Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM says his critics will be struck by lightning

PM says his critics will be struck by lightning

PM says his critics will be struck by lightning

PRIME Minister Hun Sen warned on Monday that his critics would be struck by lightning if they dared to suggest his leadership was plunging the country into poverty.

Speaking at the announcement of the General Population Census of Cambodia 2008, the premier defended his record.

"[They] say Cambodia is getting poorer and poorer, but aren't they afraid of being struck by lightning?" he said, insisting he had led the country back to wealth since the fall of the Khmer Rouge.

He challenged dissenters to swear their statements were true - or risk the wrath of nature.

"[People] who insult [the January 7 liberation], they are still alive because of who?" Hun Sen said.

"If you dare to say it and be struck by lightning, go ahead."

Opposition politicians dismissed the rhetoric, saying poverty levels could not be ignored.

"We have 14.5 million people [in Cambodia] and 6 to 7 million of them are poor," said Yim Sovann, spokesman for the opposition Sam Rainsy Party.

Kem Sokha, head of the Human Rights Party, said the government had failed to provide for its people.

"[Hun Sen's regime] is better than Pol Pot's time, that is true, but it does not conform to people's needs," he said, referring to food, shelter, employment, education and health care.

"These five points, our government has still not met successfully. Let [the prime minister] swear: Can he do it?"

MOST VIEWED

  • Archaeologists find ancient remnant

    A team from the Apsara National Authority (ANA) has discovered a gatekeeper statue’s foot fragment at the Tonle Snguot Temple, within a metre of the toe of a statue found in 2017. ANA spokesman Long Kosal told The Post on Wednesday that the fragment was

  • Hun Sen to the rescue

    Cambodia has won praise for allowing passengers of the MS Westerdam cruise ship to dock at Preah Sihanouk port, thanks to Prime Minister Hun Sen’s humanitarian act. In a message via Twitter on Wednesday, the director-general of the World Health Organisation Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu

  • EU partially withdraws EBA

    The EU Commission on Wednesday announced the partial withdrawal of the Everything But Arms (EBA) scheme, citing a serious and systematic violation by Cambodia of principles in the four core human and labour rights. The suspension affects one-fifth or €1 billion ($1.08 billion) of Cambodia’s annual

  • Japan calls for policy changes

    Representatives of Japanese companies and investors on Wednesday submitted a list of policy recommendations to the government concerning 21 challenges to the Kingdom’s business climate. Japanese Ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami and leaders of the Japanese Business Association in Cambodia (JBAC), Japan International Cooperation Agency

  • Still no word about EBA but rice likely unaffected

    Officials on Monday said the government had not received an official statement regarding the EU’s potential withdrawal of Cambodia’s Everything But Arms (EBA) scheme. The EU launched the EBA withdrawal procedure on February 12, citing “a deterioration of democracy [and] respect for human rights”

  • Hate worse than virus, PM says

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday criticised countries that have cancelled flights with China following the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), arguing that such moves amounted to discrimination against the Chinese. In a speech delivered during the groundbreaking ceremony for work on national roads 2