Cambodia's Foreign Ministry yesterday called on Australia to make assurances that the “honour and dignity” of Prime Minister Hun Sen will be “respected” during his upcoming trip to Australia, after the premier threatened to beat up protesters on Australian soil if they burned his image.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Chum Sounry, a former ambassador to Australia, said the request was made in direct response to a group of Cambodian-Australian citizens setting fire to two effigies bearing Hun Sen’s face on Saturday.

“Burning [effigies] affects the honor and dignity of everyone,” Sounry said in a message.

He said his ministry “has been arranging with Australia through diplomatic channel[s] in order to assure the respect of [the] honor and dignity of the Cambodian leader” ahead of the Asean-Australian summit in March.

Hong Lim, state MP for Clarinda in Victoria, yesterday scoffed at the Foreign Ministry’s request and urged the Australian Federal Police to look into Hun Sen’s threats.

“He wants honour and respect after killing Kem Ley? . . . [After] all the corruption and the poverty he inflicted on the people?” he said.