Opposition Lawmakers Spurn Medals

Calling the National Assembly and Senate “a rubber-stamp parliament,” 22 Sam Rainsy Party lawmakers Thursday vowed to return medals given recently for service to the country.

“Medals and titles are worthless and meaningless under the present regime,” a Sam Rainsy Party statement announcing the return said Thursday.

National Assembly President Prince Norodom Ranariddh hand­ed out medals of various ranks in a colorful ceremony Tuesday, in which white-clad lawmakers—including some from the Sam Rainsy Party—received the honors for service to the country. Senators were given medals in April.

Party leader Sam Rainsy said the King Norodom Sihanouk-approved medals were “nonsense.” Sam Rainsy did not attend the ceremony. He returned from France Wednesday and party lawmakers—15 National Assembly members and seven senators—announced Thursday they would send the medals back.

“I won’t accept this medal be­cause there is no value in it. Such value would be even worse than the ones given to [businessmen] Kith Meng and Mong Reththy,” he said.

Several Funcinpec lawmakers said Thursday they also were unhappy with the medals.

One Funcinpec parliamentarian, who asked for anonymity, said the medal should have been giv­en only to lawmakers who had performed well. “[Ma­ny] never speak up, even  a word,” he said.

“Many MPs don’t serve their job well in parliament. They never speak up, even a word,” the lawmaker said.

“I won’t accept this medal be­cause there is no value in it. Such value would be even worse than the ones given to [businessmen] Kith Meng and Mong Reththy,” he said.

The government’s honorary title of “Okhna” is given to some businessmen who donate to the country. The title is available for those who give $50,000, the Sam Rainsy Party statement said.

To reward lawmakers after what the opposition leader referred to as nine years of government mismanagement was an insult, Sam Rainsy said in the statement.

 

Related Stories

Latest News