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."


  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to

  • Thai border crossings eased

    The Cambodian Embassy in Thailand said in an announcement on Wednesday that Thailand’s government has allowed certain passengers from several countries to enter its borders. The visitors must go back to their country immediately after their duties in Thailand are fulfilled, the embassy said.

  • Gov’t says tourism recovers slightly despite pandemic

    The Ministry of Tourism and the Phnom Penh municipal administration have recognised 33 tourism businesses in the capital which have consistently implemented safety measures for tourists and adhered to the code of conduct issued by the ministry. Recently, the ministry announced that tourism businesses had to

  • Mull ASEAN border opening, PM urges

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that ASEAN launch a scenario for gradually reopening cross-border travel and trade between countries in the region. He said ASEAN has had more success combating Covid-19 compared to other regions. The prime minister’s request was made at the

  • Ministry reports 11 new Covid-19 cases, reiterates vigilance

    Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng has urged people to continue practising virus prevention techniques after 11 people tested positive for Covid-19 within two days after arriving in the Kingdom. Speaking on Sunday, Bun Heng stressed the importance of washing hands, wearing masks or scarves when

  • Nine on Indonesia flight Covid-19 positive

    The Ministry of Health on Saturday confirmed nine more imported cases of Covid-19. The nine ‒ eight Cambodians and one Indonesian, aged 22 to 26 ‒ arrived in Cambodia on Thursday via a direct flight from Indonesia and are receiving treatment at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hostipal in Phnom Penh.

  • Kingdom’s financial sector healthy

    Cambodia's financial sector remains on a sustainable growth path despite the Covid-19 pandemic squeezing crucial industries, National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) governor Chea Chanto said. Tourism, garments and footwear have borne the brunt of the Covid-19 impact, he said, whereas the financial and agriculture sectors

  • Vietnam told to remove border tents

    Kandal provincial governor Kong Sophoan has ordered local authorities to prohibit the construction of buildings in areas bordering Cambodia and to report any irregularities immediately. Recently, Vietnamese officials removed another seven tents from the border area with Cambodia. His remarks were made on Wednesday afternoon

  • Migrant workers set to return from Malaysia

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation confirmed on Thursday that 158 Cambodian students and migrant workers will fly home from Malaysia on Friday morning. This is the second flight to bring Cambodians home from Malaysia. A ministry notice said Malaysia Airlines Flight MH754 will