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

  • Hungarian exposes 90 to Covid in Siem Reap

    The Ministry of Health has discovered 90 people who have been exposed directly or indirectly to a Hungarian man infected with Covid-19. They all are required to quarantine at home and the hospital. The ministry is searching for other affected people. Among the 90, one is the

  • PM warns of ‘new Cold War’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the possibility of a so-called new Cold War has become a significant concern and that all countries have to reject outright, any attempt to allow history to tragically repeat itself. He made the remarks in a speech during 75th Session

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • ‘Bad news is an investor’s best friend’ – unlocking investment potential in Cambodia

    It is time to shop. Economic woes provide good pickings for investors if they know where to look The poem If, written by English Nobel laureate poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling for his son circa 1895, is widely perceived as fatherly advice for John who would

  • Cambodia, CRF win rice battle in EU Court

    The European General Court has rejected the European Commission’s (EC) request to reject a complaint submitted by Cambodia and the Cambodian Rice Federation (CRF) regarding the EU’s reintroduction of tariffs on Indica rice exports from Cambodia. A court order uploaded to the European

  • PM requests Russia’s Covid vaccine

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that Russia provide Cambodia with its Covid-19 vaccine after the former announced it planned on mass vaccinating its population next month. The request came on Thursday through the prime minister’s Facebook page as he met with Anatoly Borovik,