Royal Cambodian Armed Forces commander-in-chief Pol Saroeun yesterday told hundreds of the Kingdom’s top military brass to be more like Prime Minister Hun Sen and join the information age via smartphones and social media.
“Now, technology is growing fast therefore leaders, commanders, deputy commanders and soldiers of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces have to study about the internet and Facebook in order to develop their capacity, to ensure that all information in the world is in our hands,” Saroeun told senior RCAF officials attending the Military Division II annual meeting at its headquarters in Preah Vihear province.
In recent months, the premier has become a prolific user of Facebook, in what observers see as a move to lure younger voters away from the opposition party, which has long been active online.
The government is now trying to get state employees to follow suit. In his speech, Saroeun also urged soldiers to register for new ID cards to ensure that they were eligible to vote in the local and national elections in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
Rights groups have long been critical of the ruling Cambodian People’s Party’s control over, and conflation with, the military and bureaucracy. Last year, almost 100 senior military and police officials were added to the CPP’s central committee.