Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Yet another doctorate for Bun Rany



Yet another doctorate for Bun Rany

Prime Minister Hun Sen kisses his wife Bun Rany at a women’s leadership forum held in Phnom Penh in 2015. Facebook
Prime Minister Hun Sen kisses his wife Bun Rany at a women’s leadership forum held in Phnom Penh in 2015. Facebook

Yet another doctorate for Bun Rany

Amid much pomp and fanfare, Prime Minister Hun Sen’s wife, Bun Rany, was yesterday bestowed a doctorate in literature from a Chinese university, making it the fifth such degree in her collection for her “humanitarian work”.

In a graduation ceremony held at Chaktomuk Hall, Rany was awarded the PhD – identical to one her husband received in 2015 – from Guangxi University of Nationalities, a tertiary partner of the Royal University of Phnom Penh.

A director at the Guangxi institution, Xie Shango, said Rany received the honour for her focus on friendship with China and her promotion of Chinese-Cambodian education and culture.

He stressed the doctorate was not simply for literature, but to show appreciation for her development efforts in Cambodia.

Rany, the president of the Cambodian Red Cross (CRC) – whose honorific Samdech Kittiprittibandit roughly translates to “supreme high scholar” – accepted the degree on behalf of her fellow women.

“The honorary PhD certificate in literature which samdech receives from Guangxi University in China is not just for samdech, but it is an honour for all Cambodia, especially women,” she said.

Yet Rany’s position at the helm of the CRC has been heavily criticised by observers for what they characterise as unashamedly aligning the charity with her husband’s ruling party.

“The CRC purports to uphold the network’s core principles of neutrality and independence but does little to hide its political allegiance and has been referred to as the ‘humanitarian wing’ of the Cambodian People’s Party,” according to the group Global Witness.

Yet CRC deputy director Men Nearysorphors said the charity prioritised the vulnerable and never discriminated along political lines, and maintained the award was well deserved because Rany “had come up with creative ideas, by herself, since 1979 to help women and children”.

When asked what contribution Rany had made to the literary world, RUPP Khmer Literature department head Thea Sokmeng declined to comment, saying, “I cannot talk about that”.

Political analyst Billy Tai said the practice was not uncommon. “I would suggest that this is potentially more about political favours than any actual recognition of achievements,” he said.

Additional reporting by Erin Handley

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Ministry mulls ASEAN+3 travel bubble

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a travel bubble allowing transit between Cambodia and 12 other regional countries in a bid to resuscitate the tourism sector amid crushing impact of the ongoing spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • PM asks India for vaccine help

    Prime Minister Hun Sen is seeking assistance from India for the provision of Covid-19 vaccines as the country has produced its own vaccine which is scheduled to be rolled out to more than 300 million Indians this year. The request was made during his meeting with

  • One million Chinese Covid-19 jabs to start rolling in from February

    The government has confirmed that Covid-19 vaccines from China are set to begin arriving in Cambodia by February. This came as the Ministry of Health recorded two imported cases of Covid-19 on January 18. While calling on people to remain vigilant against the pandemic, ministry spokeswoman