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Wednesday, October 24 • 3:00pm - 5:00pm
1Mdb, the Khmer Rouge and Cambodia’s Hostile Takeover – How Corruption Kills Democracy – the Cases of Malaysia & Cambodia

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Over the past few years the Prime Ministers of Malaysia and Cambodia became immensely rich from looting their countries’ wealth, and proactively sacrificed their democracies in their efforts to protect their power and to avoid being held to account.

Following a surprise loss in recent elections former PM Najib Razak, wife and others were charged with stealing millions of dollars from Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund, 1MdB, and laundering this money to buy high end real estate, yachts, works of art and funding the hit movie Wolf of Wall Street. When the story broke Najib tried to close down the investigations into him by sacking the Attorney General and presiding over attacks on and closure of media outlets and NGOs – a war on civil society.

Following the UN’s biggest peacekeeping intervention, the results of the first ever UN organised elections, which helped bring an end to Cambodia’s long-running civil war, were ignored by the loser, incumbent and former Khmer Rouge cadre Hun Sen. He has maintained power ever since via a coup in 1997 and rigged elections;  his  family have a stranglehold over all economic sectors in Cambodia. In the last two years Hun Sen dissolved the main opposition party and closed down virtually all independent media outlets and activist NGOs. Meanwhile prominent politicians and government critics and have been imprisoned and gunned down. Cambodia is now a dictatorship.

The panel will discuss the threat that corruption poses to democracy, lessons learned and what to do about it.

avatar for Patrick Alley

Patrick Alley

Co-Founder, Global Witness
Since co-founding Global Witness and posing as a timber buyer in Global Witness's first investigation into the Thai Khmer Rouge timber trade in 1995, Patrick has taken part in over fifty field investigations in South East Asia, Africa and Europe and in subsequent advocacy activit... Read More →

avatar for Cynthia Gabriel

Cynthia Gabriel

Executive Director, C4, Malaysia
Cynthia Gabriel, is easily recognized as a key advocate of human rights and good governance in Malaysia. She has spent most of her professional life in the field of advancing democratic freedoms, reforms and policy change in the country and region. Academically well rounded, she... Read More →
avatar for Mory Sar

Mory Sar

Co-founder and Vice-President, Cambodian Youth Network
Mory was born in a rice farming family in Prey Chhor district, Kampong Cham province, a rural area in the eastern province of Cambodia. He held a bachelor degree in law at Royal University of Law and Economics (RULE). In 2015, he was awarded a scholarship from Raoul Wallenberg Institute... Read More →
avatar for Mu Sochua

Mu Sochua

Politician/Member of Parliament, Cambodia/Battambang
Mu Sochua is an outspoken and respected Cambodian politician who has dedicated her life to fighting for women’s rights and democracy in Southeast Asia. As the daughter of disappeared Sino Khmer parents, Sochua spent most of her young-adult life in exile in the United States. When... Read More →

Wednesday October 24, 2018 3:00pm - 5:00pm CEST
Workshop Room 2