July 8, 2016
Hun Sen’s Family Slams Report
Khmer Times/May Titthara Friday, 08 July 2016
Prime Minister Hun Sen’s children, whose names were highlighted in a report on their family’s alleged hidden wealth by international NGO Global Witness, have denied the allegations in the report, which they claim is full of mistakes and false information and only released before an election to destroy their father’s image.
Yesterday, three of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s children, Hun Manet, Hun Mana and Hun Manith, rejected the claims made in the report by Global Witness and took to social media, mostly posting their comments in both Khmer and English.
Mr. Hun Manet, the eldest son of the Prime Minister, a commander in Cambodia’s armed forces and the president of an overseas youth organization, wrote on his Facebook page: “From my recent memory, whenever it is close to an election time, an organization called Global Witness has come up with very colorful accusations aimed at attacking the government and, in particular, making personal attacks on my father.
“It is that time again and there is nothing new to their subjects of concern.
“This time, it has expanded the scope for their accusations, targeting not only against my father, but against every single member of my entire family. So what is next?”
Meanwhile Mr. Hun Manith, who is a director at the Defense Ministry’s military intelligence unit, wrote on his Facebook page yesterday morning: “A very well coordinated attack on the Hun family. Full of mistakes and wrong information as usual...The single purpose of the report and article is to defame the Hun family with wrong information.”
Mrs. Hun Mana, the director general of Bayon Television and Radio, also wrote on her Facebook page, saying she thanked Global Witness for taking the time and using many resources to research the Hun family.
She said she understood their intentions towards her father and family. “And as expected every time when we are near election time, you always come out with something to try to tarnish my father’s reputation,” she said.
“Anyhow, we thank you for your destructive efforts, which as a consequence will help my father in the coming election as they are all lies and deceitful to confuse the public about what my father has accomplished.”
Prime Minister Hun Sen did not comment on the report, but posted on his Facebook page: “Today my sons and my daughter showed their ability on Facebook, and I would like to take all their messages to post on my Facebook account.”
According to the report from Global Witness released yesterday, which they said took one year to research, members of the Hun family own or partly control companies with listed capital of more than $200 million. These span most major sectors of the economy, with links to international brands such as Apple, Nokia, Visa, Uniliver, Procter & Gamble, Nestle, Durex and Honda, according to the report.
The report claimed that at least 12 companies owned by people with close relationships with Mr. Hun Manith operated in the country’s 34 special economic zones.
Mr. Hun Manith’s wife Dy Chendavy, the daughter of former National Police Commissioner Hok Lundy who died in a helicopter accident, and his mother-in-law Men Pheakdey, have development licenses in special economic zones D & M in Svay Rieng province worth about $52 million, the report said.
The report also said Mr. Hun Manith, Mrs. Hun Mana and Mrs. Hun Maly were part of the management of Cambodia Electricity Private, which sells electricity to EDC, the state-owned power supplier. As a member of the military, Mr. Hun Manith’s management of any company is illegal.
According to the report, at least four members of the Hun family, including Mr. Hun Manith, Yim Leang, who is the son of Yim Chhayly and a brother-in-law of Mr. Hun Many, Dy Vichea, the son-in-law of Mr. Hun Sen, and Hun To, the nephew of Mr. Hun Sen, have positions in the government and have businesses which according to the law must be declared along with their assets.
Meanwhile Patrick Alley, a co-founder of Global Witness, said the report was based on facts and not false information.
“Global Witness’ investigation was based almost entirely on official government information from Cambodia’s Ministry of Commerce corporate registry – information that members of the Hun family presumably provided to the government themselves,” he said.
“Instead of simply denying the evidence, Hun Sen and his family members should make full public declarations of their assets, including all existing connections to domestic and international companies, whether those connections are formal or informal.
“We are still almost a full year away from the commune elections in June 2017. It seems Hun Sen and his family are already in electioneering mode, thinking about a victory for the CPP when they should be concentrating on governing in a way which benefits the Cambodian people.”
He also denied the report was released to coincide with the upcoming elections.
“In the last 10 years, Global Witness has released four reports on Cambodia, not one of which has been published during an election year,” he said.
“The prime minister’s relatives have been instrumental in helping secure his control through means other than their domination of the private sector. They hold key posts across the state apparatus, including in politics, the military, police, media, and charities – sectors that prop up Hun Sen’s Cambodian People’s Party through propaganda, political donations or brute force.
“They appear to be using their relationship to the prime minister to amass a vast corporate empire. The Cambodian people, forty percent of whom still live below or close to the poverty line, deserve to know what the ruling family are getting up to.”