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Hun Sen’s son tells journos to focus on more weighty issues

Lieutenant General Hun Manet, pictured wearing three stars, attends the opening ceremony of joint Cambodian-US military exercises in Kampong Speu province
Lieutenant General Hun Manet, pictured wearing three stars, attends the opening ceremony of joint Cambodian-US military exercises in Kampong Speu province earlier this year. Heng Chivoan

Hun Sen’s son tells journos to focus on more weighty issues

Hun Manet, the eldest son of Prime Minister Hun Sen, has admonished the media to stop paying attention to his military rank and to report more about his achievements instead.

In a Facebook post on Monday, Manet, who serves as a lieutenant-general in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, asked local reporters to quit monitoring inconsistencies between the insignia he is wearing and his actual rank.

Manet was appointed a three-star general last year but only wears two stars on his shoulder, at least according to reports.

“What makes me respond now is that in recent days, Deum Tnaut [a news website] wrote a letter to my bosses and demanded that they [take action about the insignia], which I think is beyond the boundary of a reporter’s duty in this case,” he posted.

“I would like to thank them for paying so much attention to my honour and for being worried that the rank is not enough for me, but I am not worried or pay any attention. So you do not need to monitor this matter any more.”

If the media are interested in him, the modest Manet continued, they should focus not on how many stars he is wearing but on what he has done in his role as head of the counter-terrorism unit, a deputy infantry commander and a deputy mixed chief of staff in the army.

Manet also serves as a deputy commander in his father’s personal bodyguard unit.

“If your research finds weakness in my role and duty, please let me know and if you can give me feedback to improve, I will thank you even more. I would like to ask you not to bother my boss about my rank,” he wrote.

The opposition party has previously raised questions about Manet’s speedy rise through the military ranks. Many believe he is being groomed as his father’s successor, though he is yet to enter politics like brother Hun Many.

Chan Soveth of rights group Adhoc said yesterday that while the media had the right to examine Manet’s military rank, family connections and repeated promotions, “he has done much work to help society, so we must look at those points too”.

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