When visiting dignitaries flew out of Phnom Penh International Airport after last week’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit and related meetings, 24 of them carried in their luggage a gift from the country’s Prime Minister Hun Sen: a limited edition luxury tourbillon watch bearing the engraving “Made in Cambodia.”
Speaking at a press conference marking the conclusion of the summits on Sunday, Hun Sen said that he had commissioned 25 of the commemorative watches before the summit. As Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported, he brandished one of them before reporters, admitting that they cost around $20,000 each to produce.
Far from seeming embarrassed by the gap between the outrageously expensive curios and the economic reality facing many of his countrymen – a point made by Hun Sen’s critics – the Cambodian leader defended the decision to spend half a million dollars on the watches, claiming that they showcased his country’s “scientific and technical progress.”
In full: https://thediplomat.com/2022/11/commemorative-asean-summit-watches-cost-500000-cambodian-pm-says/