A Change of Guard

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Friday, 1 July 2016

PM defends graduation speeches

Prime Minister Hun Sen gives a certificate to a teacher yesterday during a graduation ceremony at the National Institute of Education in Phnom Penh. Facebook

PM defends graduation speeches
Thu, 30 June 2016 ppp
Pech Sotheary

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday hit back at critics who complained about his practice of delivering speeches at university graduations.

“They say that because I join the graduation ceremonies, the minister of education has to work as a cyclo driver because I do the work of the Ministry of Education,” Hun Sen said during a customs department ceremony.

“They commented on Facebook, but they have to know that all students want the prime minister to join the graduation ceremony.”

He said universities filed invitations three to five months beforehand, and added he was also accused of taking work away from the minister of religion by inaugurating pagodas.

Affiliated Network for Social Accountability executive director San Chey said universities wanted Hun Sen to speak because it was good promotion.

He said that while there was no rule that said the prime minister shouldn’t speak, it would be better if his speeches focused on inspiring the graduates rather than attacking his opponents and critics as is frequently the case.

Minister of Education Hang Chuon Naron could not be reached yesterday.

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