Brigadier General Yun Min, the former Koh Kong provincial military commander, has been named the new governor of Preah Sihanouk province, according to a sub-decree signed by King Norodom Sihamoni.
The appointment of Brig. Gen. Min follows the retirement of former Preah Sihanouk governor Chhit Sokhon and the removal of Seang Kosal as provincial police chief and Chin Sarin as Sihanoukville governor amid a steep rise in violent crime in one of the country’s most important trade and tourism hubs.
The sub-decree states that the appointment took effect the day it was signed, July 31, but Brig. Gen. Min said Tuesday that he had only just heard the news.
“I was surprised, because I had not thought that I would be taken care of by higher officials,” he said. “Who is not happy when they receive a promotion?”
Asked how he would apply his military experience in Preah Sihanouk, Brig. Gen. Min said he would reserve comment until he was settled into the new position.
“I just received the information today, I don’t have any idea yet,” he said. “I cannot say anything now and I will wait until I am doing my job.”
Brig. Gen. Min is only the latest Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF) commander to take up a civilian administrative posting. It follows the appointment of former Siem Reap provincial RCAF commander Khim Bunsong and former Kompong Chhnang provincial commander Chhour Chandoeun as governors of their respective provinces. In April last year, both received military promotions while in their new roles.
The appointment of Brig. Gen. Min also comes just over a week after Prime Minister Hun Sen called a meeting of security forces at his residential compound in Kandal province and reminded high-ranking officials of their duty to protect the country from external threats and “enemies from the inside,” according to a senior Defense Ministry official who was present.
Contacted Tuesday, Sek Setha, a secretary of state at the Interior Ministry, said Brig. Gen. Min was appointed only for his competence.
“It is not a matter that involved his military history; what’s important is ability,” he said.