Prime Minister Hun Sen has reaffirmed his commitment to grooming his son Hun Manet, the ruling party's future prime ministerial candidate, to become a sound leader devoted to national development.
Addressing garment workers in Pursat province on June 30, Hun Sen touted widespread support for his family, despite certain factions seeking to undermine them.
“Anywhere in Asia, affection for the father often translates to support for the son. But, if the son acts foolishly, this love diminishes. I will not let Cambodia suffer due to my son’s mistakes," he affirmed.
Hun Sen went on to assert that he would strive to mould his son into a leader superior to himself.
"If my son fails to meet expectations, he will face expulsion from the party, and I would reassume my role as prime minister. As party president, I reserve the right to remove members," he added.
The assertion came in response to criticism primarily from opposition groups based abroad, who he said have routinely launched verbal assaults against him and his family.
Regardless, Hun Sen expressed hope that the younger generation would outshine their predecessors in leadership.
“I'm primed to let Hun Manet succeed me ... I've instilled self-reliance in him. If he brought up problems, I'd tell him to come up with solutions. I'd let him handle problems his own way.
"From my parenting experience, if adolescent children need assistance, it's one thing. But for grown-ups, it's a different story -- if they fall, they need to get back on their feet by themselves and learn from mistakes. This philosophy has guided my parenting approach,” he elucidated.
The premier laughed off suggestions that Manet, as prime minister, should diverge from his father's path.
"In what way? Any such divergence means disrupting peace and undoing the achievements of the older generation.
"Rest assured that while I am on Cambodian soil, nobody can destroy peace and development," he stressed.
Manet is currently deputy commander-in-chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) and commander of the army.