Keeping Up With Hun Sen? There’s a New App for That

Not satisfied with getting his message out to the more than 1.75 million people who have “liked” his increasingly active Facebook page, Prime Minister Hun Sen now has a personal mobile phone app and a new website.

Shortly after a Facebook page bearing his name received its millionth “like” on the social network, Mr. Hun Sen announced in September that it was indeed official. He has since regularly utilized the space once monopolized by opposition leader Sam Rainsy.

A screenshot of Prime Minister Hun Sen's new personal website as it appeared on Tuesday afternoon (Reuters)
A screenshot of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s new personal website as it appeared on Tuesday afternoon (Reuters)

In a message posted to his page Monday night, Mr. Hun Sen said that those unsatisfied by his daily Facebook updates, which include live broadcasts of his speeches, now have two more options.

“I am happy to deliver the news to compatriots and the public that besides Facebook, I also have a website and a personal app that can be downloaded right now to mobile phones that use Android,” Mr. Hun Sen wrote. “For iOS, it can be downloaded very soon.”

A comment left under the post by Mr. Hun Sen added an appeal for people to download his app.

“Please SHARE and Download App for everyone to have increasing ease in receiving news about me very quickly,” he wrote.

The information available on both new platforms closely mirrors what is available on the premier’s Facebook page, including a biographical message on Tuesday’s 40th anniversary of Mr. Hun Sen’s marriage to Bun Rany.

Mr. Hun Sen recounted being in a small unit of the nascent Khmer Rouge in the early 1970s when he visited a field hospital in order to check on a comrade.

“My friend didn’t complain about his wound, he said to me: ‘Bonal (Hun Bonal is my original name, and my nickname was ‘Sen,’ so some called me Sen and some said Bonal), Dr. Rany is really beautiful,’” he wrote.

“I asked: Who is Rany? My friend said: ‘The woman you will love the minute she comes to clean my wound. I insulted my friend, [saying] that he was stupid,” he recalled, before explaining his friend was correct.

“This was the first time I knew the name of this woman. After that, she became my wife for 40 years.”

CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said that he was unaware of the new app and website, and directed questions to Ho Sothy, chief of the prime minister’s personal cabinet, who could not be reached.

More than 9,000 of the 1.75 million who “like” Mr. Hun Sen on Facebook also “liked” the news of the new app, and most of the 400 comments were positive—even from those who could not get it yet.

“When can I download it, Samdech? Because I want to let Samdech to know more clearly about the injustices in society so Samdech can see them and help,” wrote a user under the account name Bong Tra Bbo.

Others who successfully downloaded the app wrote that they were thrilled by it.

“I already did it, Samdech. This is awesome,” one of the commenters, Phearun Khom, said.

“Through this, the people will have a feeling of being much closer to Samdech than before,” wrote another user, Eang Nan.

(Additional reporting by Alex Willemyns)

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