A former Khmer Rouge ambassador to the UN was appointed deputy governor of Banteay Meanchey province’s Malai district on Monday, officials said.
Tep Khunnal said he is pleased to accept the new position. “I have been made deputy chief of Malai district, so I will do my best to help develop our district,” he said. “The first priority for Malai villagers is finding a better market for their abundant corn production.”
Since joining the CPP in 2001, Tep Khunnal has contributed thousands of dollars to the party and has become a member of the CPP Central Committee’s working group to assist Banteay Meanchey. Tep Khunnal served as ambassador to the UN in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s, when the Khmer Rouge held a seat at the UN.
He lives in Malai district with Pol Pot’s second wife, Mea Som, whom he married after Pol Pot died in 1998.
An Sum, Banteay Meanchey’s first deputy governor, said Tep Khunnal was appointed to the position because he is already a civil servant and has done much for the development of Malai. Malai is a former Khmer Rouge stronghold. Villagers, including former Khmer Rouge intellectuals holding doctorate degrees, earn a living growing rice and corn.
District authorities keep a tight rein on residents. Unlike other border areas, Malai has few robberies and no visible prostitution, land disputes or casinos.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister and co-Minister of Interior Sar Kheng announced Monday that Nou Phoeung, governor of Kompong Thom, was removed from his post because he suffers from high blood pressure.
Sar Kheng gave no other reasons for Nou Phoeung’s removal.
Nou Phoeung has been given a position in the Interior Ministry. His replacement, CPP official Nam Tum, worked as an adviser to the Interior Ministry and served as deputy governor of Siem Reap province during the last mandate.