Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Gov’t approves changes to duties of its top leadership

Gov’t approves changes to duties of its top leadership

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Nhem Vanda was removed from his positions as Senior Minister and First Vice-President of the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM). Post Pix

Gov’t approves changes to duties of its top leadership

The government on Tuesday approved changes to duties and responsibilities of its senior leadership, merely three months after King Norodom Sihamoni removed Nhem Vanda from his positions as Senior Minister and First Vice-President of the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM).

Vanda was dismissed for “lacking responsibility and telling a lie” following the collapse of a seven-storey building in Sihanoukville, which left 28 people dead and 26 injured in June. Four Chinese nationals were detained over the tragedy, with the building’s owner charged with involuntary manslaughter and causing bodily harm.

Vanda was replaced by Senior Minister Kun Kim.

Government spokesman Phay Siphan said the reshuffle was normal and in line with the government’s ongoing reforms.

“We make the changes because some vacancies need to be filled, including the one left by His Excellency Nhem Vanda. It’s nothing unusual. Officials are to be reshuffled from time to time. Their duties and responsibilities are to be divided to meet the goals set by the top leadership,” he said.

A directive signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday officially appointed Kim as NCDM first vice-president.

“His Excellency Kun Kim, the Senior Minister in charge of veterans and people with disabilities, is to carry out duties assigned by the prime minister,” said the directive.

Kin Phea, the director-general of the Royal Academy of Cambodia’s International Relations Institute, said such reshuffles are routinely made by the government during its five-year mandate.

“It is normal to reshuffle the government . . . nothing unusual. Vacancies need to be filled, so when one is removed from a position, somebody will have to take over. It is standard procedure for appointment and assignment of duties. It is made official with such a directive,” he said.

On June 24, King Norodom Sihamoni issued two separate Royal Decrees, with one stripping Vanda of his Senior Minister in charge of Special Missions and the other appointing him as an adviser to the government, the rank still equivalent of a senior minister.

The prime minister first announced Vanda’s fall from grace in his June 24 Facebook post. Citing reasons for his removal, Hun Sen said Vanda was busy sleeping in Kampot province while the rescue and operations teams were busy discovering victims trapped under the rubble of the building.

Vanda declined to comment on Wednesday.

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

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • 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

  • Angkor Beer, 30 Years of Prestige and Still Counting

    Let’s celebrate 30 years of prestige with Angkor Beer. In this 2022, Angkor Beer is 30 years old and has been staying with Cambodian hearts in all circumstances. Head of core beer portfolio, EmYuthousaid, “We have been with Cambodians for three decades now. We, ANGKOR Beer, pride

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,