Lawmaker Calls for Guards To Stop Gambling

National Assembly First Vice President Heng Samrin issued a formal request Monday to all parliamentarians, asking them to in­struct their assistants and bodyguards not to gamble outside the Assembly building.

Heng Samrin’s order came in the wake of a violent fistfight Thurs­­­day between the bodyguards of CPP lawmaker Ho Naun and Fun­cinpec lawmaker Khieu San fol­lowing a card game.

Heng Samrin wrote in his letter that the dispute reached the point where guns were drawn.

“To maintain order and protect the reputation of the National As­sem­bly…I would like you to in­struct personal assistants and bo­dy­guards to stop gambling immediately,” the senior lawmaker wrote.

For several years, groups of up to 50 bodyguards, many in uniforms and well armed, have regularly gathered to gamble in front of the parliament building or the park across the street while awaiting their high-ranking employers.

Khieu San, who serves on the Assembly’s human rights commis­sion, said Tuesday that he had grounded his gambling bodyguard over the incident.

“I am not allowing him to do anything for nine days…let him pick up the dog’s [droppings],” he joked. “He will stay home and think things over.”

Ho Naun, chairwoman of the As­­­sembly’s public health, social work, la­bor and women’s affairs commis­sion, said she felt ashamed of her bodyguard’s role in the incident.

She said her bodyguard sustain­ed a slight facial injury during the fight.

Opposition lawmaker Son Chhay called on the National As­sembly to allocate some money to fund the education of lawmakers’ loitering chauffeurs and bodyguards.

“They just hang around waiting for their bosses so they kill time gam­bling,” he said. “We should set up a mobile library outside the As­sembly building so drivers and bo­dyguards can access books for plea­­sure reading or something like that.”


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