Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hun Sen continues anti-Rainsy offensive, takes credit for free market in Cambodia




Hun Sen continues anti-Rainsy offensive, takes credit for free market in Cambodia

Hun Sen continues anti-Rainsy offensive, takes credit for free market in Cambodia

Prime Minister Hun Sen continued his campaign against former opposition leader Sam Rainsy today, claiming his longtime political adversary has no experience in governing and only knows how to “ignite war”.

“You are not capable of managing the situation in Cambodia yet. You just know how to ignite war, to insult and to flatter, but you do not know how to manage even one small party,” the premier said in a speech at the opening of a garment factory in Kandal.

While Hun Sen rarely names Rainsy directly, he said he was referring to the leader of the Cambodia National Rescue Movement. The movement was launched by Rainsy in January following the dissolution of his former party and the country’s only viable opposition – the Cambodia National Rescue Party. Rainsy has lived in France since 2015 to avoid arrest for a slew of sentences he claims are politically motivated.

Hun Sen and other high-ranking officials have characterized his new movement as a terrorist organisation, despite Rainsy’s public commitment to nonviolent resistance.

The premier also belittled Rainsy’s lack of experience, seemingly ignoring his previous role as Minister of Finance and 20 years as a lawmaker.

Turning to his own record, Hun Sen continued: “Right or wrong, it is always Hun Sen’s responsibility. I do not take only the wrong or right things, but I take both.” He said he must be judged within the context of Cambodia emerging from years of turmoil, civil war and genocide.

Hun Sen was once an officer in the communist Khmer Rouge regime that devastated Cambodia and dismantled its economy in the 1970s. But yesterday he took credit for introducing free market economics to the country and continued a recent trend of dismissing the international community’s contributions to Cambodia's rebuilding.

“Please do not be confused. Do not say that the Paris Peace Agreement brought the market economic system to Cambodia,” Hun Sen said,

Political analyst Meas Nee said it was pointless to continue commenting on verbal spats between Hun Sen and Sam Rainsy.

He said both should strive to be “good role models for the younger generation”, and consider stepping aside completely to let the new generation lead the country to “reconciliation”.

Nee also compared Hun Sen’s rule to Lee Kuan Yew’s in Singapore, noting that in 20 years as prime minister Kuan Yew was able to fully develop the island nation, while Cambodia "remains the poorest country in Asean."

MOST VIEWED

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • ‘Bad news is an investor’s best friend’ – unlocking investment potential in Cambodia

    It is time to shop. Economic woes provide good pickings for investors if they know where to look The poem If, written by English Nobel laureate poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling for his son circa 1895, is widely perceived as fatherly advice for John who would

  • PM requests Russia’s Covid vaccine

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that Russia provide Cambodia with its Covid-19 vaccine after the former announced it planned on mass vaccinating its population next month. The request came on Thursday through the prime minister’s Facebook page as he met with Anatoly Borovik,

  • First ‘mobile kitchen’ in Cambodia enters service

    A catering company recently rolled out Cambodia’s first “mobile kitchen” – a $50,000 container capable of serving up to 200 people at a time. The kitchen is the brainchild of Seng Hok Heng Catering Services. At 4.4m-high, 6.8m-long and 2.4m-wide (expandable to 6.8m), the kitchen is equipped

  • Kingdom, China rebut basis for US sanctions

    The Council for the Development of Cambodia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Tianjin Union Investment Development Group Co Ltd (Tianjin) have responded to US sanctions on Union Development Group Co Ltd (UDG), a Chinese-owned company currently developing the sprawling $3.8 billion Dara

  • Influenza breaks out in eight provinces

    Nearly 600 people have been infected with influenza in eight provinces in the past month, Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said. The ministry is advising extreme caution. A report released by Vandine on Saturday said the Ministry of Health observed transmissions of influenza between August 15