Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hun Sen slams royal ballet performance in Singapore

Hun Sen slams royal ballet performance in Singapore

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Prime Minister Hun Sen delivers a speech at the 22nd National Cultural Day celebration at the Koh Pich Convention and Exhibition Centre on Tuesday. Hun Sen Facebook

Hun Sen slams royal ballet performance in Singapore

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday criticised a performance by the Royal Ballet of Cambodia in Singapore, saying it insulted Cambodian culture and arts because a Singaporean magician performed in front of them as they sat in prayer behind him.

Speaking at the 22nd National Cultural Day celebration at the Koh Pich Convention and Exhibition Centre, Hun Sen also laid recommendations to improve national culture.

Regarding the recent performance, he said the ballet troupe was meant to perform during a prayer service for happiness.

However, he said the dancers sat in prayer at one point while a Singaporean magician performed in front of them, bringing dishonour to classical Khmer arts.

“As the head of government, I cannot accept this degrading performance by the Royal Ballet of Cambodia as it was not executed properly. All royal ballet performances must face the King or the head of the government.

“Though the ones who led the troupe are royal family members, they still have to invite the members to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts for advice after this. They cannot present themselves as royal family members and bring Khmer arts to destruction.

“Our national arts belong to the Cambodian people rather than any royal family members. The King doesn’t consider arts to be his exclusively,” Hun Sen said.

He said the dispute was not between the governments of Cambodia and Singapore. Rather, he said a Singaporean person had committed an inappropriate act along with some Khmer people, including one person who was removed from his position by the prime minister on Tuesday.

While Hun Sen did not reveal any name, he said the person had the rank of the assistant to the minister attached to the prime minister. He then ordered the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts to manage arts more seriously.

Hun Sen also laid out some recommendations, including the preservation of historical sites and pagodas.

He expressed support for the ministries of Culture and Fine Arts, and Information, to find prime time settings to screen Khmer films.

He said local authorities had to facilitate the shooting of Khmer films. The Ministry of Culture had to collaborate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Consulate to hold cultural events every year, he said.

Hun Sen also requested that artists stop throwing insults at each other on social media, as they were role models for their fans.

Watch video:

MOST VIEWED

  • Purging Sihanoukville’s past with a new masterplan

    Amid illicit activities, haphazard development and abandoned projects, the coastal city of Sihanouk province needs a reset to move forward. A new masterplan might be the answer to shake off its seemingly mucky image to become the Shenzhen of the south Gun toting, shootouts, police

  • Chinese may be first in tourism revival: PM

    Cambodia's tourism industry is gearing up to roll out the red carpet for Chinese travellers after Prime Minister Hun Sen on September 17 indicated that the Kingdom could soon throw open its doors to international holidaymakers vaccinated against Covid-19 – starting with guests from China. Cambodia Chinese

  • Tourism concerns laid bare

    To ensure the success of plans to reopen the tourism market for international visitors, Cambodia must pay utmost attention to two primary determinants – the ongoing paradigm shift in domestic tourism services towards the ‘new normal’, and the factors influencing choices of destinations among foreign holidaymakers.

  • Airline says ready for green light to reopen international tourism

    Sky Angkor Airline Co Ltd on September 21 said it is ready to transport South Korean and Chinese tourists to the Kingdom once the Cambodian government makes good on plans to reopen its borders to vaccinated travellers. The Siem Reap-based airline made the remark during a

  • Covid jab drive for 6-11 age group to begin Sept 17

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has permitted Covid-19 vaccinations for over 1.8 million children aged 6-11 across the country from September 17 in order for them to return to school after a long hiatus. Hun Sen also hinted that vaccinations for the 3-6 age group will follow in

  • No ‘Crown Prince’ exists to buy France football club: ministry

    The Ministry of the Royal Palace has denied media reports that a Cambodian “Crown Prince” had purchased the AS Saint Etienne football club of France’s top-flight LIGUE 1 at the cost of €100 million ($117 million). In a press statement on September 19, the ministry stressed that Cambodia