Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Premier ridicules Rainsy’s lawsuit against Facebook

Premier ridicules Rainsy’s lawsuit against Facebook

Prime Minister Hun Sen speaks at a graduation ceremony in Phnom Penh yesterday, where he ridiculed former opposition leader Sam Rainsy’s lawsuit against Facebook. Facebook
Prime Minister Hun Sen speaks at a graduation ceremony in Phnom Penh yesterday, where he ridiculed former opposition leader Sam Rainsy’s lawsuit against Facebook. Facebook

Premier ridicules Rainsy’s lawsuit against Facebook

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday lambasted former opposition leader Sam Rainsy over his lawsuit against social media giant Facebook seeking information about the premier’s account, an act Hun Sen dismissed as “crazy”.

Hun Sen also called Rainsy a “foolish and crazy” person, and claimed Rainsy’s landmark lawsuit against Facebook was motivated by Rainsy having fewer “likes” on the platform.

“Oh my Buddha,” the premier exclaimed, before going on to ask, “how do I know what [it is] that comes from [Facebook]?”

Rainsy is seeking the information from Facebook on the grounds it will aid his legal defence in Cambodia, where he was convicted of defamation for claiming Hun Sen had bought likes from so-called “click farms”. The claim followed a Post story revealing that Hun Sen had a disproportionate number of foreign likes from countries like India and the Philippines.

Hun Sen yesterday said he did “not know where the likes come from”, and said it was Facebook’s responsibility.

The premier’s Facebook page has been rated one of the most engaged among world leaders, and currently has some 9.4 million likes.

Hun Sen went on to accuse Rainsy of wanting to “break the nation”, telling him to “please apologise to the people because you launched the policy to eliminate Hun Sen”.

Rainsy helped to found the country’s only viable opposition, the Cambodia National Rescue Party, which came close to beating Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party in the 2013 national elections. Rainsy was subsequently forced into exile by politically tinged court cases, and out of the party by hasty legal amendments passed by the CPP.

The CNRP was ultimately dissolved at the government’s behest in November over claims it was fomenting “revolution”. Rainsy announced a nonviolent protest “movement” in response, but has yet to formally call for demonstrations.

San Chey, of social accountability group ANSA-EAP, noted that despite Rainsy being forced into exile, he remains the only “tough political competitor” to the premier.

Political analyst Lao Mong Hay agreed, noting the premier’s inability to stick to pledges made in the past to ignore his long-time political rival.

“A couple of months ago our PM urged all to ignore Sam Rainsy; that he has changed his mind and has used abusive language to rebuke him indicates that the latter is still a force to reckon with … He must do anything to politically destroy him."

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • Monks given ‘Samdech’ title for contributions

    Three senior monks on Thursday were given the highest-ranking title “samdech”, with Prime Minister Hun Sen saying that the promotions were due to their contributions to Buddhism. The three distinguished monks were promoted on Thursday morning at Botum Vatey pagoda in Phnom Penh, at a

  • Facing possible sanctions, PM criticises Washington’s rights record

    While United States congressmen are discussing the Cambodia Democracy Act and an amendment that could impose more sanctions against Cambodia’s government, Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday counterattacked by questioning the respect of human rights and democracy under the US-backed Lon Nol regime, and