Hun Many, son of the prime minister and a lawmaker for Kampong Speu province, is once again adding to his trophy case, having been granted a medal from King Norodom Sihamoni, National Assembly spokesman Leng Penglong told the Post yesterday.
The Royal Order of Cheatopaka, for exemplary leadership, has been conferred on 27 lawmakers in the past, including National Assembly President Heng Samrin, opposition lawmakers Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha, and Hun Sen himself. According to Penglong, Many received the award on December 19 for achievements including his CPP youth leadership and various charity efforts.
“Samdech [Heng Samrin, National Assembly president] . . . saw that Hun Many has a lot of achievements and received many awards. That’s why the [decoration] committee offer him the award,” said Penglong.
In November, Many received the GUSI Peace Prize from the Philippines for humanitarian work and advocating for the protection of Cambodian national heritage. He also was awarded the Royal Order of Moha Sena, or “officer medal”, in December.
Political analyst Ou Virak said that Many’s repeated decorations, much like the meteoric rise of Hun Sen’s other sons, flies in the face of the prime minister’s repeated statements warning lawmakers against nepotism.
“That’s a problem Hun Sen is having. It’s very difficult for him to push his officials [to stop nepotism], because if you look at all of this promotion, people will say ‘you’re doing the exact same thing’,” Virak said. “It’s very difficult for the CPP to clean up its own house.”
Additional reporting by Igor Kossov