Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Strong rhetoric snuck into budget

Strong rhetoric snuck into budget

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
National Assembly's permanent committee members hold a meeting on Monday in Phnom Penh. Hong Menea

Strong rhetoric snuck into budget

The final draft of the $6 billion proposed budget for 2018, currently under consideration at the National Assembly, contains strong language on the protection of national security and vows to prevent any attempts to create “chaos and turmoil”, mirroring nationalistic and anti-opposition rhetoric emanating from government officials.

The draft, which will be voted on by parliament on Friday, details a $6 billion budget including significant increases to education, health and defence spending, but also contains language expressing concerns about protecting social stability in the run-up to major elections next year.

Two thousand eighteen “is the year of elections to the Senate and National Assembly and the government must ensure both elections go smoothly . . . as well as prevent any attempt that intends to make chaos, turmoil and instability in the nation”, the budget reads.

The budget will be voted on by the National Assembly a day after the Supreme Court convenes to hear a Ministry of Interior request to dissolve the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party over widely derided accusations that it colluded with foreign powers to foment “revolution” and topple the government.

CNRP lawmaker Son Chhay said the inclusion of such “scary language”, which echoed that of government and ruling party officials, suggested the country was becoming a “police state”.

“To add this to a legal document – it should not happen,” he said. “Yeah, this kind of message has been around for a while but it is unacceptable.”

MOST VIEWED

  • Sihanoukville building collapse death toll rises to 19

    Minister of Interior Sar Kheng said on Sunday that the government will act against those responsible for the collapse of a seven-storey building in Sihanoukville on Saturday, which resulted in 19 dead and 24 injured as of Sunday evening. Sar Kheng said three Chinese nationals and one

  • Gov’t to probe Chinese exports to US via Sihanoukville

    The government is investigating allegations that Chinese companies are using Chinese-owned special economic zones in Cambodia to export goods to the US and avoid tariffs, said Ministry of Commerce spokesman Seang Thay. The move comes after US embassy spokesman Arend Zwartjes said the US had

  • Banh: The Khmer Rouge worse than sanctions and pressure

    Minister of National Defence Tea Banh said on Thursday that having sanctions and external pressure placed on Cambodia was not worse than life under the brutal Khmer Rouge regime. Tea Banh, who is also deputy prime minister, was speaking to military and ruling party officials

  • Funcinpec ‘set to sell their headquarters’, says source

    An anonymous source from Funcinpec said acting president Prince Norodom Chakravuth had held a meeting with other officials to discuss selling several of the party headquarters across the country while the party president Prince Norodom Ranariddh receives medical treatment at the Royal Phnom Penh Hospital