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

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Pursat Ford assembly plant opens

    The Kingdom’s first Ford assembly plant was inaugurated on June 16 in Pursat province amid rising demand for brand-new vehicles among Cambodians. The facility is seen as a game changer for the domestic automobile industry, which could bring a wave of investors seeking to cash

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • $50B infrastructure plan en route

    The government’s upcoming $50 billion,10-year infrastructure master plan will provide tremendous investment opportunities for domestic and foreign entities, transport experts and economists say. Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol revealed the plan to Japanese ambassador to Cambodia Masahiro Mikami on June 15. At

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro