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

  • All inbound flights set to face added scrutiny

    Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said on Monday that the ministry is monitoring all inbound flights, after it was announced that only those from Malaysia and Indonesia will be temporarily cancelled from August 1. Vandine said on Monday that the two countries were identified as

  • Flights from Indonesia, Malaysia cancelled

    A Ministry of Health official has warned of the possibility of Covid-19 spreading through community transmission after the total infected cases in the Kingdom rose to 225. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told reporters on Saturday that the possibility of community transmission cannot be overlooked and that

  • Man in quarantine dies of ‘overdose’

    The Ministry of Health on Thursday said a Cambodian migrant worker who died while being isolated at a quarantine centre in Tbong Khmum province’s Kroch Chhmar district may have died from syncope or overdose of tablets. In a statement, the ministry said the 21-year-old

  • Ministry set to reopen 20 schools in August

    The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport will allow 20 high-safety-standards schools to reopen next month despite new cases of Covid-19 in the country. Ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha wrote in a Telegram message on Wednesday that the schools are in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang.