Prime Minister Hun Sen, who lost an eye fighting for the Khmer Rouge during the April 1975 battle for Phnom Penh, is sick and tired of being called “a blind eye guy”.
Speaking at a charity event for the disabled yesterday, the premier said he began to use social media such as Facebook to “educate” people, and said a slew of negative comments poking fun at his disability had not gone down well.
“I have had enough of insults from people, such as ‘blind eye guy’, even though I am the incumbent prime minister,” he said. “This is seriously insulting, and now on my Facebook page.”
He added that he had instructed his aides to record all instances where the slur was used and post comments in response, rather than blocking users, “as a way to educate people not to use this kind of language”.
Hun Sen announced in September that a Facebook page long believed to be his official account was indeed authentic, shortly after it passed 1 million “likes”.
At yesterday’s event – the 20th anniversary of Hun Sen’s support for deaf, blind and mute charity work – he added that many of the disabled children in the audience were adept social media users, proficient in programs such as Line and Whatsapp, whereas even some senior Cambodian People’s Party officials struggled to come to grips with the digital age.