Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday lashed out at opposition programming on Beehive Radio FM 105, saying he would use his superior media resources to drown out their criticism.
“They attack me constantly for three hours,” Hun Sen said of the bloc of opposition airtime.
“We will attack back for three hours…. You have one channel; we have 39 channels,” he said.
“If you curse me, you will receive bad merit,” the prime minister continued. “Those who [previously] cursed me already disappeared from the world. The Khmer Rouge cursed me—they disappeared.”
The SRP, Norodom Ranariddh Party and Human Rights Party each broadcast an hour-long program on Beehive between 11 am and 1 pm daily. For the three parties, none of which have a radio or television outlet of its own, the shows represent their sole broadcast promotional tool.
SRP lawmaker Yim Sovann said that the prime minister’s remarks were meant to intimidate voters.
“It is a threat against freedom of expression. This threat will affect a free and fair election,” he said.
Noranarith Anandayath, director of the NRP’s Royalist Voice program, said that his show never attacks the premier as an individual, only his policies.
“The Royalist Voice is showing that Hun Sen’s leadership has not [handled] development, the issue of corruption, land grabbing, the corruption in the judicial system,” he said.
Targeting the royalist party’s meager airtime was excessive for the prime minister when the CPP controls so much of the airwaves, Noranarith Anandayath said.
“It is not a fair competition; we don’t waste our money to curse Hun Sen. The CPP is using the state and private stations…. It is a threat,” he added.
Beehive station director Mam Sonando said he was unconcerned by Hun Sen’s remarks and vowed to never censor any of his station’s programs.
“If Hun Sen does something wrong, let the critics continue. If the critics do not speak the truth, listeners won’t listen,” he said.