Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM accepts apology for 'gangster' remark made by Thai minister

PM accepts apology for 'gangster' remark made by Thai minister

PM accepts apology for 'gangster' remark made by Thai minister

But top envoy Kasit Piromya maintains his meaning was lost in translation, and that his intent was to praise Hun Sen as ‘lion-hearted'.

CHINESE WHISPERS

The Thai Foreign Affairs Ministry claimed Wednesday that Minister Kasit Piromya referred to Hun Sen as jai nek leng (‘sportsmanlike', ‘big-hearted'), rather than the term nek leng, which translates into English as ‘gangster', or one who ‘ignores the rules'.

PRIME Minister Hun Sen has accepted a written apology by the Thai foreign minister over a remark made in Bangkok's parliament that some say referred to the premier as a "gangster".

In a letter dated Thursday obtained by the Post, Hun Sen said "the Cambodian people, who supported and voted for me to lead the country, as well as myself, were definitely calmed by the sight of your apology".

The foreign minister, Kasit Piromya, wrote Wednesday to Hun Sen expressing his "deep apology" for what he described as an "unintentional cause of misunderstanding", according to a copy of the letter.

On Tuesday, during the inauguration of Samdech Hun Sen Quay in Preah Sihanouk province, Hun Sen lashed out at Kasit for allegedly branding him a "gentleman with the mind of a gangster".

But echoing similar comments from the Thai Foreign Minsitry, Kasit said his comments - made in a parliamentary debate last month - were misconstrued by the prime minister.

"In the Thai language, the work nak leng that I used during the debate means a person who is lion-hearted, a courageous and magnanimous gentleman," he wrote.

"This is how I referred to you as an expression of my appreciation of and respect for Your Excellency."

Hun Sen is scheduled to attend the April 10-12 ASEAN summit in Thailand, which will also include representatives from Japan, China and South Korea. Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is also slated to visit Cambodia on April 18.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all