Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM's Bodyguard commander hits back at US

PM's Bodyguard commander hits back at US

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Hing Bun Heang, chief of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Bodyguard Unit (centre), at a celebration for the eighth anniversary of the force’s formation last year. Photo supplied

PM's Bodyguard commander hits back at US

The commander of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s Bodyguard Unit (BGU) Hing Bun Heang on Sunday dismissed a short video clip that went viral on social media in which he says he is preparing for a war with the United States over its aggressiveness towards the Kingdom.

“If the US does anything aggressive and illegal [against Cambodia], our forces are also prepared to fight back. There’s nothing to be afraid of the US. Why believe a small opposition group and freeze Cambodian officials’ assets and mine?

“It [the US] is the father of democracy. And if it really is a democracy, it must determine if it’s justified to put sanctions on a person like me.

“Let me clarify … I don’t have any business [in the US]. I’ve been in the army my whole life. I’ve been defending the motherland and protecting top leaders as entrusted by the Ministry of National Defence,” Bun Heang is heard saying in the video.

Bun Heang told The Post on Sunday that the US had no legal basis to put sanctions on him and government officials. He said the video, which drew widespread public criticism, was fabricated to discredit the BGU and senior government officials.

“In the eyes of a superpower like the US, small countries are always wrong. As for the video, it was edited. I didn’t say so. I don’t have any intention to fight the US.

“How can Cambodia fight the US? Actually, I want to fight villains who destroy democracy and peace in Cambodia,” he said without elaborating.

Political and social analyst Hang Pitou said the remarks made in the video, even if it was true, represents the view of an individual, not an entire nation. He said it was meant to show the courage of an army chief, but would not have any effect unless it is made by the head of the government.

“I don’t see any impact. It’s just overreaction from the public. [Bun Heang] meant to say Cambodia isn’t afraid of the US,” he said.

The video followed the US Treasury Department’s blacklisting of individuals subject to sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Act over alleged violations of human rights and democracy in Cambodia.

The US alleged that Bun Heang has severely abused human rights over the past years, which includes the assault on two opposition lawmakers by BGU members in front of the National Assembly in 2015.

MOST VIEWED

  • Purging Sihanoukville’s past with a new masterplan

    Amid illicit activities, haphazard development and abandoned projects, the coastal city of Sihanouk province needs a reset to move forward. A new masterplan might be the answer to shake off its seemingly mucky image to become the Shenzhen of the south Gun toting, shootouts, police

  • 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

  • Chinese may be first in tourism revival: PM

    Cambodia's tourism industry is gearing up to roll out the red carpet for Chinese travellers after Prime Minister Hun Sen on September 17 indicated that the Kingdom could soon throw open its doors to international holidaymakers vaccinated against Covid-19 – starting with guests from China. Cambodia Chinese

  • '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

  • Tourism concerns laid bare

    To ensure the success of plans to reopen the tourism market for international visitors, Cambodia must pay utmost attention to two primary determinants – the ongoing paradigm shift in domestic tourism services towards the ‘new normal’, and the factors influencing choices of destinations among foreign holidaymakers.

  • 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