Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Samdechs’ not getting their due, ministry says

‘Samdechs’ not getting their due, ministry says

The 'three samdechs' of the Cambodian People's Party – former CPP president Chea Sim, Prime Minister Hun Sen and National Assembly president Heng Samrin – appear on a large sign at a Victory Day celebration at Koh Pich in 2014.
The 'three samdechs' of the Cambodian People's Party – former CPP president Chea Sim, Prime Minister Hun Sen and National Assembly president Heng Samrin – appear on a large sign at a Victory Day celebration at Koh Pich in 2014. Pha Lina

‘Samdechs’ not getting their due, ministry says

The Ministry of Information yesterday issued a letter urging all media outlets to use the royally bestowed title “samdech” when referring to those who hold the honorific, including King Norodom Sihamoni and Prime Minister Hun Sen.

The document, signed by Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith, also warned press to abide by their licensing conditions, including respecting journalistic ethics and not publishing material that undermines the Kingdom’s religion, security, public order and social safety.

It noted many outlets were forgetting to use the samdech title, which denotes “outstanding leadership and love from the people” and has legal value.

“This title has been offered by royal decree, the people of Cambodia should have this kind of respect by addressing the person that has this kind of title,” said Ouk Kimseng, spokesman for the Ministry of Information.

Kimseng said there were currently no regulations punishing outlets that didn’t comply with the directive and declined to comment on such laws being introduced in the future.

“The Ministry of Information starts with a humble suggestion or request,” he said.

Moeun Chhean Nariddh, who heads the Cambodian Institute of Media Studies, said only state-owned outlets should be forced to comply as private companies had a right to choose.

Pen Bona, president of the Club of Cambodian Journalists, disagreed, arguing people should show respect to the King and other samdechs, which include top Cambodian People’s Party officials Sar Kheng, Say Chhum and Heng Samrin.

“It is not going to affect their text if they write samdech in the media,” he added.

MOST VIEWED

  • US to ramp up sanctions after ‘flawed’ national polls

    At a press conference on Wednesday, the US State Department announced that it would expand visa sanctions on the Cambodian officials and individuals it deems responsible for “undermining democracy” in Cambodia. At the briefing, spokesperson Heather Nauert reiterated that the department regarded the July 29 elections

  • 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

  • Final poll results confirm first single-party Assembly

    IN an unprecedented situation in Cambodian politics, the official results of the July 29 national elections have declared that the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) will take all 125 seats in the National Assembly on the back of it receiving 76 per cent of the votes. The National

  • UN: Large number of voters ‘alienated’

    The spokesperson for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) claimed a significant proportion of the Cambodian population was left alienated in the July 29 elections after the dissolution of the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP). Having held 55 of the 123 seats in