Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Flopper’ fallout for CNRP

‘Flopper’ fallout for CNRP

Mang Puthy (right) greets a monk, at a religious ceremony after his release on bail from Bancheay Meanchey Provincial Prison earlier this month. Photo supplied
Mang Puthy (right) greets a monk, at a religious ceremony after his release on bail from Bancheay Meanchey Provincial Prison earlier this month. Photo supplied

‘Flopper’ fallout for CNRP

Opposition official and unionist Mang Puthy yesterday resigned from the Cambodia National Rescue Party, citing increased legal issues in the weeks since his release from Banteay Meanchey Provincial Prison for allegedly striking an immigration official with his car.

The decision followed a meeting with Poipet Town Governor Ngor Meng Chroun, who yesterday told The Post he was unaware of the decision, but had cautioned Puthy that his NGO must be politically neutral under Cambodian law.

Puthy, who is executive director of the Cambodia Informal Economy Reinforced Association (CIERA), was charged with aggravated violence in December for allegedly hitting Poipet immigration officer Chhean Pisith with his SUV.

A video clip of the incident that went viral showed Puthy’s car to be stationary when Pisith collapsed in front of it, resulting in widespread outrage, and mockery of Pisith. The outrage only grew after security footage from a Thai guesthouse showed Pisith walking normally just days after he was photographed wearing a neck brace and being wheeled around on a gurney.

Puthy was freed on bail on January 14, in what some considered a face-saving move by the government to quell the social media fury.

Reached yesterday, Puthy said he was resigning from his party position for want of time and also because of a growing number of legal complaints against him relating to a local land dispute, a past protest at the customs office and the recent “flopper” case.

“I would like to inform the chief [of local CNRP council] that I have to fulfill my tasks at the association. So, I don’t have enough time for party work,” the letter dated January 16 reads.

The unionist added that the move would not be followed by a defection to the Cambodian People’s Party but was simply an attempt to maintain his union’s neutrality.

“I did not submit this letter to be with CPP, not at all. I will be neutral and independent. My stance is to serve the people,” he said, adding that the decision was made after the meeting with Poipet Governor Meng Chroun.

Poipet opposition official Mean Sarith said he had only learned of Puthy’s resignation via Facebook, while CNRP lawmaker Eng Chhay Eang said the unionist was free to leave the party. “When he came to CNRP, we did not force him to come, so he has the right to freely leave the party,” said Chhay Eang.

However, a former associate of Puthy’s, who spoke on condition of anonymity, yesterday described him as an ambitious man who would not leave the CNRP without having planned his next move.

“Wait and see. I think the people in CNRP also know this,” he said. “I also heard that he has tried to negotiate for being chief of administration for Poipet in the past.”


  • Serious flooding across country

    The Kampong Speu provincial Committee for Disaster Management on Wednesday issued an alert after non-stop heavy rain caused widespread flooding. In Koh Kong province, authorities are working with the disaster committee and the Cambodian Red Cross to assist those affected after more than 350 homes were

  • CNRP points to King in call for vote boycott

    Leaders of the former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) have taken a new tack in their call for a boycott of the national elections later this month. They are now claiming that the people should follow the King, who is expected to abide by tradition

  • Actress’s NGO takes heat for promoting the ruling party

    An actress’s NGO which participated in an election campaign event contrary to the Law on Association and Non-Governmental Organisations (Lango) has been slammed. Chorn Chanleakena, a celebrity and the president of the Association of Artists Volunteering to Help Society, allegedly led its members in

  • Troop moves ‘won’t worry people’

    Senior officials at the Ministry of Defence and National Police said on Tuesday that riot training provided to the country’s police forces were aimed at preventing unexpected demonstrations and strikes before and after the July 29 national elections. The troop mobilisation, they said, would not