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

  • Oil producers see oversupply

    Major oil producers said on Sunday that crude supply next year would outstrip demand, calling for new strategies based on production adjustments. Khalid al-Falih, Energy Minister of the world’s top supplier Saudi Arabia, said the kingdom would cut its production by 500,000 barrels per day (

  • ‘Historic’ Khmer Rouge tribunal Case 002/2 verdict to be delivered

    The Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) are to deliver the verdict on Friday, in the trial of former Khmer Rouge leaders Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan, in a pronouncement hailed as a “historic event for Cambodia and the world”. The verdict from

  • Record set for world’s longest dragon boat

    Cambodia broke the world record for the longest dragon boat – a title previously held by China, Guinness World Records adjudicator Pravin Patel said on Monday. He verified the record on the east bank of the Mekong river, in Prey Veng province’s Peamro district. “With

  • Analyst: Government appointments ‘a waste of national budget’

    The government has appointed over 200 officials as undersecretaries of state, secretaries of state, assistants and advisers at various institutions since October 1. While senior officials said the appointments were aimed at ensuring higher efficiency at the national level, social analysts said the practice is merely power-sharing