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Reports vary on the state of Hun Sen’s health

GOVERNMENT officials yesterday provided conflicting reports on the state of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s health, differing in particular on whether he was to receive treatment in Singapore for an unspecified eye ailment.

Om Yentieng, Hun Sen’s personal adviser, said the premier had recovered from a bout with A(H1N1) influenza, also known as swine flu, which was announced last month, as well as problems with his eye, which he lost during combat in 1975.

“I believe that Samdech Hun Sen’s health, both swine flu and the eye problem, has recovered and he is in a normal situation,” Om Yentieng said.
Om Yentieng said the premier was scheduled to leave for Singapore next week, but that he wasn’t sure of the purpose of the visit. “I know that he plans to go to Singapore on July 20 or a few days after,” he said.

“I am not sure if he will seek medical treatment on his eye, or attend a meeting,” Om Yentieng added.

The premier is scheduled to preside over the opening of a military field-training exercise July 17 in Kampong Speu province.

Information Minister Khieu Kanharith, who is also a government spokesman, said Tuesday that the premier was not outside of the country.

“No, he’s in his home,” Khieu Kanharith wrote in an SMS text message when asked whether the premier was in Singapore seeking medical treatment.

But Cheam Yeap, a senior lawmaker with the ruling Cambodian People’s Party, said party officials previously told him that Hun Sen had been seeking treatment in Singapore. He added that he did not know when exactly this had occurred.

“The information I received from party officials is that Samdech Hun Sen has had an irritation in his eye and he had a medical checkup in Singapore,” Cheam Yeap said.

The premier’s schedule has been complicated by health problems in recent weeks, government officials said earlier.

In late June, health officials announced that Hun Sen had contracted A(H1N1) influenza, and that five other government officials had also exhibited signs of the virus.

At the time, officials said Hun Sen had been exposed to the virus during a meeting late last month at the Council of Ministers.

The premier missed two functions in June because of health reasons: a ceremony marking the founding of the CPP, and a meeting with Surya Subedi, the United Nations special rapporteur for human rights in Cambodia.

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