Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - NA, Senate set for bill on ‘emergency’

NA, Senate set for bill on ‘emergency’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Hun Sen said the Ministry of Health had found no case of infections among migrants who had scattered across the Kingdom. Hean Rangsey

NA, Senate set for bill on ‘emergency’

Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested the Senate to convene an extraordinary meeting to review the draft law that aims to put the Kingdom in a state of emergency after the bill reached the National Assembly (NA) on Friday.

The draft law, which was approved by the Council of Ministers’ Standing Committee chaired by Hun Sen on Tuesday, is likely to be passed by the NA this week. The Senate will then need five days to review and approve the bill, its spokesperson said.

In his letter to Senate president Say Chhum on Friday, Hun Sen said: “The government is in urgent need of this law to govern the country in a state of emergency.”

Senate spokesman Mam Bunneang said: “The Senate can call a meeting only after the draft law is adopted by the NA.

“On Monday, the NA will send the bill to its Standing Committee for review. After deliberation and approval, the NA president will send it to the Senate.

“We have to wait for the NA before we can fix a date for the [extraordinary] meeting.”

NA spokesman Leng Peng Long on Sunday confirmed receipt of the draft law. He said: “This law is urgent so we will proceed accordingly. We will submit it to the NA’s Standing Committee and wait for its decision.”

However, Peng Long said the NA had not determined a specific date for its plenary session to adopt the law.

Consisting of five chapters and 11 articles, the draft law stipulates a maximum 10-year imprisonment for anyone caught breaking it.

The bill sets out formalities, procedures and terms for a declaration of a state of emergency if the country faces danger.

It aims to maintain national security and public order, lives and health of the people, properties and the environment.

It remains to be seen how the NA would convene a plenary session to deliberate the draft law as the Kingdom grapples with the Covid-19 pandemic, which has recorded 114 infections since January.

Last week, the NA said it will postpone all unnecessary meetings in line with guidance from the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Speaking to The Post on Thursday, Peng Long declined to elaborate on how the NA will discuss the bill, saying only that a session through video conferencing is not allowed under Cambodian law.

It was also unclear on Sunday as to what extent the state of emergency law will be implemented, with no new Covid-19 cases reported as of Sunday, while patient recoveries have risen to 50.

Government spokesman Phay Siphan could not be reached for comment on Sunday.

In a voice message sent out to officials via Telegram on Saturday night, Hun Sen said nearly 60,000 migrants had flocked home after Thailand shut its border to contain the coronavirus outbreak.

Predicting that more will return, he has instructed the health authorities and officers along the border to prepare mosquito nets, blankets and mats for the migrants who will be placed under quarantine.

Hun Sen noted that the Ministry of Health had found no case of infections among migrants who had already scattered across the Kingdom.

“Nearly 60,000 [migrants] who have returned have not caused any harm to the public health in their communities.

“This is thanks to the good management of our people, and I would like to congratulate our local and national authorities who have done so well in disseminating information and in helping us manage the situation,” he said.

Hun Sen also took issue with foreign media outlets and those critical of the Kingdom’s health system. He said the criticism was made despite infection cases in those countries reaching alarming levels.


  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to

  • Thai border crossings eased

    The Cambodian Embassy in Thailand said in an announcement on Wednesday that Thailand’s government has allowed certain passengers from several countries to enter its borders. The visitors must go back to their country immediately after their duties in Thailand are fulfilled, the embassy said.

  • Gov’t says tourism recovers slightly despite pandemic

    The Ministry of Tourism and the Phnom Penh municipal administration have recognised 33 tourism businesses in the capital which have consistently implemented safety measures for tourists and adhered to the code of conduct issued by the ministry. Recently, the ministry announced that tourism businesses had to

  • Mull ASEAN border opening, PM urges

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that ASEAN launch a scenario for gradually reopening cross-border travel and trade between countries in the region. He said ASEAN has had more success combating Covid-19 compared to other regions. The prime minister’s request was made at the

  • Ministry reports 11 new Covid-19 cases, reiterates vigilance

    Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng has urged people to continue practising virus prevention techniques after 11 people tested positive for Covid-19 within two days after arriving in the Kingdom. Speaking on Sunday, Bun Heng stressed the importance of washing hands, wearing masks or scarves when

  • Koh Rong land ‘belongs to firm’

    Preah Sihanouk Provincial Administration spokesperson Kheang Phearum told The Post on Sunday that the 35ha being bulldozed by Royal Group Co Ltd in Koh Rong belongs to it after it was leased to it for 99 years by the government in 2008. Phearum said the land does

  • Nine on Indonesia flight Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health on Saturday confirmed nine more imported cases of Covid-19. The nine ‒ eight Cambodians and one Indonesian, aged 22 to 26 ‒ arrived in Cambodia on Thursday via a direct flight from Indonesia and are receiving treatment at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hostipal in Phnom Penh.

  • Kingdom’s financial sector healthy

    Cambodia's financial sector remains on a sustainable growth path despite the Covid-19 pandemic squeezing crucial industries, National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) governor Chea Chanto said. Tourism, garments and footwear have borne the brunt of the Covid-19 impact, he said, whereas the financial and agriculture sectors

  • Vietnam told to remove border tents

    Kandal provincial governor Kong Sophoan has ordered local authorities to prohibit the construction of buildings in areas bordering Cambodia and to report any irregularities immediately. Recently, Vietnamese officials removed another seven tents from the border area with Cambodia. His remarks were made on Wednesday afternoon