Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - King praises PM, govt on handling of forests

King praises PM, govt on handling of forests

Prime Minister Hun Sen (left) and King Norodom Sihamoni water a tree at an Arbor Day event
Prime Minister Hun Sen (left) and King Norodom Sihamoni water a tree at an Arbor Day event in Preah Sihanouk. PHOTO SUPPLIED

King praises PM, govt on handling of forests

IN A rare public speech, King Norodom Sihamoni yesterday offered unstinting praise for the government and Prime Minister Hun Sen in their work protecting the Kingdom’s forests.

Speaking at a ceremony in Preah Sihanouk to mark Arbor Day, attended by more than 10,000 villagers, high-ranking officials and foreign diplomats, King Sihamoni thanked Hun Sen for the vast efforts he’d undertaken to protect the forests.

“I would like to admire Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Decho Hun Sen, the head of the government, who has put out specific measures in managing the forests in accordance to the principle of the law,” King Sihamoni said, reading from a prepared speech, only the second he has made since the death of his father last October.

“I always support the policy of protecting the forestry and wildlife, as it’s a blood line for agriculture and lives of the people,” he continued.

Sihamoni then appealed to foreign donors and development partners to assist Cambodia both financially and technically “so that the government can achieve its goal”.

The speech was given during a two-day trip in which he and Queen Mother Norodom Monineath were accompanied by Prime Minister Hun Sen. The pairing of monarchy and government raised eyebrows among analysts, who said there could be little doubt that the ruling party was trying to co-opt the royal family as part of their election bid.

“The government made an extra effort to take [the King] to the field, meet people in the field and their home . . . it’s bound to benefit the CPP,” political analyst Lao Mong Hay said.

Ostensibly an open government ceremony, it was clear from the images broadcast across the airwaves that “only ruling party officials went”, Mong Hay said. “It’s not a national event, it’s party dominated.”

And though the content of the speech was not overtly political, he added, “anything is political really in Cambodia, and the publicity of the event is liable to be broadcasted [as such]”.

“There’s the presence of the CPP leaders and all that. It’s what the CPP wants to show – the King – to attract the attention of the public.”

More than 2.5 million hectares of land has been leased by the government for Economic Land Concessions and vast swaths of protected forests have been reclassified and turned over for agro-industry as well.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM orders immediate action against ‘sexy’ live streamers

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday ordered immediate action against women who live stream their sales pitches on Facebook wearing revealing clothing. The prime minister said the practice erodes traditional Cambodian values and disgraces women. Hun Sen gave the order to officials attending the Cambodian

  • Trump tweets praise for Kingdom docking ship

    Cambodia continues to earn praise for its humanitarian act of allowing the MS Westerdam cruise ship with more than 2,200 passengers and crew on board to dock at the Preah Sihanouk port. The praise this time comes from none other than US President Donald Trump. “Thank

  • Tourist area greenlit in Sihanoukville

    The National Committee for Coastal Management and Development will coordinate with relevant ministries over the establishment of a billion-dollar tourist area named Neak Reach in Preah Sihanouk province after it was proposed by the Ministry of Tourism. The Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and

  • Organic vegetable retailer unveils QR code scheme for origin source

    Organic vegetable retailer Natural Agriculture Village has introduced QR codes on its product packaging, which will allow consumers to see where their produce comes from. Natural Agriculture Village president Bun Sieng, who is also a member of local distributor Green Gold, told The Post on

  • Hun Sen defends decision to dock Westerdam cruise ship

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Thursday hit back at critics who say he allowed the Westerdam cruise ship to dock in Sihanoukville for political reasons. Speaking at an annual gathering of the Ministry of Interior, Hun Sen said he acted to avert a humanitarian catastrophe

  • Cool heads will defeat Covid-19

    Since Covid-19 was first reported as a world health issue, cruise ships have been the worst to suffer after airlines. The experiences of those who were initially trapped on the Covid-19-stricken Diamond Princess are unimaginable. The cruise ship was rejected from docking at one