The oknha titles of 46 National Police officials with the rank of general, as well as senior officials in the ministries of Interior and National Defence, will be withdrawn following a royal decree from King Norodom Sihamoni.
National Police spokesman Chhay Kim Khoeun told The Post that the police officials had opted to forgo the honorific title in favour of their roles as public servants at the suggestion of Prime Minister Hun Sen.
In August, Hun Sen told members of the armed forces to consider choosing between the oknha title and their job as some officials had abused the designation for financial gain.
Kim Khoeun said he could not confirm how many oknha remained in the National Police’s ranks, stressing that the prime minister had never issued an ultimatum to officials holding the title.
“I am not the only official who manages the list of oknha and I cannot say how many oknha remain in the National Police’s ranks as this information was never shared with me,” he said.
The November 23 royal decree, obtained by The Post on Tuesday, also rescinded the oknha title from 10 military officials at the Ministry of National Defence.
Ministry of Interior spokesman Men Bunrith referred The Post to the National Police’s spokesman, saying her office was not able to comment on the royal decree.
In early September, 75 soldiers ranging from generals to lieutenant colonels also voluntarily chose to give up their oknha title.
Affiliated Network for Social Accountability executive director San Chey said terminating all oknha from the ranks would have a minimal effect in preventing police officials from using their position to carry out illegal actions.
He said: “It is not difficult, just implement the law, it can reduce abuse of power and this abuse of power is a form of corruption.”