Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sihanouk declares assets to debunk myth he's rich

Sihanouk declares assets to debunk myth he's rich

Sihanouk declares assets to debunk myth he's rich

5-story-2.jpg
5-story-2.jpg

The King Father seeks to fend off accusations from Republicans and other political opponents that he has amassed enormous wealth

POST ARCHIVES

King Father Norodom Sihanouk greets admiring subjects as Queen Mother Monique stands behind him in this file photo.

FORMER king Norodom Sihanouk has said he is under attack from "Lonnoliens" and other Republican opponents who have accused him of sacking away enormous amounts of money, explaining last week's sudden declaration of his assets on his website.

"Since I am only a 'Retired King', the Lonnoliens and other Khmer Republicans are accusing me of having a large fortune and 'enormous' assets - sic! -. I must therefore make these ‘assets' known in full to the public," Sihanouk wrote on his website Tuesday.

"Certain journalists (in Phnom Penh) are looking for an 'explanation' for my preceding communique that made known to the public my assets.... Here is the ‘explanation'," he said. 

The retired monarch, who divides his time between guest palaces in Beijing and Pyongyang, announced unprompted Saturday that he had "30,313 Euros and 28 centimes" (about US$45,000) in a French bank.

He added that his estate also included a small house in Siem Reap which would go to his wife, Norodom Monineath Sihanouk, upon his death.

 
A new national museum?

Last week's statement also declared that the house of his birth near the Independence Monument in Phnom Penh, would, after 2014, become a national museum, and that the two residencies in China and North Korea do not belong to him. 

"The Palace 'Chhang Sou Won' (near Pyongyang, PDRK) and the ‘Royal Residence' in Beijing, PRC, do not belong to me. They are 'State Guest Houses' owned respectively by the PDR of Korea and the PR of China," he wrote.

The declaration came a day after the business magazine Forbes listed the 15 wealthiest monarchs in the world, giving first place to Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

The magazine, which revealed the monarchs' combined wealth was about US$131 billion (up from $95 billion last year), said its classification was slightly dubious given the blurring of lines between state and royal ownership.  "These estimates are ... a blend of art and science," Forbes wrote. 

MOST VIEWED

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group