Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hun Sen warns against nepotism



Hun Sen warns against nepotism

Hun Sen warns against nepotism

PRIME Minister Hun Sen warned government officials on Wednesday to avoid granting unjustified promotions for personal or partisan reasons.

Presiding over a graduation ceremony at the National Institute of Education, Hun Sen chided the Funcinpec party, former coalition partners with his own Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), for rampant nepotism and partisanship during the parties’ power-sharing arrangement from 1993-1997.

“Do not intervene for promotions – today there are a number of our civil servants who have been promoted to their positions because of the influence of others,” Hun Sen said, vowing to stamp out this practice.

Hun Sen singled out former Funcinpec secretary general Nhek Bun Chhay and former education minister Kol Pheng for their pursuit of greater power within the coalition.

“I nearly dropped blood from my eye to see [Funcinpec] demanding to share the position of education minister when they held just 20 percent of votes, but I shared nearly 50 percent” of government positions, Hun Sen said.

In response to the remarks, Yim Sovann, spokesman for the opposition Sam Rainsy Party (SRP), said nepotism and partisanship originated primarily from the CPP, and called on Hun Sen to target those both inside and outside his party whose work is compromised by conflicts of interest.

“We would be happy to see the wishes of the prime minister become true, but the fact is now that land-grabbing, corruption, nepotism and partisanship are committed by the powerful members of the ruling CPP,” Yim Sovann said.

Hun Sen also alluded briefly to the conviction of SRP president Sam Rainsy last month of destruction of property and racial incitement in connection with an October protest in which he uprooted wooden markers on the Vietnamese border in Svay Rieng province.

“Going to uproot the posts, going to take someone’s land, violating the law, it is difficult,” Hun Sen said, without mentioning Sam Rainsy by name, and adding that he did not mean to “insult anyone indirectly”.

The prime minister’s comments came just one day after the release of a survey by the International Republican Institute (IRI) that stated in part that Cambodians would like to see their leaders focus more on the development of the country and less on political spats.

Those hoping to unseat the ruling CPP would do well to keep this point in mind, IRI country director John Willis said Wednesday.

“I think the opposition is effectively being distracted from talking about the issues that voters care about – jobs, health care, the economy,
farmland,” he said.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY JAMES O’TOOLE

MOST VIEWED

  • Seven positive for Covid-19, Hun Sen confirms local transmission

    Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that there has been local community transmission of Covid-19. However, he urged the people not to panic even though the Ministry of Health announced the discovery of seven new cases on Sunday. Among the victims are Chhem Savuth, the director-general

  • Cambodia at ‘most critical moment’, Hun Sen warns

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the first community transmission of Covid-19 in Cambodia has led the country to the “most critical moment” that warranted urgent, large-scale operations to contain the pandemic. Hun Sen, who confirmed the first local transmission on November 28, said the source of

  • PM confirms community transmission, calls for unity

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has called on the public to stay calm, unite and follow the Ministry of Health guidelines after the wife of a senior official tested positive for Covid-19 in the Kingdom’s first case of community transmission. The case has drawn criticism

  • Over 110 garment factories close

    A government official said on November 22 that at least 110 garment factories had closed in the first nine months of the year and left more than 55,000 workers without jobs – but union leaders worry those numbers could be much higher. Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training undersecretary

  • Singapore group seeks $14M in damages from PPSP over ‘breach of contract’

    Singapore-based Asiatic Group (Holdings) Ltd is seeking a minimum of $14.4 million relief from Cambodia Securities Exchange (CSX)-listed Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone Plc (PPSP) for allegedly breaching a power plant joint venture (JV) agreement. Asiatic Group’s wholly-owned Colben System Pte Ltd and 95 per

  • PM vows to protect Hun family

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has vowed to continue his fight against opposition politicians who he said intend to smash the Hun family. Without naming the politicians but apparently referring to former leaders of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), Hun Sen said there