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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Dozing CPP lawmaker draws social media ire

Nguon Nhel, second vice president of the National Assembly, sleeps in his chair at the National Assembly on Tuesday. Photo supplied
Nguon Nhel, second vice president of the National Assembly, sleeps in his chair at the National Assembly on Tuesday. Photo supplied

Dozing CPP lawmaker draws social media ire

Second vice president of the National Assembly Nguon Nhel came under fire on social media yesterday after photos emerged of him appearing to sleep during Tuesday’s plenary session and driving on the wrong side of the road.

The photos were circulated yesterday on Facebook and quickly drew the attention of netizens, with one joking the picture of the Cambodian People’s Party lawmaker sitting slouched with his eyes closed next to parliament President Heng Samrin was simply him “meditating”. Another user named Paul Sok, however, saw a chance for political commentary.

“Cpp been asleep 30 years thats why [the] country so poor,” he wrote in English.

However, it was the photo showing Nhel’s Lexus motoring on the wrong side of Norodom Boulevard that drew the most criticism, particularly in light of the lawmaker’s excuse. Nhel wrote on Facebook that police had allowed him to drive in the left-hand lane because he was “in a rush” to meet Senate President Say Chhum.

“As I am a high ranking official in a state institution, and also the debater and the one who passed the law, I didn’t break the traffic law,” Nhel wrote.

Facebook users, however, were having none of it.

“Next time leave 3 hours early like everyone else,” user Xeno Meas wrote in English. “It probably easier if you say your sorry that you made a reckless decision as an official and put everyone in danger . . . instead of explaining how you legally break and bypass traffic laws.”



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Don Rennie's picture

Dear Chheng,

The CPP led government has been asleep at the wheel for decades. Maybe the Khmer voters should do something.

Setting a bad example demonstrates bad leadership.


savath.pou's picture

We’re right in the twenty first century,
With Internet and information technology,
Google map, Facebook, Twitter and more,
TED, YouTube and social media galore.
But the CPP and government just don’t care,
Khmer citizens never bring matters to bear.
As long as they’re in power, they’re happy.
When challenged they’re always angry.
They forget bad name’s a click away,
And bad image will forever stay.
Corruption or deforestation’s alarming,
And general discontent’s fast brewing.
They’re now sleeping on a burning bed,
At night, only bad dream they seem to get.
Wake up big boys before it’s too late,
Change your course or people decide your fate.

Sydney, 25 November 2016.
Savath Pou,
Senator Expelled.

NOTE: This poem was, in fact, written in Phnom Penh on 4 June 2016. I think, however, it's going to stay relevant as long as the CPP adopts the status quo.