Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Defence Minister Tea Banh gets ‘Samdech’ honorific

Defence Minister Tea Banh gets ‘Samdech’ honorific

Defence Minister Tea Banh, seen speaking at an event earlier this year, was granted the honorific title of ‘Samdech’ in a royal decree on Saturday.
Defence Minister Tea Banh, seen speaking at an event earlier this year, was granted the honorific of ‘Samdech’ in a royal decree on Saturday. Heng Chivoan

Defence Minister Tea Banh gets ‘Samdech’ honorific

Defence Minister Tea Banh, an outspoken loyalist of Prime Minister Hun Sen, whose opponents he has repeatedly threatened with violence, has been given the prestigious honorific of “Samdech”, joining a small elite group of high-ranking ruling party members with the title.

The title – which translates roughly to “lord” – was bestowed by King Nordom Sihamoni on Saturday, according to a royal decree, which says the honour was a reward for the minister’s services to “peace, stability, independence, development and the protection of democracy”.

His full new title reads “Samdech Pichey Sena Tea Banh”.

Banh, a former Khmer Rouge fighter who rose to co-defence minister for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party after the 1993 election, is a close ally of Hun Sen and among the most vocal critics of the opposition. Despite leading Cambodia’s ostensibly politically neutral armed forces, he last year threatened to “smash the teeth” of opposition protesters.

He becomes one of seven living non-royal laypeople with the “Samdech” title, along with Hun Sen and his wife, Bun Rany; National Assembly President Heng Samrin; Interior Minister Sar Kheng; Senate President Say Chhum; and Royal Palace Minister Kong Sam Ol. The late Deputy Prime Minister Sok An and CPP President Chea Sim also held the title.

In a statement, Banh thanked the prime minister and pledged to guarantee the country’s “peace” and “political stability”.

Meanwhile, academic Sok Touch, who last year started a probe into the accuracy of Cambodia’s border maps, has also received a promotion. A sub-decree says Touch was elevated to director of the Royal Academy of Cambodia.

MOST VIEWED

  • No more Africa travel ban but new rules for arrivals

    The Ministry of Health has decided to lift the ban on travellers from or who have travelled through 10 African countries and instead issued a set of standard operating procedures to manage passenger arrivals at Cambodia’s international airports. The 10 African countries are Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho,

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • Cambodia purchases 4 million Molnupiravir tablets

    Cambodia has arranged for the purchase of four million US-made Molnupiravir pills – enough to treat 100,000 Covid-19 patients – even though the current rate of daily infections in Cambodia remains low. The medicine will be distributed to state hospitals, pharmacies and private clinics, according to the Samdech

  • Rise in planned flights lifts travel hopes

    Six airlines have applied to resume flights in December, while two others have put in for additional flights and routes, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall on November 29. These account for 43 new weekly domestic and international flights in December, up 16

  • Is Cambodia’s travel sector in for another cheerless holiday season?

    The travel and tourism sector was heaving back to life as borders started to reopen, promising a festive vibe for the holidays and New Year. But Omicron and other Covid-related issues are threatening to close the year on a bleak note ‘Seems [like] Covid-19 won’

  • PM blasts Vietnam general over Covid claims

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on December 6 expressed dismay after Vietnamese general Hoang Xuan Chien, formerly in charge of Vietnam’s border defences, claimed that Cambodia was a source of Covid-19 transmissions to the country. Speaking at the opening ceremony for National Road 11 connecting Prey Veng