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Barred Khmer-Australian politician vows to return

Khmer-Australian politician Hong Lim speaks during a 2012 cultural event in Victoria, Australia. Photo supplied
Khmer-Australian politician Hong Lim speaks during a 2012 cultural event in Victoria, Australia. Photo supplied

Barred Khmer-Australian politician vows to return

Cambodian-born Australian politician Hong Lim, banned from Cambodia by the Foreign Ministry for critical comments about the Kingdom’s government, has vowed to return regardless of being declared a “persona non grata”.

Though not fixing a date, Lim, a member of the Victorian state parliament, made the pledge in a speech posted online yesterday in which he hit back at his detractors in the Cambodian government.

The politician was accused by government spokesman Phay Siphan of insulting Cambodia’s monarchy and its people by calling the Kingdom’s regime a “beast” in an interview about political analyst Kem Ley’s murder.

In the clip, Lim once again dismissed such a characterisation of his remarks. He took aim squarely at the government and Prime Minister Hun Sen – whose administration, he said, had evicted people from their homes, plundered natural resources and even “shot people” – but not the monarchy, he said. If anyone could be accused of insulting the King, it was Hun Sen, Lim said.

“This guy is bad man, when it comes to insulting the King no one is stronger than him.”

Also yesterday, it emerged that so-called student activist Srey Chamroeun, who led pro-CPP rallies to publicise opposition leader Kem Sokha’s alleged infidelity, has applied to City Hall for permission to protest at the airport should Lim return to Cambodia.

City Hall spokesman Mean Chanyada said no decision had been made on the application.

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