Hun Sen Pays Helmet Fine, Chides Overseas Lawbreakers

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Friday made good on his promise to pay a fine for not wearing a helmet while driving a motorbike last weekend, using the trip to a Phnom Penh police station to take a veiled dig at opposition leader Sam Rainsy.

Accompanied by a bodyguard, Mr. Hun Sen set off for the Chaktomuk commune police station at about 7:30 a.m.—again on a motorbike, this time with a helmet.

    Prime Minister Hun Sen steps off a motorbike at the riverside Preah Ang Dangkeu shire in Phnom Penh on Friday. Mr. Hun Sen prayed for good luck after paying a fine for not wearing a helmet last weekend. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)
Prime Minister Hun Sen steps off a motorbike at the riverside Preah Ang Dangkeu shire in Phnom Penh on Friday. Mr. Hun Sen prayed for good luck after paying a fine for not wearing a helmet last weekend. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)

A week earlier, photographs posted to his Facebook page that showed him driving a motorbike without a helmet drew the ridicule of thousands of users. After paying 60,000 riel, or about $15, in fines, Mr. Hun Sen turned to a crowd of onlookers and lectured them on the importance of not shirking one’s legal responsibilities.

“No one is exempt from the law,” he said, going on to make an apparent reference to Mr. Rainsy, who is in self-imposed exile to avoid a two-year prison sentence for defamation. “I hope that those who commit illegal acts do not…ask those abroad to pressure Cambodia to not implement the law,” he said.

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