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Dozing CPP lawmaker draws social media ire

Nguon Nhel, second vice president of the National Assembly, sleeps in his chair at the National Assembly on Tuesday. Photo supplied
Nguon Nhel, second vice president of the National Assembly, sleeps in his chair at the National Assembly on Tuesday. Photo supplied

Dozing CPP lawmaker draws social media ire

Second vice president of the National Assembly Nguon Nhel came under fire on social media yesterday after photos emerged of him appearing to sleep during Tuesday’s plenary session and driving on the wrong side of the road.

The photos were circulated yesterday on Facebook and quickly drew the attention of netizens, with one joking the picture of the Cambodian People’s Party lawmaker sitting slouched with his eyes closed next to parliament President Heng Samrin was simply him “meditating”. Another user named Paul Sok, however, saw a chance for political commentary.

“Cpp been asleep 30 years thats why [the] country so poor,” he wrote in English.

However, it was the photo showing Nhel’s Lexus motoring on the wrong side of Norodom Boulevard that drew the most criticism, particularly in light of the lawmaker’s excuse. Nhel wrote on Facebook that police had allowed him to drive in the left-hand lane because he was “in a rush” to meet Senate President Say Chhum.

“As I am a high ranking official in a state institution, and also the debater and the one who passed the law, I didn’t break the traffic law,” Nhel wrote.

Facebook users, however, were having none of it.

“Next time leave 3 hours early like everyone else,” user Xeno Meas wrote in English. “It probably easier if you say your sorry that you made a reckless decision as an official and put everyone in danger . . . instead of explaining how you legally break and bypass traffic laws.”

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