Subscribe Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - As election nears, 400-plus new generals are minted

As election nears, 400-plus new generals are minted

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
RCAF Lieutenant General Hun Manet places a star on a navy brigadier general at a promotion ceremony in March. The military minted some 400 new brigadier generals in February, according to a recently obtained decree. FACEBOOK

As election nears, 400-plus new generals are minted

Prime Minister Hun Sen in February minted more than 400 new generals in yet another round of mass military promotions, which one observer characterised as a “loyalty scheme” deployed as elections approach.

According to a royal decree signed by King Norodom Sihamoni and dated February 27, 434 army colonels have been made brigadier generals, while four members of Cambodia’s navy also received one star.

The promotions are part of an initiative to elevate soldiers who have served since before 1979, the decree states.

The new batch is in addition to more than 550 new general stars handed out in the last year, further swelling the Royal Cambodian Armed Force’s upper echelons, estimated to have between 2,000 and 3,000 generals.

Speaking yesterday, Defence Ministry spokesman Chhum Socheat said the promotions, which come with a $13 monthly salary bump, according to recent wage figures, showed the military’s gratitude for the troops’ service and sacrifice in helping to topple the Khmer Rouge.

“We do not consider it related to the election. We promoted them because they have struggled for a long time,” said Socheat, who could not recall how many generals RCAF now employed.

Jon Grevatt, a regional defence analyst for IHS Jane’s, said the premier was deploying a long-used tactic to secure support as elections approached.

“As Cambodia moves towards this critical juncture, these types of loyalty schemes will likely increase as a way for Hun Sen to maintain his hold on power,” Grevatt said.



  • Kak Channthy, Cambodian Space Project frontwoman, killed in crash at 38 [Updated]

    Updated 5:05pm, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 Kak Channthy, frontwoman of popular The Cambodian Space Project, was killed Tuesday morning in a traffic accident in Phnom Penh. She was 38. Channthy, the internationally recognised singer-songwriter also known as “Srey Thy”, was reportedly travelling in a tuk-tuk on the city's

  • Australians protest Asean summit visit by PM Hun Sen

    Hundreds of protesters gathered in Sydney’s Hyde Park on Friday to protest against Cambodian strongman Hun Sen, who claimed to have been gifted millions of dollars by the Australian government ahead of a special Asean summit this weekend. An estimated 300 protesters, the majority of

  • One Australian, one Cambodian killed in explosion at military base

    Updated: 5:20pm, Friday 16 March 2018 An Australian tourist and a Cambodian soldier were killed in an explosion on Thursday afternoon at an army base in Cambodia’s Kampong Speu province. The Australian, whom the government initially identified as a technical demining expert in his 40s, and

  • Peeling back layers of prehistory in Battambang

    When the man passed away, he had not yet reached 50. He belonged to a tribe that had settled near the Sangker River in Battambang province, likely cultivating the fields and raising animals. On the side, they hunted for boars, and even turtles, one of which