger generation, appreciate the two-fold value of the card: its moral value that we are all in this fight against corruption together, as well as its economic value through good discounts from businesses. The private sector has agreed to not only support the initiative, but also encourage more people to join the movement against corruption. Since card applicants also share their contact details with us, we can call on them for public support in the future.

Nearly 100 businesses in Phnom Penh have joined the Anti-Corruption Card initiative. How does it work?

Participating businesses offer card-holders discounts of up to 60 per cent for their products and services, and display our logo prominently.

Every time a card-holder uses it, it achieves two things: firstly, it reminds the card-holder that corruption remains widespread and, secondly, that integrity is needed from everyone. The card will strengthen our efforts to engage the private sector in the fight against corruption in Cambodia, especially small and medium enterprises.

What is the link between the Anti-Corruption Card and your anti-corruption legal advice centre?

We advertise the centre’s hotline phone number on the Anti-Corruption Card, so that people are encouraged to report their corruption cases to us and receive free legal support. The card can also be presented as a deterrent to anyone asking for a bribe. We hope that increasing use of the cards will mean more reports from citizens.

How do you ensure that the businesses you partner with live up to the Declaration Against Corruption?

In a country like Cambodia where corruption is so pervasive, this is very hard to control. Instead, we’re hoping that participating businesses and card-holders will be reminded of the the commitments in the Declaration Against Corruption every time they use the card, ensuring that they take ownership of the corruption fight. Going forward, we plan to provide business integrity training for our partners. We’re also working on a ‘Corporate Integrity System’ that companies can sign up to.

What are your plans from here onwards?

I hope to distribute 50,000 cards by the end of 2020, but my colleagues are much more ambitious – they’re aiming for one million cards by then!

Carousel image: Transparency International Cambodia

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