LOCAL television station TV5 has increased its military-related programming in response to criticism from Prime Minister Hun Sen over the weekend, said station director Neang Phat, who is also a secretary of state at the Defence Ministry.
In a speech to Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) soldiers in Battambang province on Saturday, Hun Sen said TV5 had not done enough to promote the military, and ordered the Ministry of Defence, which partly owns the station, to sever its partnership with Mica Media Co Ltd, the Thailand-based co-owner.
He also said that the station should not be allowed to continue running the RCAF logo or name.
Neang Phat, who was singled out for criticism in Hun Sen’s speech, said Monday that military-related programmes had been increased immediately, with three such programmes added into Monday’s schedule. He added that the RCAF logo and name would not change, and that the Defence Ministry would continue working with Mica Media Co Ltd.
“Today we have three [new] programmes in one day related to Cambodia’s military,” he said. “There is a morning show from 6 until 6:30, an afternoon show from 2 until 3, and at night we added one military news programme that will air from 7 until 7:30 every day,” he said.
“We did not change anything else, like the logo and channel name, but we increased some programmes following Samdech Hun Sen’s advice,” he said.
The newly scheduled military programmes replaced a music programme and two general news programmes, and military songs were added into prescheduled music programmes, he added.
A prescheduled military news programme showcasing Hun Sen’s involvement with the military as well as a speech delivered by the premier was broadcast on Monday at 1pm, and a prescheduled 10-minute programme featuring uniformed soldiers bare-knuckle boxing for exercise, followed by a speech from a military commander thanking the public for its support of the military, was broadcast at 3:05pm.
Neang Phat said new programmes depicting the daily lives of military personnel and their families are also set to be broadcast on the network soon.
Representatives from Mica Media Co Ltd could not be reached for comment on Monday.