Cambodian Prime Minister Makes Knowledge of Mobile Internet Mandatory for Government Officials

Phnom Penh, Cambodia, March 28 (AP) Long-ruling Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen would not appoint anyone without the knowledge of using social media and smartphones as provincial governor, said on Monday the manager. Hun Sen, an avid Facebook user, said at a hospital grand opening here that officials needed to be able to use apps such as WhatsApp, Viber, LINE, Telegram, WeChat and Zoom to do their jobs efficiently, such as the organization of online meetings.

Hun Sen recently said he created groups on WhatsApp and Telegram to use his phone to coordinate with various ministries. Hun Sen, 69, has ruled Cambodia since 1985, when what evolved into the internet was still in its infancy and generally only available to academic institutions.

Hun Sen also urged members of his cabinet, some of whom also entered government service more than three decades ago, to ensure they were adept at using smartphones. Hun Sen posts comments and photos on his Facebook page almost daily, and also frequently uses the platform to broadcast his speeches and other current events on Facebook Live.

His page also allows people to send complaints about their dealings with the authorities. Hun Sen and Sam Rainsy, the country’s main opposition leader, have clashed in the past over who could attract the most Facebook followers.

Hun Sen’s page currently has 13 million followers, while that of Sam Rainsy, who has been in exile since 2015 to avoid criminal charges he says are politically motivated, has five million. Hun Sen’s critics, however, have accused him of increasing his subscriber base by buying them in bulk from shady operations that provide such services. Hun Sen denied the allegation. (AP) .


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