The director of the CPP-affiliated Bayon radio and television network was removed from his position and replaced by Hun Mana, a daughter of Prime Minister Hun Sen, officials said Sunday.
Ou Punarith, an assistant to new Bayon director Hun Mana, said Sunday that his boss had assumed control of the station last week, replacing outgoing director Thai Norak Satia.
Hun Sen’s adviser Om Yentieng confirmed the shake-up. “Let the young general show her ability to improve the station,” Om Yentieng said.
Thai Norak Satia did not answer repeated calls for comment Sunday. Reached by telephone, his assistant Khan Kunsambath confirmed that the former composer and songwriter was no longer directing Bayon, but would give no further details on the circumstances of his removal or his current occupation.
Though Om Yentieng insisted that Bayon is privately-owned with no financial ties to Hun Sen, the station’s ownership—and the identity of the individuals who appointed Hun Mana to her current position—were unclear Sunday. Bayon is registered as a private company headquartered near Hun Sen’s residence in Takhmau district, Kandal province.
The selection of Hun Mana casts doubt on Bayon’s independence, opposition lawmaker Son Chhay said, adding: “I think that …Hun Sen wants his daughter to be involved in business.”
Hun Mana’s previous business ventures have included a stint as one of the top executives in First Cambodia Airlines, which closed earlier this year due to financial difficulties. In September, she established the Smile of Hope charity, which pays for children’s studies.