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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hun Sen orders crackdown on children of the rich and powerful

Hun Sen orders crackdown on children of the rich and powerful

Prime Minister Hun Sen says he will fire the governor of Phnom Penh if local police

don't do something about the children whose affluent parents allow them to race cars

and motorbikes around the streets of Phnom Penh with impunity.

Hun Sen made his comments after the arrest of Ung Vanna, son of Lieutenant General

and Commander of RCAF navy, Ung Samkhan.

The son tracked down and threatened local tv newscaster Soy Soypheap at the roadside

cafe frequented by journalists after Soy reported on young gangs racing their expensive

cars and motorbikes.

He was released a few hours later after the boy's parents submitted a written promise

that their son would neither threaten journalists nor race his vehicle through the

capital.

Speaking at the closing of the 2006-2007 Education Conference November 7 at the National

Institute of Education, Hun Sen said he was ordering police to detain the parents

if they come to collect their errant sons from custody.

"I will immediately remove the rank of those officials if they use their role

to intimidate the local authorities in order to rescue their children from the police

stations when those children get arrested," he said. "I will resign if

I cannot remove their rank."

He referred specifically to Municipal Governor Kep Chuktema. "You (Chuktema)

are not needed as Phnom Penh Municipal governor if you cannot crack down on those

children who are racing cars and motorbikes."

Touch Naroth, chief of Phnom Penh Municipal Police told the Post on November 12 that

he has already ordered the police to keep an eye out for the offenders cruising the

streets and parks. "We have to keep the issue under control in order to reduce

road accidents and to improve public order."

A week earlier, Hun Sen, who has five children himself, told students at the National

Education Institute that he had a problem with one of his children, an adopted daughter,

and he planned to disown her in court.

Seng Theary, executive director of Center for Social Development (CSD) applauded

the move. "Those children, because of the influence of their rich and powerful

parents, can ignore the law," she said.

Meanwhile, Son Chhay, outspoken opposition Sam Rainsy Party member, said the inability

of police to crack down on the children of senior officials is an indication of the

weakness of law enforcement.

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