Prime Minister Hun Sen criticized opposition party members Tuesday for suggesting his government has held back donations meant for flood victims. He also suggested another source of funds for flood relief—money he wins on the golf course.
“There is an evil propaganda which has damaged the reputation of the government and all levels of authorities, by whispering in the ears of the people that the government has received lots of donations, but given out very little,” Hun Sen said on Apsara radio after handing out flood relief in Kandal province.
Hun Sen said more than $1 million in flood aid has been pledged by foreign governments, but most of it has yet to arrive. In the meantime, he says there are 400,000 families who need help.
“If we spend 85,000 riel (about $22) on each family, the total cost is around $9.3 million,” Hun Sen said. “If you do not help the victims, please do not create trouble for the government.
“If I were an opposition party, I would thank and praise the government,” he said. “Other countries appreciate the King and Queen and the government for attending to the needs of the people.”
Hun Sen said he would contribute money he won on the golf course. “I won the golf game over [RCAF commander-in-chief] Ke Kim Yan,” Hun Sen said. “That’s worth around 100 tons of rice.”
Norway said it will donate $100,000 through the International Red Cross of Cambodia. Hun Sen has sent letters of thanks to several foreign governments and private corporations who have contributed, including Societe Concessionaire at Pochentong Airport ($15,000), the US oil company Conoco ($10,000) and the Japanese firm Kurihara Kongyo Co Ltd (3 tons of rice).
The government’s spokesman, Khieu Kanharith, said families who have lost loved ones would receive assistance, though he was unsure how it would be offered.