Major local media organizations inaccurately reported on Thursday that Senior Minister Min Khin had died of an unspecified illness, angering his family and leading several of the outlets to revise their articles.
“After Mr. Min Khin was removed from the position of Minister of Cults and Religion, he fell seriously ill and went to Bangkok in Thailand for medical treatment” before dying on Thursday morning, Fresh News reported.
“Ministry of Cult and Religions spokesman Sos Mousine said that Minister Min Khin passed away due to illness at age 78,” reported the Voice of Democracy (VoD) Hot News service. “Now the body of Mr. Min Khin is being kept at a hospital in Thailand.”
Fresh News and VoD were joined in the incorrect reporting by Doeum Ampil, Cambodia Express News (CEN), Koh Santepheap Daily and Nokorwat News Daily.
Mr. Khin’s son, Min Madeth, said his father was gravely ill, but very much alive.
“My father has not yet died and is alive at a hospital in Bangkok,” he said. “I don’t know why many newspapers published that he had already died.”
Mr. Madeth said his father was suffering from terminal lung cancer and would be brought back to Phnom Penh this week to live out his final days at home.
Doctors told the family they were unable to treat him, he said.
Fresh News and CEN later revised their articles to say that Mr. Khin was not dead, but other reports remained unchanged as of Thursday evening.
Mr. Mousine, the spokesman, said he himself had been misinformed about the minister’s death.
“I told Fresh News that Mr. Min Khin died because some senior officials at the Ministry of Cults and Religion said so in a meeting,” he said.
Mr. Khin, a member of the ruling CPP’s standing committee, was retired as minister of cults and religion in a March Cabinet reshuffle and appointed senior minister in charge of special missions.