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

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,

  • Cambodia's poverty cut in half from 2009 to 2019: World Bank report

    A report published by the World Bank on November 28 states that Cambodia’s national poverty rate fell by almost half between 2009 and 2019, but the Covid-19 pandemic recently reversed some of the poverty reduction progress. Cambodia’s poverty rate dropped from 33.8 to 17.8 per cent over the 10