Despite Expanding Waistline, Hun Sen Says He Is ‘Really Strong’

Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Monday that he was in good health in spite of his recent weight gain, which was interfering with his golf swing, and that an “insulting” video on Facebook claiming he had a stroke was old and inaccurate.

Speaking at the inauguration of a new bridge in Kandal province, the prime minister said he had stumbled across the offending video in his Facebook feed.

Prime Minister Hun Sen plays golf in a photograph posted to his Facebook page last month.
Prime Minister Hun Sen plays golf in a photograph posted to his Facebook page last month.

Mr. Hun Sen said the clip’s audio track stated that he had suffered a stroke at his residence near Independence Monument and had been sent to Calmette Hospital and onward to Singapore for treatment.

He characterized the post as “an insulting act.”

“Please, nephew,” he said, directing his comments at the user who posted the video, “pay attention to your own health, pay attention to your parents’ health and your grandparents’ health—that’s enough.”

“There’s no need to care only about the health of Prime Minister Hun Sen,” he said.

“I do not have family members with a history of strokes,” he added. “No one in the family even has a history of mental illness.”

Rumors that the prime minister had suffered a stroke also surfaced in June 2014, with Facebook users claiming he was rushed to Singapore for treatment.

Mr. Hun Sen quit smoking several years ago, citing health concerns, and vowed in 2013 to remain in power until he was 74.

“I’m really strong,” the 65-year-old leader said on Monday. “Sometimes I think I am just 25 years old…. When my hairline gets a little white, I will have it dyed.”

The prime minister went on to praise his own stamina, saying that in contrast to his peers, he was still full of energy after traveling more than 2,000 km as part of his ongoing tour of the provinces.

He conceded, however, that he had put on 3 kg during the tour.

“You should not say the prime minister is having a stroke,” he said, again directing his comments at the unnamed Facebook user. “You better say instead that the prime minister is concerned about weight gain and getting a bigger belly, causing issues swinging the golf club.”

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