Hun Sen Decries Global Witness As ‘Crazy’ Amid Latest Criticism

Prime Minister Hun Sen described Global Witness as ignorant, stupid and crazy on Friday after the anti-corruption NGO criticized the World Economic Forum for allowing the premier to host an investment event at this year’s conference in Switzerland.

In a news release on Wednesday, Global Witness urged the forum to ban Mr. Hun Sen from hosting the event aimed at attracting new overseas investment, accusing his government of systematically quashing political opposition “through the murder, torture and arbitrary imprisonment of critics.”

cam photo WEF
Prime Minister Hun Sen meets with representatives of Swiss companies in Zurich on this week, in a photograph posted to his Facebook page.

On Friday, Mr. Hun Sen took to Facebook to rail against what he perceived as the organization’s ignorance of world politics. He wrote he was sending “a message to Global Witness and its cliques to stop this ignorance and stupidity.”

“The President or the Prime Minister work together like this. That’s the normal routine of the relationship between state and state. If the brain is not going crazy yet, [you] should go to school and learn more to not oppose me in this crazy way,” he wrote.

This is the latest in a long line of spats between Global Witness and the Cambodian government.

In its most recent report on Cambodia, “Hostile Takeover,” Global Witness described the Hun family’s significant shares in more than 100 companies with a combined capital of over $200 million in sectors spanning the economy, from forestry to finance. It called the holdings “the tip of the iceberg,” with far more wealth likely hiding behind shell companies and fake names in a country where corruption is rampant.

The family was quick to retaliate, with the prime minister’s children accusing independent media of colluding with Global Witness in an effort to tarnish their father’s name. However, they offered no evidence that the details in the report were false, other than one son’s military rank.

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