Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Australian politician slams gov’t spokesman



Australian politician slams gov’t spokesman

Khmer-Australian politician Hong Lim, who yesterday slammed government spokesman Phay Siphan’s “absurd, ridiculous and stupid” actions. Parliament of Victoria
Khmer-Australian politician Hong Lim, who yesterday slammed government spokesman Phay Siphan’s “absurd, ridiculous and stupid” actions. Parliament of Victoria

Australian politician slams gov’t spokesman

Khmer-Australian politician Hong Lim has responded with a stinging broadside against government spokesman Phay Siphan’s “absurd, ridiculous and stupid” antics, after the Cambodian official demanded he apologise for criticising the Kingdom’s regime in the wake of the murder of political analyst Kem Ley.

In an email yesterday, Lim, a state MP for the Labor Party in Victoria, took aim at Siphan for insulting his parents, who he said had died under the Khmer Rouge, characterising the spokesman’s remarks as “beneath contempt” and calling out the government’s “self-important patronizing, condescending and insulting attitude”.

“What kind of government would stoop this low?” Lim said.

The war of words erupted after Lim called Cambodia’s regime a “beast” in an interview about Ley’s killing, which many believe was politically motivated. Siphan, who plans to visit the Australian Embassy today to continue his push for an apology, said the remarks were an “insult” to the government, monarchy and Cambodian people.

But Lim, who was born in Cambodia and emigrated to Australia, said Siphan had distorted his remarks for the “government’s miserable political gain”, which he slammed as an act of cowardice, “disrespectful” to Ley and a sign the government had “crossed the line of human decency”.

“In classic vintage Phay Siphan’s style... [he is] dragging the Monarchy and the good people of Cambodia into his twisted, sick and sinister game,” said Lim.

But contacted yesterday, Siphan, who says pro-government supporters will also deliver a petition to the Australian Embassy calling for an apology, held firm, calling Lim a “coward” for not “taking responsibility”.

Reached yesterday, the Australian Embassy says it was aware a group wanted to deliver a petition today.

“The Australian Government will consider a response once the content of the petition has been reviewed,” a spokesperson said, via email.

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Woman seeks answers after arrest of American partner

    Filipina Lalaine de Guzman, 48, is demanding answers for the detention of her American partner by Cambodian immigration officers after he was arrested at their home almost 90 days ago. She said without an arrest warrant or proffering any criminal charges, Stephen Sidney Greatsinger, 56, is being detained

  • ‘No chance Cambodia booted out of ASEAN’

    A group of former and current Cambodian diplomats on Tuesday fired back at retired Singaporean diplomat Bihalari Kausikan after he proposed that ASEAN dismiss Cambodia and Laos from the bloc. In an open letter, the Cambodian diplomats said Kausikan’s remarks were made from a

  • Phnom Penh underpass opens to ease traffic

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced a temporary opening of the 488m underpass at the Chaom Chao roundabout in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district, which was recently completed to connect traffic from National Road 4 to Russian Federation Blvd. The move is to reduce

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital