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Rainsy not swayed by ‘e-premier’

Opposition leader Sam Rainsy took to Facebook yesterday to criticise the government’s recent embrace of the same social network, describing it as “demagogy in action”.

Ever since officially endorsing his own Facebook profile last September, Prime Minister Hun Sen has put serious effort into the medium, making several of what he has characterised as “gifts” to the electorate – such as the cancellation of unpopular toll road contracts – saying he got the ideas from Facebook.

In February, he sent a letter to government ministries asking them to monitor citizens’ complaints on his profile and address those that fell into their remit.

Rainsy, however, was not impressed. On his own Facebook page, the self-exiled opposition leader wrote, “Creating problems for the people through arbitrary decisions and systemic corruption and, from time to time, alleviating the effects of some of those problems in a theatrical way most recently through Facebook), seems to be the [Cambodian People’s Party] regime’s modus operandi.”

Government spokesman Phay Siphan responded by accusing Rainsy of deceiving the people, adding that the premier is merely demonstrating the efficiency of “electronic government”.

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