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Khmer-VN body calls out fake news

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A man looks at news stories on Facebook in a coffeeshop in Phnom Penh. The Khmer-Vietnamese Association in Cambodia has made a complaint to the government over reports it says are coming from a fake Facebook page. Hong Menea

Khmer-VN body calls out fake news

The Khmer-Vietnamese Association in Cambodia (KVAC) on Wednesday lodged a complaint with the Ministry of Interior and released a statement denying Facebook claims that Vietnamese nationals in Cambodia can obtain citizenship at any time and participate in the July 29 national elections.

It made the denial after the association claimed there was a “fake” Facebook account under the name of the “Vietnamese Association in Cambodia”, which posted a comment reading: “Now, every Vietnamese in Cambodia can obtain Cambodian citizenship at any time.

“The Vietnamese Association in Cambodia urges all to do so and will facilitate and help obtain citizenship for those who wish to do so if they encounter problems such as not understanding Khmer language and for those who do not understand the new citizenship law that was signed by King Norodom Sihamoni.”

It continued: “For those who have already become [Cambodian] citizens, the Vietnamese Association in Cambodia calls on them to encourage others to engage in social activities as responsible individuals in Cambodia, which is our country, and for a future with dignity and legitimacy.

“Especially, participate in current work for the national election prepared by National Election Committee for fair, free, and just elections.”

KVAC president Sim Chy told The Post that the information was fraudulent and disparages the association’s reputation. Hence, he has lodged a complaint with the Ministry of Interior.

Chy said he requested immediate action be taken against “ill intended” people because his association did not want to create problems in Cambodian society.

“These ill-intended people mean to incite and disparage our association. My association has no intentions other than to help victims and educate them on living in Cambodia, following the rule of law, and respecting Khmer culture,” he said.

Interior Ministry’s spokesman Khieu Sopheak said such fake information was commonly disseminated by an opposition group. The ministry is investigating, he said, and hopes to soon find “the criminals” who intend to “destroy” this month’s elections.

A press release issued by the KVAC said: “The association requests authorities at all levels to take action against the Facebook account Vietnamese Association in Cambodia, which affects our reputation and is unacceptable.”

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