Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Government critic fired from Education Ministry

Government critic fired from Education Ministry

Former union leader Rong Chhun speaks at an event last month. Chhun was recently fired from the Education Ministry for alleged absenteeism.
Former union leader Rong Chhun speaks at an event last month. Chhun was recently fired from the Education Ministry for alleged absenteeism. Heng Chivoan

Government critic fired from Education Ministry

Former unionist and election official Rong Chhun, who resigned from the National Election Committee (NEC) following the forced dissolution of the opposition, has been fired from the Education Ministry for being absent without permission.

Chhun quit as a member of the NEC in November in protest of the controversial dissolution of the Cambodia National Rescue Party for its purported attempt to overthrow the government. A frequent government critic and the former president of the Cambodian Independent Teacher Assocation, Chhun said he was granted a leave of absence from the Education Ministry’s Research Department to work for the NEC in 2015.

He applied to rejoin the department on January 3, only to be informed at the end of last month that he had been terminated for being “absent without permission”, effective retroactively from the start of the year.

“I am speechless because they allowed me to take leave without salary. And now when I want to return to work, they delete my name,” he said.

Ministry spokesman Ros Salin said a 1999 sub-decree required officials on special leave to come back soon after the end of another assignment. After resigning from the NEC on November 21, Salin reasoned, Chhun should not have waited until January 3 to reapply with the ministry. “In the event they have not requested to come back to work, the ministry will take action following the procedures,” he said.

Chhun contested Salin’s justification for the termination, saying civil servant guidelines required that a verbal and written warning be given to employees before firing them.

“I can say it’s more politically motivated than any other issue,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Moody’s sets outlook rating to ‘negative’ for Cambodia

    US global rating agency Moody’s Investors Service Inc on November 15 announced that it downgraded Cambodia’s outlook from “stable” to “negative” and maintained its B2 local and foreign currency issuer ratings. “The negative outlook reflects a deteriorating external position as illustrated by the severe

  • Korean first lady paves way for ill boy’s surgery

    A 14-year-old boy with congenital heart disease who was lucky enough to meet with South Korean first lady Kim Keon-hee may get the chance of a lifetime and receive surgery and treatment at Asan Medical Center in Seoul, South Korea. After seeing his plight, many

  • Hun Sen’s Covid infection caused by ‘weakened antibody’ after summit

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said exhaustion from heavy workload before and during the recent ASEAN Summit may have led to him contracting Covid-19 due to his weakened immune system, while rejecting speculations that the infection was caused by leaders of some countries who did not

  • Kingdom’s rice crowned world’s No1

    Cambodia’s Phka Rumduol jasmine variety has been crowned the World’s Best Rice for the fifth time at the TRT (The Rice Trader) World Rice Conference in Phuket, Thailand on November 17, according to leaders of the Kingdom’s apex rice industry body. Phka Rumduol

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge