Prime Minister Hun Sen’s middle son, Hun Manith, was among 28 officers to receive high-level promotions in the military, with the now three-star general continuing his rise through the ranks of the armed forces and ruling party.
According to the latest edition of the Royal Gazette, Manith, 35, was promoted to lieutenant general in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces along with four of his peers, 12 brigadier generals were promoted to major general and 11 colonels will now be brigadier generals.
The new promotion marks another feather in the cap of the premier’s son, who earlier this year was made deputy head of the Cambodian People’s Party’s internal monitoring team and in August was appointed as general director of the Defence Ministry’s Military Intelligence Department.
While Defence Ministry spokesman Chhum Socheat could not be reached yesterday, CPP spokesman Sok Eysan took umbrage with questions regarding the scion’s ascendency within the military – making a reference to US President Donald Trump’s family business.
“When Donald Trump became president, did he ask all his children to resign from all their businesses and not promote them to have any roles?” he asked.
In fact, there have been multiple calls for Trump to hand over his businesses to a blind trust to ensure there are no conflicts of interest, given that his children continue to operate family firms.
Political commentator Lao Mong Hay said the promotions were meant to consolidate Hun Sen’s family’s position within the military and to extend his power and influence.
“Now he places only the persons he trusts and are loyal to him, therefore his power becomes stronger and stronger,” he said.