Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Australian politician slams gov’t spokesman

Australian politician slams gov’t spokesman

Khmer-Australian politician Hong Lim, who yesterday slammed government spokesman Phay Siphan’s “absurd, ridiculous and stupid” actions. Parliament of Victoria
Khmer-Australian politician Hong Lim, who yesterday slammed government spokesman Phay Siphan’s “absurd, ridiculous and stupid” actions. Parliament of Victoria

Australian politician slams gov’t spokesman

Khmer-Australian politician Hong Lim has responded with a stinging broadside against government spokesman Phay Siphan’s “absurd, ridiculous and stupid” antics, after the Cambodian official demanded he apologise for criticising the Kingdom’s regime in the wake of the murder of political analyst Kem Ley.

In an email yesterday, Lim, a state MP for the Labor Party in Victoria, took aim at Siphan for insulting his parents, who he said had died under the Khmer Rouge, characterising the spokesman’s remarks as “beneath contempt” and calling out the government’s “self-important patronizing, condescending and insulting attitude”.

“What kind of government would stoop this low?” Lim said.

The war of words erupted after Lim called Cambodia’s regime a “beast” in an interview about Ley’s killing, which many believe was politically motivated. Siphan, who plans to visit the Australian Embassy today to continue his push for an apology, said the remarks were an “insult” to the government, monarchy and Cambodian people.

But Lim, who was born in Cambodia and emigrated to Australia, said Siphan had distorted his remarks for the “government’s miserable political gain”, which he slammed as an act of cowardice, “disrespectful” to Ley and a sign the government had “crossed the line of human decency”.

“In classic vintage Phay Siphan’s style... [he is] dragging the Monarchy and the good people of Cambodia into his twisted, sick and sinister game,” said Lim.

But contacted yesterday, Siphan, who says pro-government supporters will also deliver a petition to the Australian Embassy calling for an apology, held firm, calling Lim a “coward” for not “taking responsibility”.

Reached yesterday, the Australian Embassy says it was aware a group wanted to deliver a petition today.

“The Australian Government will consider a response once the content of the petition has been reviewed,” a spokesperson said, via email.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ meet commences, Taiwan issue possibly on table

    The 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and related meetings hosted by Cambodia kicks off in Phnom Penh on August 3, with progress, challenges, and the way forward for the ASEAN Community-building on the table. Issues on Taiwan, sparked by the visit of US House Speaker

  • Pailin longan winery tries to break through to the big time

    Longan aren’t quite as glamorous as some fruits. They don’t have the star-power of mangos or generate the excitement of a pricey seasonal niche fruit like the pungent durian. Unlike bananas or oranges, which are known and loved everywhere, longan remains a decidedly

  • Recap of this year’s ASEAN FM meet and look ahead

    This year’s edition of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) hosted by Cambodia comes against the backdrop of heightened global tensions and increasing rivalry between major powers that have been compared to the animosity of the Cold War era. The following is The Post’

  • Debt restructuring over, time to tackle rising NPL ratio

    The Cambodian banking system has just completed a 26-month debt restructuring exercise where scores of loan accounts were revised, classified and provisioned as the rate of non-performing loans inched up, sparking a slight credit risk unease Implemented in April 2020, the Covid-19 debt restructuring measures came

  • Koh Slaket studio resort brings culture with style

    Davitra (Cambodia) Co Ltd’s multi-million-dollar 13ha Koh Slaket studio-cum-resort just east of the capital was inaugurated in the first phase on August 6, providing national and international tourists with a new travel option and job opportunities for locals. The man-made cultural and scenic lakefront getaway