Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ex-CNRP official questioned after helping 83-year-old

Ex-CNRP official questioned after helping 83-year-old

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Som Borey (left) said the 83-year-old came to his house and asked him to help post on Facebook because the authority refused to pay the government subsidies. Photo supplied

Ex-CNRP official questioned after helping 83-year-old

A former Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) official presented himself for questioning to Rukhak Kiri district police on July 23, regarding his post on Facebook about an elderly woman who had an IDPoor card but did not receive a government subsidy.

Som Borey, the former first deputy chief of Prek Chik commune, told The Post the police questioned him for hours about why he had uploaded his Facebook post on July 10.

“I was asked to comment on the defamation of the commune chief. But I told the district police chief that I did not defame anyone and I only intended to let leaders know that she is 83 and has an IDPoor card,” he said.

Borey said the woman lives in a zinc-roofed house with her 60-year-old widowed daughter. Her grandchildren work in Thailand, which closed its border.

He said the woman came to his house and asked him to help post on Facebook because the district authority refused to pay the government subsidies and told her the card was invalid.

“I think it was a good deed and that’s why I helped her. She is old and shaking and crying. I felt pity so I posted on Facebook for help.

“Every day she is so worried because she has no money. And when I was called for questioning she was even more worried. She told me I helped her and I am bringing trouble on myself,” he said.

Her IDPoor card is valid for four years from 2016 onward, Borey said. He said the elderly woman had not yet received the subsidy.

Prek Chik commune chief Butt Boeun did not respond. Rukhak Kiri district police chief Chhay Mab said asking Som Borey to respond to the post was based on a complaint from the commune hall.

“I questioned him about the lawsuit only. I asked him if he posted that and accepted that he did. It was just that the IDPoor card was expired and couldn’t withdraw the money. The card can be used at a health centre for medical treatment only,” Mab said.

Battambang provincial Adhoc coordinator Yin Mengly, who investigated the case, said the summoning of Borey to the district police was after the commune hall tried to pressure Borey to apologise publicly on Facebook.

“The summons to the police station seems to be a threatening act and a restriction on freedom of expression. We say that Cambodia is a democracy and information is very important.

“And if the authorities or the government know how to use it, it will be useful. When Borey posted about this issue on Facebook the authorities should have investigated whether the lady is poor or not,” Mengly said.

The Ministry of Planning recently removed more than 6,000 families from the IDPoor list after their living conditions improved.

The removals were made after Prime Minister Hun Sen warned he would take action without exception against local authorities who listed their relatives as poor to receive government subsidies.


  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • ‘Bad news is an investor’s best friend’ – unlocking investment potential in Cambodia

    It is time to shop. Economic woes provide good pickings for investors if they know where to look The poem If, written by English Nobel laureate poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling for his son circa 1895, is widely perceived as fatherly advice for John who would

  • First ‘mobile kitchen’ in Cambodia enters service

    A catering company recently rolled out Cambodia’s first “mobile kitchen” – a $50,000 container capable of serving up to 200 people at a time. The kitchen is the brainchild of Seng Hok Heng Catering Services. At 4.4m-high, 6.8m-long and 2.4m-wide (expandable to 6.8m), the kitchen is equipped

  • PM requests Russia’s Covid vaccine

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that Russia provide Cambodia with its Covid-19 vaccine after the former announced it planned on mass vaccinating its population next month. The request came on Thursday through the prime minister’s Facebook page as he met with Anatoly Borovik,

  • Kingdom, China rebut basis for US sanctions

    The Council for the Development of Cambodia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Tianjin Union Investment Development Group Co Ltd (Tianjin) have responded to US sanctions on Union Development Group Co Ltd (UDG), a Chinese-owned company currently developing the sprawling $3.8 billion Dara

  • Influenza breaks out in eight provinces

    Nearly 600 people have been infected with influenza in eight provinces in the past month, Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said. The ministry is advising extreme caution. A report released by Vandine on Saturday said the Ministry of Health observed transmissions of influenza between August 15