Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hun Sen rejects ‘rift’ rumours spread by ‘stupid gangsters’




Hun Sen rejects ‘rift’ rumours spread by ‘stupid gangsters’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Prime Minister Hun Sen speaks to CPP lawmaker Say Chhum and court-dissolved CNRP officials, Kem Sokha and Sam Rainsy, on the steps of the Senate in 2014. Heng Chivoan

Hun Sen rejects ‘rift’ rumours spread by ‘stupid gangsters’

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday denied a “rift” among top leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), and rejected claims that Senate president Say Chhum and Interior Minister Sar Kheng were set to be removed from their positions as rumours spread by “gangsters”.

The prime minister’s statement was made after rumours began spreading on Facebook that the CPP president was set to remove Sar Kheng and Say Chhum – CPP co-vice presidents – from their respective positions at the upcoming party congress. Hun Sen accused opposition groups of originating the rumours.

The prime minister had previously said the CPP will hold its three-day congress between December 18-20.

Speaking to nearly 20,000 garment workers from 23 factories in Kampong Speu province’s Samrong Tong district, the prime minister labelled those spreading false information as “gangsters”, “evil”, and “stupid”.

He also alluded to the fact that he believed former members of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) originated the rumours when he told the crowd that incidents such as these are why the CNRP met its demise.

Though the prime minister did not name anyone specifically as the author of the Facebook posts, he was likely referring to pro-Rainsy Facebook activist Chham Chhany.

On Tuesday, Chhany posted on Facebook claiming he had received information from an “internal CPP source” that at the next party congress, Hun Sen will replace Sar Keng as CPP vice president with his oldest son Hun Manet, while his position as Interior Minister will be given to his youngest son Hun Many.

Chhany claimed that Sar Kheng will then be appointed National Assembly president, while current president Heng Samrin would replace Say Chhum as Senate president.

No mention was made as to whether Say Chhum would receive a new role.

“One gangster has spread rumours that in the [upcoming] party congress, Hun Sen will replace Sar Kheng and Say Chhum,” the prime minister said.

He also refuted details that he is scheduled to visit China this weekend, at which point Kheng and Chhum would stage a party coup and block his return.

“There was also a rumour saying that when Hun Sen visits China on December 14 he might not be able to return to Cambodia because Sar Kheng and Say Chhum will put measures in place to prevent him from returning."

“The evil man! On December 14 I will go to Koh Kong and on December 15, I will give a speech in Koh Kong province. I am not going to China. If you are not good at telling lies, then why do you tell lies? You are not good at telling lies, that’s why it [the CNRP] was dissolved,” he said.

He rejected the rumour of a “rift” among senior CPP officials, saying they had worked together for over four decades.

“I am in the country, and such things will not happen. Wait and see! The CPP is smart . . . having stayed with each other for 40 years we have not got any rifts,” he stressed.

Hun Sen also made reference to the ongoing internal conflict in Cambodia’s former opposition group the CNRP, telling them that if they wished to “insult their members, they can do it”.

Despite officially being dissolved within the Kingdom, the outlawed group continues its activities abroad. On December 3, Cambodia National Rescue Movement leader Sam Rainsy was controversially named the new “acting president” of the CNRP.

The appointment came much to the ire of the party’s pro-Kem Sokha stalwarts who lambasted the decision and branded it a coup, as Sokha is at home on bail on treason charges and not incommunicado.

MOST VIEWED

  • School reopening to be postponed until November

    Minister of Education Hang Chuon Naron on Tuesday wrote to Prime Minister Hun Sen requesting a delay of school reopening across the Kingdom until November, when the new academic year begins. In his letter, Chuon Naron said the postponement is warranted to avoid the new

  • Foreigners in Kingdom must now register in FPCS system

    The Ministry of Interior’s General Department of Immigration (GDI) announced that it would not grant visa extensions to foreigners staying in Cambodia if their names are not listed on the Foreigners Present in Cambodia System (FPCS) by July 1. Foreign nationals can register in the

  • Covid-19 at ‘alarming rate’, health ministry says

    The Covid-19 risk level for individual transmission is at an “alarming rate” in the Kingdom and its probability is “not low”, warned Health Ministry spokesperson Or Vandine. “Cambodia’s coronavirus scenario is classified as being at an early stage of the pandemic because of ongoing

  • Mandatory quarantine for 30,000 workers begins

    Some of the roughly 30,000 workers from factories and enterprises across the Kingdom who went on leave during Khmer New Year began their government-imposed 14-day quarantine on Monday. Speaking at a press conference while visiting workers at the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone on Monday, Ministry

  • Unemployed to get $40 per month

    The Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training has instructed enterprises, business owners and travel agencies in five provinces to prepare the proper forms for the suspension of employment contracts. This, it said, will make it easier for the ministry to transfer $40 a month to workers

  • Gov’t travel ban flouted

    While the majority of Cambodians have paid heed to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s order to stay put and not travel during the Khmer New Year – the holidays of which were also postponed – several hundred have left Phnom Penh nonetheless. They have allegedly breached provincial

  • G20 energy ministers struggle to finalise oil output cuts

    Top oil producers struggled to finalise production cuts during a virtual summit held by Group of 20 (G20) energy ministers on Friday, despite US President Donald Trump’s mediation efforts to end a standoff with Mexico. The final G20 communique appeared to gloss over simmering divisions

  • Kingdom revises travel restriction order

    The government on Friday eased the district and provincial border restrictions issued on Thursday. People are now allowed to cross districts within their provinces. Phnom Penh and Kandal province are to be treated as a single region where people are allowed to travel freely. In

  • Private schools struggling

    The Cambodian Higher Education Association has claimed that 113 private educational establishments are facing bankruptcy because of their inability to pay rent and staff salaries in light of nationwide school closures caused by the Covid-19 outbreak. It said the financial trouble started when the Ministry of

  • Khmer New Year holidays postponed

    In an effort to halt Covid-19 infections in the Kingdom, Prime Minister Hun Sen has postponed the Khmer New Year holidays scheduled from April 13 to 16. While the people will not have their usual break, nor will there be any public celebrations or gatherings at pagodas,