Observers on Thursday questioned the sincerity of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s verbal attacks on the mistresses of what appear to be Funcinpec officials, and called on the CPP to clean its own house before reproaching others for extra-marital affairs.
Hun Sen has in recent days made vociferous attacks on Funcinpec and unnamed mistresses who he has dubbed “evil foxes” and accused of brokering political appointments.
But observers pointed out that in previous years, it has sometimes been the wives and mistresses of CPP officials who have made the headlines.
“It is like pointing one finger to others, but they have three fingers pointing back at themselves,” said Hul Kanthol Vora, Funcinpec secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“In the Khmer country almost every leader has a mistress. I can say 98 percent have mistresses. Who says that they are clean?” he added.
NGOs have long received complaints from women and children alleging exploitation by officials from all political parties, Cambodian Women’s Crisis Center Executive Director Oung Chanthol said.
“We see many cases of exploitation committed by government officials in all the parties,” Oung Chanthol said.
“Other NGOs confirmed that they also had the same records, but we did not bring it to light. We try to be very diplomatic to deal with these cases,” she added.
Court and police officials would not discuss such cases as the 1999 killing of actress Piseth Pilika in Phnom Penh, who was alleged to have been the mistress of a top CPP official.
No one has been charged in that case, or in a horrific 2000 acid attack on karaoke video actress Tat Marina.
Immediately after that attack, police said they were seeking the wife of CPP Council of Ministers Undersecretary of State Svay Sitha.
Svay Sitha, who has never commented on the incident, could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Former municipal police commissioner Heng Pov referred questions about Tat Marina’s case to National Police Commissioner Hok Lundy, who could not be contacted.
Tan Senarong, a former Phnom Penh Municipal Court judge now working at the Ministry of Justice, also declined to discuss the Tat Marina case.
“That case is very complicated and difficult and also involved with the high-ranking officials,” he said.
Government spokesman Khieu Kanharith said he was too busy to speak to a reporter.
“It is not a search for social justice,” Chea Vannath, president of the Center for Social Development, said of Hun Sen’s tirades against mistresses. “That is the usual tactic of the prime minister to attack and to intimidate. He wants to show that everything is under his control,” she said.