Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Party heads slam ‘immoral’ bet

Party heads slam ‘immoral’ bet

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) leader Yang Saing Koma is one of the political party figures who criticised Prime Minister Hun Sen and Sam Rainsy over a bet involving the “release”of Kem Sokha. Pha Lina

Party heads slam ‘immoral’ bet

Leasers of Cambodian political parties on Tuesday criticised Prime Minister Hun Sen and opposition figure Sam Rainsy over a bet involving the “release” of Kem Sokha, describing it as “immoral” and “insulting” to the former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) president.

They called for “compromise” and “dialogue ” to “avoid a split in thenation”.

The reactions came after a war of words between the prime minister and Rainsy late last week regarding Sokha’s fate. Rainsy said Sokha would be released from “house arrest” between December 29, 2018, and March 3, 2019, something Hun Sen dismissed as impossible under the law.

Rainsy then offered the prime minister a bet on the prediction, which he accepted, with Hun Sen to step down and the Cambodia National Rescue Movement leader to turn himself in to authorities depending on who lost. Rainsy is currently living in France to avoid court action on criminal charges.

Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) leader Yang Saing Koma told The Post on Tuesday that Hun Sen and Rainsy should not use Sokha’s legal situation as the basis of a political bet. He urged a “compromise” to allow Sokha to be a free man and re-enter the political arena.

“I think they should not [take a] bet like this. They should think about compromising, to make Kem Sokha free and allow him back into politics to join the 2022 [commune] election [campaign]."

“We think that politics is not a game for them [to play] … it is about solving issues [facing Cambodians], not creating [sideshows] for people to follow,” Saing Koma said.

‘Politically immoral’

Khmer Rise Party (KRP) president Sok Sovann Vathana Sabong said Rainsy is “immoral” for calling on Hun Sen to accept the bet.

He defended as “correct”, the prime minister’s explanation on Sunday that he had no right to request royal pardons until court verdicts are final.

Sovann Vathana Sabong, who is a member of the National Assembly’s Consultation Forum said, “as a member of Consultation Forum, I think [the bet] is not right and politically immoral.

“The former opposition leader [Rainsy] is the one who initiated it. We want [Rainsy] to stop using his political partner [Sokha] like this because it is strongly insulting to Kem Sokha’s reputation.”

Khmer Will Party (KWP) president Kong Monika called for dialogue as Hun Sen and Rainsy’s bet is “not a good example” for people of the next generation.

“I think this strategy is not a good example for the next generation. Both veteran politicians [should] return to make a truce with each other and start a dialogue between Khmer and Khmer to avoid a spilt in the nation,” he said.

Former CNRP lawmaker Ou Chanrath said he felt that Rainy and Hun Sen were using Sokha’s fate as a “game”.

He also called the bet “immoral”.

“I really regret that the country’s leader [Hun Sen] has used an individual’s freedom … someone who has already been treated unjustly, to be bet like this. It should not happen like this because [Hun Sen and Rainsy] are not normal people. They are [the prime minister] leader and the leader of the opposition,” Chanrath said.

He called both leaders to call off the bet, saying if they continued with it, it would bring “shame” to Cambodia.

“It is immoral ... as [Sokha] is a victim. First, it would affect him mentally, being used for a bet. Secondly, it brings shame to our nation because I have never seen any country’s leaders using the freedom of a person in a bet like this,” he said.

However, both Hun Sen and Rainy have defended the bet.

On Sunday, Hun Sen said his decision to accept the wager offered by Sam Rainsy did not violate the authority of the courts, while Rainsy claimed that by doing so, Hun Sen had “fallen into my trap” and revealed himself to be a dictator using the judiciary as a “political tool”.

MOST VIEWED

  • Judge lands in court after crashing into alleged thief

    Sen Sok district police on Thursday sent a Koh Kong Provincial Court judge to the Phnom Penh Municipal Court on manslaughter charges after he crashed his car into a woman riding a motorbike on Wednesday, killing her. District police chief Hour Meng Vang told The

  • Gov’t to boost Siem Reap tourism

    The Ministry of Tourism released the results of an inter-ministerial committee meeting concerning Siem Reap province’s Tourism Development Master Plan for 2020-2035 on Wednesday, revealing the government’s plan to improve the overall tourist landscape there. The meeting was attended by Minister of Tourism

  • Government set to make up for cancelled April holiday

    The government is set to make up for a five-day Khmer New Year holiday late this month or early next month. The holiday was earlier cancelled due to the onset of Covid-19. The announcement is expected on Friday as the government is studying a range

  • Crumbling prices, rent ruffle condo segment

    The prolonged decline in international arrivals to Cambodia intensified by renewed Covid-19 fears has driven down condominium sales prices and rental rates in Phnom Penh, a research report said. CBRE Cambodia, the local affiliate of US commercial real estate services and investment firm CBRE Group

  • Over $3M in traffic fines collected in two months

    Traffic police officers collected over $3 million in fines throughout the Kingdom during the past two months when officers strictly enforced the law in accordance with a May sub-decree, officials said. As incentives, law enforcement officers received between 200,000 and two million riel ($50 to $500) each. The figures

  • More than 10,000 workers suspended

    More than 10,000 workers at 18 factories in Svay Rieng province have been suspended because of Covid-19, said provincial deputy governor Ros Pharith. Home to 11 special economic zones, Pharith said Svay Rieng has not been spared as the pandemic takes a toll on the global economy. “There

  • Nod given for school exams

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport announced that State-run higher educational institutions can hold examinations to end the academic year, while private schools can organise grade 9 and grade 12 examinations at their premises for two days. However, private institutions have to take measures to prevent

  • Kingdom’s exports to US mushroom 25.94% in first five months to $2.4B

    Though Cambodia’s exports to other countries have been stalled amid the evolving Covid-19 environment, the Kingdom’s shipments to the US were worth 25.94 per cent more in the first five months of this year than they were in the year-ago period. Bilateral trade between

  • Oz lauds Kingdom’s passage of money laundering laws

    In a press release published by the Australian embassy in Phnom Penh on Monday, the country applauded Cambodia’s stance on transnational crimes as well as its promulgation of an anti-money laundering law and a law on combating proliferation financing. The praise came after King

  • Lotus face masks designed to cover globe

    A French designer in Cambodia has produced ecological face masks from lotus fibre to supply local and international markets with an eye on preserving ancestral techniques and supporting Cambodian women in rural communities. During a trip to Asia, Awen Delaval, an eco-friendly fashion designer, was