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Halted meeting ‘not due to PM’s health’

Halted meeting ‘not due to PM’s health’

Government officials said on Thursday that the adjournment of a Council of Ministers meeting scheduled for Friday was not linked to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s health.

The postponement was due to there being no draft law for review, the meeting had an inadequate agenda and officials were working in the field.

Hun Sen wrote on his Facebook page on Wednesday that he would meet with officials from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) at the Office of the Council of Ministers on Friday.

A letter from the Council of Ministers on Tuesday, signed by Bin Chhin, permanent deputy prime minister, said the weekly cabinet meeting scheduled for Friday had been postponed but did not specify a reason or the date the meeting would be reheld.

Government spokesman Phay Siphan told journalists on Thursday that the postponement was because there was no draft law to be reviewed before its submission to the National Assembly, and there was simply not enough to discuss.

Siphan said another reason the meeting was deferred related to Hun Sen’s new policy requiring ministers and officials to conduct field visits.

“For example, we saw the Minister of Public Works and Transport [Sun Chanthol] riding his bike in the field to evaluate a road. And the Minister of Agriculture, [Forestry and Fisheries, Veng Sakhon] is assessing the drought. Other ministers are also fulfilling their tasks,” Siphan said.

After returning to Cambodia on July 6 from a visit to the World Trade Organisation and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Switzerland, Hun Sen sprained his right shoulder while riding his bicycle in preparation to register as an elderly cyclist.

He said while the vast majority of people prayed for his quick recovery, a handful had insulted him on Facebook, by either praying for his death or producing fake news on his condition.

“To all the naysayers, if you can stop, please stop. If you conduct politics by simply waiting for me to die so you can take over, please wait until your next life because the death controller does not need my life now, at least not within the next 40 years,” Hun Sen said.

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