Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hun Sen demands end to discrimination against the disabled



Hun Sen demands end to discrimination against the disabled

Hun Sen presides over the inauguration of a Chinese funded school in Kratie province on Wednesday, where he lashed out at those who would insult him for being blind or discriminate against the disabled. Facebook
Hun Sen presides over the inauguration of a Chinese funded school in Kratie province on Wednesday, where he lashed out at those who would insult him for being blind or discriminate against the disabled. Facebook

Hun Sen demands end to discrimination against the disabled

Prime Minister Hun Sen lashed out on Wednesday at people who insulted him for being “blind”, while sticking up for disabled people of all kinds.

The premier reportedly lost his eye while taking Phnom Penh as a soldier for the ultra-Maoist Khmer Rouge in 1975, and frequently mentions the injury when advocating on behalf of the disabled.

“One of my eyes is already blind and the other, when sweat gets in my eye, it hurts,” he said. “This is my situation.”

He appealed to people to be respectful and “moral” in their dealings with physically disabled people.

“Before the people insulted me as ‘akhvak’,” the premier said, using a derogatory Khmer word for the blind.

Hun Sen also claimed that the late Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej was also angered by the insults, because he too was blind in one eye.

“The Thai King was also blind in one eye like me. So when the politicians call me akhvak, it came to the attention of his majesty. So at that time he was also angry,” the prime minister said.

King Bhumibol injured his right eye, impairing his vision, in an automobile accident in 1948.

He said discrimination should not happen in Cambodian society in general, “even against the ones who have HIV”.

“Why the need to discriminate against disabled people?” he asked.

This version corrects the spelling of the Khmer word for blind to akhvak.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Phnom Penh curfew starts today

    A two-week curfew from 8pm to 5am starts today in Phnom Penh, a day after a sub-decree detailing administrative measures to contain Covid-19 was issued by Prime Minister Hun Sen. “Travelling in Phnom Penh is temporally banned between 8pm and 5am,” said Phnom Penh governor

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting

  • Covid-19 vaccination now obligatory

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 11 issued a sub-decree making Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for individuals unless they have a medical certificate proving they have pre-existing health conditions that prevent them from doing so. «This applies to all members of the armed forces and civil servants