Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM scraps ministry’s passport control plan

PM scraps ministry’s passport control plan

PM scraps ministry’s passport control plan

Prime Minister Hun Sen issued a directive on Monday instructing officials returning from work overseas to hold on to their mission passports, directly contravening two recent Foreign Ministry announcements calling on officials to hand the passports over upon return in a bid to prevent their misuse.

The first Foreign Ministry letter, dated March 4, ordered that mission passports – akin to diplomatic passports but issued to civil servants temporarily abroad on official business – be confiscated when officials returned from their trips.

The second letter, on March 9, doubled down, expressing shock at the idea that passports had been misused for private gain – both by officials who used them for non-official business, and by those who had no business holding them in the first place.

“It was greatly surprising to the authorities, who could not understand how an illegal worker came to be holding a mission passport,” the letter reads.

However, Hun Sen on Monday overruled the Foreign Ministry without explanation, telling public officials to retain the passports.

“After finishing their mission abroad, officials from all ministries and institutions are to keep their mission passport,” the premier’s directive reads, adding officials must be careful not to misuse the document and risk bringing the Kingdom into disrepute.

Ministry spokesperson Chum Sounry yesterday said he did not see a conflict between the opposing edicts, describing the ministry letters as being for informational purposes only, whereas Hun Sen’s directive is “a rule all ministries must follow”. Hun Sen spokesperson Eang Sophalleth was unreachable.

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