Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - KPP boss seeks public debates for political leaders

KPP boss seeks public debates for political leaders

Hun Manet, the head of the anti-terror department and a deputy commander of Hun Sen’s Bodyguard Unit, distributes winter jackets to troops in Tbong Khmum province on Thursday. Facebook
Hun Manet, the head of the anti-terror department and a deputy commander of Hun Sen’s Bodyguard Unit, distributes winter jackets to troops in Tbong Khmum province on Thursday. Facebook

KPP boss seeks public debates for political leaders

Encouraged by a recent exchange with Prime Minister Hun Sen’s son on Facebook, the leader of the fringe Khmer Power Party yesterday suggested Cambodia’s political leaders should stage public debates.

Soun Serey Ratha said that leaders should build on the “indirect democracy” illustrated in a recent back and forth between himself and Hun Manet, Hun Sen’s son and a senior military official.

On Facebook, Ratha had questioned the scion about where he got the money for his recent gift of winter jackets for troops, criticising the use of private cash for what should be an expense borne by the Ministry of Defence.

He also took aim at ruling party officials’ tendency to pass off the work of the state as that of the party, accusing Hun Sen, for instance, of taking the “national budget to build infrastructure and naming himself as the donor”.

In response, Manet, head of the ministry’s anti-terror department and a deputy commander of both the infantry and his father’s Bodyguard Unit, shot back that the clothes were gifted by his parents and another unnamed donor, and that Serey Ratha should use his “time and brain” to think how he could help the troops.

Though Serey Ratha said Manet’s answer “raised more questions than it answered”, he said that such exchanges should move into a public forum to allow people to see the leaders debate.

Although the constitution prescribes that citizens be granted an annual National Congress to grill their representatives, such a congress has never occurred. In recent times, however, the prime minister and various officials have begun garnering – and at times responding to – feedback on Facebook.

Reached yesterday, Cambodian People’s Party spokesman Sok Eysan and Cambodia National Rescue Party spokesman Yim Sovann both dismissed Serey Ratha’s comments, which also included calling Hun Sen a “dictator” and lambasting the opposition for being “afraid” of the ruling party.

Eysan suggested Serey Ratha, who was pardoned last year after being convicted of terrorism, should focus on building enough support to win a seat in parliament.

“He should look at his policy for gaining voters’ support . . . rather than criticising other parties’ policy,” Eysan said.

Sovann echoed the sentiment. “He can say whatever, it’s up to him. Now we are working as is the wish of the voters. If he has new ideas, [he should] wait to have seats in the [National] Assembly and then we can talk.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia unveils new quarantine regulations

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • Hun Sen: Cambodia set to fully reopen

    Prime Minister Hun Sen concludes that the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, during which many people either flocked to their hometowns for family reunion or gathered at tourist attractions across the country, has not caused an outbreak of Covid-19. In a special address to

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia resumes issuance of tourist visas

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has announced the resumption of its tourist visa and visa exemption programme after a long hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In a letter dated October 20 and addressed to foreign embassies and consulates, foreign minister Prak Sokhonn

  • S’ville set to turn into ‘second Shenzhen’

    The Ministry of Economy and Finance has awarded a master plan consultancy contract to top Chinese institute for the development and transformation of Preah Sihanouk province into a “Model Multi-Purpose Special Economic Zone”, Southeast Asia’s next logistics and resort hub and innovation centre. The