Prime Minister Hun Sen went on the attack against a Facebook user who claimed the premier was out of the country receiving medical treatment, branding him a gangster with the intention of sowing chaos.
Mr. Hun Sen has been noticeably absent from political activities in recent weeks, with three consecutive Council of Ministers meetings having been postponed.
Chham Chhany—a Facebook user whose run-ins with the Hun family include linking the prime minister’s wife, Bun Rany, and eldest son Hun Manet to the illicit trade of luxury timber—claimed in a post that the premier was receiving treatment in Singapore but he had not allowed anyone to fill in as acting prime minister during his absence.
He said an anonymous source had informed him that Mr. Hun Sen was concerned about the loyalty of ruling party members.
“Hun Sen did not transfer the position of prime minister to [Interior Minister] Sar Kheng or [Deputy Prime Minister] Bin Chhin because he does not trust them. Even Hun Sen’s children dare not visit him while he’s sick because they are afraid of internal issues,” he wrote.
In response, Mr. Hun Sen on Monday evening posted photos of himself dining with Royal Cambodian Armed Forces deputy commander Kun Kim, Land Management Minister Chea Sophara, tycoon Kith Meng and his middle son Hun Manith, as well as others showing him visiting a shopping mall with several members of his family.
“Do I need to tell all the people, especially a group of gangsters, that I was here or there?” he wrote, without disclosing his location.
“Wherever I am, I still have the ability to lead the country’s affairs, especially to crack down on the chaos caused by a group of gangsters, extremists and a group of traitors,” he added.
“If you want to know, let’s try it.”
CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said the prime minister had been absent from the Council of Ministers meetings as well as a National Assembly session on Monday due to “personal reasons.”
“He is in Phnom Penh. If he is not in Phnom Penh, he will transfer the right to an acting prime minister,” he said on Tuesday.
Mr. Chhany “has an opposition brain: Whatever we do he is still displeased. Chham Chhany and Brad Adams do not have different ideas,” Mr. Eysan said, referring to the Asia director of Human Rights Watch.
Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak refused to say whether authorities would investigate Mr. Chhany over the Facebook post.