The Ministry of Religion ordered Kampong Speu provincial head monk Du Vandeoun to step down on Wednesday night after video footage surfaced of him singing at a Khmer New Year celebration, according to ministry spokesman Sos Mussin.
However, he added, Vandeoun has yet to be defrocked or stripped of his position as pagoda chief.
Vandeoun said yesterday he has since travelled to Phnom Penh “to pay respect to my King to say sorry to him”, adding that while it is a violation of Buddhist rules for a monk to sing, “it is not a serious one”.
He said he sang at the request of New Year revellers and opened with two patriotic songs.
“People danced when I sang those songs,” he said.