Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - General calls on RCAF to stop change in government



General calls on RCAF to stop change in government

RCAF General Hul Sam Aun (front left) in a speech on Monday said the military would work to prevent ‘change’ in an apparent reference to an opposition victory. Facebook
RCAF General Hul Sam Aun (front left) in a speech on Monday said the military would work to prevent ‘change’ in an apparent reference to an opposition victory. Facebook

General calls on RCAF to stop change in government

The commander of the Defence Ministry’s logistics brigade said on Monday that if the military commits to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government, the opposition will never be able to come to power, rhetorically asking: “When the army does not allow change, who will dare to change?”

Speaking at the opening of a training course on heavy military vehicles in Phnom Penh on Monday, Hul Sam Aun, who was added to the Cambodian People’s Party’s central committee at its 2015 congress, told his transport and logistics soldiers to defend the government.

“Protect the legitimate government, do not allow a colour revolution and do not allow change – and when the army does not allow change, who will dare to change?” Sam Aun said, explaining that he could not understand why anyone would wish to see change in Cambodia.

“I want to ask, who wants change?” Sam Aun said. “If anyone wants to announce to ‘change’ or ‘rescue’, why do you want to rescue? The country is comfortable.”

Using an honorific reserved for the CPP’s most senior leaders, royals and senior monks, and in apparent reference to Hun Sen, Sam Aun said that his brigade would not allow change in Cambodia and were willing to die for the cause.

“On behalf of the soldiers in the brigade, we commit to defend Samdech, and we will not allow change, and when the army and armed forces do not allow, who dares to change? I want to ask this,” he said. “The army is the one who commits not to change, and volunteers to die.”

In an apparent challenge to former opposition leader Sam Rainsy, who lives in Paris to avoid a slew of politically tinged convictions and charges and often criticises Hun Sen on Facebook, he added: “If you dare, come and say it in Cambodia. Why have you said it from abroad?”

Cheam Channy, a lawmaker for the Cambodia National Rescue Party who heads the opposition party’s “assembly group” committee for defence and interior, said Sam Aun was speaking out of line.

“A change of government and its leaders is not the army’s business; it is the people’s business, because we are a democratic society, and so we take elections and the people’s decisions as the main thing,” Channy said.

“Such an announcement is a warning against the will of the people,” he said. “We cannot accept it.”

CPP spokesman Sok Eysan, however, said he saw no issue with the remarks and that they were being misinterpreted.

“There is no problem, and this does not break the law,” Eysan said, denying the comments were a threat to not respect election results.

“He just talked about his commitment to protect the legitimate government and the head of the government who has come from the election.”

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • PM asks India for vaccine help

    Prime Minister Hun Sen is seeking assistance from India for the provision of Covid-19 vaccines as the country has produced its own vaccine which is scheduled to be rolled out to more than 300 million Indians this year. The request was made during his meeting with

  • Cambodia, India agree to start direct flights, tourism exchanges

    Cambodia and India have agreed to start direct flight connections and promote closer tourism exchanges and cooperation in all areas after the Covid-19 saga comes to a close. The agreement was reached during a meeting between Cambodian Minister of Tourism Thong Khon and newly-minted Indian

  • Plastic-to-rice initiative transforms waste into bricks

    Volunteers in Kampong Khlaing commune of Siem Reap province’s Sotr Nikum district have been collecting plastic waste to use as a raw material for the production of bricks and clemence tiles. The volunteers are hoping that, in addition to helping clean up the environment,