Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Banh: Oknha title or position

Banh: Oknha title or position

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defense Tea Banh has said all officials holding thehonourific Oknha must choose to maintain the title or their position in the military framework. Heng Chivoan

Banh: Oknha title or position

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence Tea Banh has ordered all institutions under the ministry’s supervision to collect data of officials holding the honorific Oknha.

Speaking during the inauguration of a new military base in Sen Sok district on Tuesday, Banh said once the data had been compiled, the ministry would set a deadline for the officials to choose between the honorific and their position within the military framework.

“Let me make this clear – all the heads of each institution must collect the data more quickly. Be careful and do it as quickly as possible to ensure a speedy reform.

“Of course, I understand that some of those who hold the title have contributed a lot to national development, to such an extent that they are bestowed with the honorific Oknha.

“However, from now on, only one title can be kept. If you wish to maintain the honorific Oknha, you must forfeit your position in the military framework,” he said.

The ministry’s directive came after Prime Minister Hun Sen raised the issue during the ruling Cambodian People’s Party’s Central Committee meeting last month.

At the time Banh requested an ultimatum for officials with the two titles to decide to avoid upsetting them.

“We want to agree before making it official. If we just do it without any consultation, some of them could feel frustrated,” he said.

Senior national defence ministry officials said it had no specific figures for those with the two titles.

However, it said that in the framework of the General Command of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF), 61 officials were holding the title Oknha.

Among them, 45 had decided to forfeit the title while 16 others chose to maintain it and agreed to resign from the military framework.

RCAF General Command spokesman Thong Solimo said he could not provide exact figures while a meeting with minister Banh was pending before a decision is made.

“We have already prepared data, there is no change. The 61 RCAF General Command officials will soon meet directly with Samdech Tea Banh,” he said.

Solimo said after the officials choose between the two titles, the government would request a Royal Decree terminating either one.

Official figures made available to the public said there were 704 Oknhas as of February 2014. A newly amended prakas states that one must make at least $500,000 in donations for national development before the honorific is bestowed through a Royal Decree.

MOST VIEWED

  • US imposes sanctions on Oknha Pheap and Kun Kim

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation expressed strong dismay on Monday over the designation of Cambodian tycoon Oknha Try Pheap and General Kun Kim under the US’ Global Magnitsky Act. “It is very disturbing when the public figures of a country become the

  • Mother, daughter killed in hotel fire

    The bodies of a mother and daughter were found locked in an embrace after they were killed in a hotel fire in Phnom Penh at around 3:30am on Wednesday at the Phkar Chhouk Tep 2 Hotel and Restaurant in Phsar Doeum Kor commune, in the capital’

  • EBA withdrawal a destruction of EU achievements, PM says

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the EU’s possible suspension of its Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement amounted to a destruction of its achievements in the Kingdom and the demise of the opposition group. Hun Sen made the remarks while addressing more than 6,700 students during

  • Rights Day forum denied in Sihanoukville

    The Preah Sihanouk provincial administration last Saturday denied the request of land communities for a public location in the province to celebrate International Human Rights Day 2019 as the administration had already held forums to discuss land issues. However, the land community representatives said they would

  • Kingdom calls on Japan to increase number of direct flights to Siem Reap, Phnom Penh

    Cambodia is requesting Japan to increase the number of direct flights from Japanese cities and provinces to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, so as to contribute to increasing cooperation and tourist numbers between the two countries. During the opening ceremony of 3rd Japan Travel Fair

  • Court orders Sokha to stand trial on January 15 for treason

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Court has set January 15 as the trial date for Kem Sokha, the former president of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) who is under court-supervised bail on a treason charge. In a press release issued on Monday, the municipal