Continuing his humanising social media charm offensive, Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday marked the 31st anniversary of being prime minister with an intimate recollection of his early years in office, recounting dealing with leaky roofs, young children and soiled sheets at home while running a country at war.
On January 14, 1985, at the eighth session of the People’s Republic of Kampuchea’s National Assembly, a 32-year-old Hun Sen was elevated from foreign minister to prime minister after his predecessor Chan Si, 50, died of “ill health” in still unclear circumstances, according to a book by Margaret Slocomb.
Yesterday the premier, who has ruled the country since, though briefly shared power in the 1990s, recalled that with five children under a roof that didn’t stop leaking until 1994, times were tough.
“There was no servant in my family, and my wife and I took care of all the kids,” wrote the premier. “Some nights they urinated and I had to clean the bed in morning, dry the mats, blankets and pillows.”
Hun Sen also recalled the time his efforts to prepare powdered milk for his young daughter were foiled by his second son, Hun Manith, now head of the army’s military intelligence unit, who ate all the powder.