Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Plum role for scion of PM’s ally, Sok An

Plum role for scion of PM’s ally, Sok An

Sok An, pictured at an event in Phnom Penh in 2015.
Sok An, pictured at an event in Phnom Penh in 2015. Heng Chivoan

Plum role for scion of PM’s ally, Sok An

One of the sons of Sok An, a longtime close ally of Prime Minister Hun Sen who is also the minister in charge of the Council of Ministers, has been appointed an undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, according to a royal decree obtained yesterday.

The royal decree, signed by Council of Ministers Secretary-General Soy Sokha, says that the King on November 16 appointed Sok Soken to the position, with the order effective immediately.

“We, Norodom Sihamoni, promote His Excellency Sok Soken to be undersecretary of state in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation,” the royal decree says. “Hun Sen . . . must implement this effective immediately.”

Soken declined to comment on his appointment yesterday, saying he was busy.

Opposition spokesman Yim Sovann, however, said that the appointment of one of the most powerful minister’s sons to a top-level role screamed of nepotism. “In state or government affairs, you should promote people who do not have members of the family [already in government] in order to prevent a conflict of interest,” Sovann said. “If the CNRP wins the election, the CNRP would not do something like this.”

However, Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan said that Soken was qualified and that he believed he would serve the Foreign Ministry well. “Even if he is young, he received professional training abroad both in languages and in the capacities that meet our country’s demands,” Siphan said.

MOST VIEWED

  • WHO: Covid in Cambodia goes into new phase

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia said that Cambodia has reached a new phase of the pandemic with “decreasing case numbers, high vaccination coverage and a more transmissible circulating variant threatening a hidden surge”. In a press release on September 6, the WHO said that

  • 'Pursue your goals, reach out to me': Young diplomat tapped as envoy to South Korea

    Chring Botum Rangsay was a secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation before being designated as the new Cambodian ambassador to South Korea. According to her official CV published on the foreign ministry’s website, she started her first government

  • International air visitor arrivals dip 93%

    The number of foreign tourists entering Cambodia through the Kingdom’s three international airports witnessed a sharp 92.5 per cent year-on-year decline in the first seven months of this year, according to the Ministry of Tourism. The airports handled 51,729 international tourists in the January-July period versus

  • School reopening ‘offers model for other sectors’

    World Health Organisation (WHO) representative to Cambodia Li Ailan said school reopening process should be used as a role model for reopening other sectors currently mothballed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Li strongly supports the government’s decision to reopen schools, saying it is a decision

  • Covid jab drive for 6-11 age group to begin Sept 17

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has permitted Covid-19 vaccinations for over 1.8 million children aged 6-11 across the country from September 17 in order for them to return to school after a long hiatus. Hun Sen also hinted that vaccinations for the 3-6 age group will follow in

  • Is Cambodia’s microfinance sector running its course?

    Economic growth and the strength of the banking system might have prompted a slow decline of the microfinance segment that has been raising a population ‘The MFI business model is over,” opined David Van, a Cambodian investment expert, recently. He felt that in a couple