Prime Minister Hun Sen urged the media to cover the 100-day countdown to the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games. The May 5 opening ceremony will be a historic date, as the Kingdom hosts the biennial multi-sports extravaganza for the first time.

During a January 14 meeting with nearly 5,000 journalists, Hun Sen reminded the assembled guests of their important role in raising the Kingdom’s profile ahead of the 2023 Games.

“The media, both public and private, has a part to play in maintaining peace and social order through the ‘safe village-commune’ policy,” he said.

“The media should join the government and authorities to suppress crime in all forms. This will contribute to building a safe and orderly Cambodian society, as well as maintaining the Kingdom’s honour and dignity on the international stage, as we prepare to host the games,” he added.

The premier said he would continue to pay close attention to the issues of political stability and social order, but suggested that what the media publishes and broadcasts should also bear them in mind. He reminded the assembled journalists of the importance of covering the countdown to the Games.

“On January 25, I’d like to see the media join the campaign to promote the 100-day countdown. This will inspire all citizens, both inside and outside the country. Media coverage will also serve as motivation for our athletes to train harder. I believe this will encourage the Kingdom’s youth to support and love sport,” he added.

The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC), chaired by Minister of National Defence Tea Banh and Minister of Tourism Thong Khon, has already set out plans to mark the countdown. This includes a relay of the SEA Games torch, as well as the upcoming SEA Games’ Chef de Mission Meeting, which will be attended by the nations of the ASEAN region.

“January 25 marks the start of the 100-day countdown period. I want the media to support the government’s efforts by letting the public know that we are counting down. I t doesn’t matter whether it is 100, 26 or 25 days to the games, I want the people to be aware of it,” said Hun Sen.

He also announced an upcoming meeting with the Kingdom’s athletes. He was unable to meet the Cambodian team ahead of last year’s games, owing to Covid-19 concerns.

“Although we have not yet selected the venue, I will meet them on April 4. I would like all of the gathered journalists to help promote, inspire and encourage the public to exercise more and play sport,” he concluded.