Cambodia’s Strongman Ruler Has Just Declared He Has a New Birthday

Hun Sen pointed to the recent passing of his older brother as he announced he would be legally changing his date of birth.

If you’re the world’s longest-serving prime minister, you’re probably not the type to leave anything to chance. You’re also probably used to having control over most things in life—including the date on which you were born.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, who has ruled the country under an increasingly tight grip since 1985, declared on Tuesday that he’s decided to switch his legal birthdate from April 4, 1951, to August 5, 1952—a date he said marked his real birthday.

Why would a 71-, er, 69-year-old man suddenly want to change his date of birth? Hun Sen thinks holding on to the wrong birthday may upset one’s standing with the Chinese zodiac.

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