Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday warned an unnamed opposition party to refrain from discussing his health, accusing opposition leaders of jumping to the conclusion that the premier was actually under house arrest during his recent and well-publicized bout with A(H1N1) influenza.
“This is not a coincidence, that the opposition leaders told their spokesman to make claims about the premier’s health since they want to test whether Hun Sen is arrested or not,” the premier said at a graduation ceremony in Svay Rieng province.
“And one said that they blocked [me] in the house first so as to get a person to replace [me] in order to avoid any reaction,” the prime minister continued.
“I am wondering how the opposition can support having heard that Hun Sen was arrested, detained in the house or kidnapped. Don’t call this a coup.”
“I warn [you] to stop talking about this issue,” he continued, adding, “Don’t play with Hun Sen on this issue.”
Mr Hun Sen went on to claim that the unnamed opposition party discussed his health issues for precisely 20 minutes and 58 seconds during a meeting earlier this month.
“I was listening to you while you were talking about me,” he said, adding: “You might be wondering who informed. Don’t wonder. That party is full of my men.”
“I would like to inform the opposition party: Be careful with your words,” he said. “You say it secretly, but I talk over the [loud]speakers since this issue, sooner or later, will be talked about. It’s just that you talk in a room while I do it in an open area. If you want transparency, I will give you transparency.”
The premier also accused the opposition party of receiving free plane tickets to Manila from an international organization, in violation of Cambodian election law.
The Sam Rainsy Party sent a number of its lawmakers to Manila this month to attend a convention and meet with opposition leader Sam Rainsy, who is currently in exile after a January jail conviction for destruction of property related to his removal of temporary border demarcation posts on the Vietnam-Cambodia border.
“Be careful, foreigners and foreign NGOs who helped pay for travel for lawmakers to meet their party leader in Manila,” Mr Hun Sen said.
SRP lawmaker Mu Sochua said yesterday that she could not comment directly on the premier’s speech as he had not named a specific opposition party as the target of his words. However, Ms Sochua noted that it is important for the country’s leader to be in good health.
“When he is absent, [we] worry, but when he is here [we are] happy,” she said of the premier.