Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ‘Tolerant’ PM calls for ‘unity’

‘Tolerant’ PM calls for ‘unity’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Prime Minister Hun Sen addressed garment workers in Kandal province in July. He appealed to Cambodians on Sunday to ‘promote national unity’. HUN SEN VIA FACEBOOK

‘Tolerant’ PM calls for ‘unity’

In his message on celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Kampuchean United Front for National Salvation, known by its French acronym FUNSK, Prime Minister Hun Sen said for the sake of unity in the Kingdom, he is “tolerant” to those who “acknowledged their mistakes”, and that he may be the “only leader” to exhibit such a trait in Cambodian history.

Via his official Facebook page on Sunday night, the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) president also appealed to Cambodians to “promote national unity”.

“National solidarity requires tolerance. Have you ever allowed people making mistakes to apologise to you? Since ancient times, among Cambodian leaders, I am perhaps the most tolerant leader,” he said.

Hun Sen said previously, traitors were sentenced to “death”, but he has forgiven the people who committed “mistakes”.

While not mentioning him by name, he said he has forgiven one person twice, seemingly referring to outlawed former opposition leader Sam Rainsy.

Before returning to Cambodia in 2006, Rainsy received a royal pardon from King Norodom Sihamoni, in relation to a “defamation” conviction, at the request of Hun Sen.

In the second case, before the 2013 national election, Rainsy received a second royal pardon from the King which ended the former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) leader’s almost four years of self-exile abroad and paved the way for him to return and take part in the polls.

The charges against Rainsy came in late 2009 after he uprooted demarcation posts on the Vietnamese border and disseminated maps alleging Cambodia’s eastern neighbour had encroached on Cambodian territory.

“I forgive the people who realise their mistakes. Sometimes it is once and sometimes it is twice. But it cannot be the third time. I hope that nephews and nieces and our people can understand clearly about such tolerance for the sake of national solidarity.

“Finally, national solidarity requires the people to distinguish between the role of the opposition in national politics and when the opposition goes against the direct national interests of the Kingdom,” Hun Sen said.

He said all Cambodians have the freedom to vote and need to vote with responsibility.

“We also have freedom of expression, but we need to take responsibility for it so that we can promote national solidarity,” Hun Sen said.

Political analyst Meas Nee said he admits that the prime minister previously requested pardons for many convicted political prisoners. He said a leader’s success is also to promote national unity.

“Leaders who are going to be considered heroes in the future are those who could unite the whole country. When Cambodia remains split and fights each other, we cannot base leadership on 100 per cent heroism,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro

  • ACLEDA, WU to enable global money transfers

    Cambodia's largest commercial bank by total assets ACLEDA Bank Plc and global money transfer firm Western Union (WU) have partnered to offer customers cross-border money transfers to 200 countries via “ACLEDA mobile” app. In Channy, president and group managing director of ACLEDA, said the June 22 agreement

  • Cambodia detects new Covid cases after 52 days: PM

    After 52 days of zero new Covid-19 cases, Cambodia has now detected new infections, according to Prime Minister Hun Sen. In his special audio address to the nation late on June 28, Hun Sen said the new cases were detected on people who had undergone PCR tests

  • Gold-covered boundary stone found within Angkor Thom’s West Gate

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) announced that their working group in charge of restoration work at Angkor Thom's Takav Gate or the West Gate recently found an ancient stone slab commonly known as a boundary stone. The boundary stone is 53 cm by 53 cm and 12 cm

  • Higher education leaders tour US

    With support from the US Department of State, 10 Cambodian leaders in higher education participated in the 10-day International Visitors Leadership Programme (IVLP) in three US states from June 19 to July 1. They included nine university rectors and directors of higher education institutions who are members of