Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Government asks all provinces to produce propaganda videos

Government asks all provinces to produce propaganda videos

Information Minister Khieu Kanharith speaks in Phnom Penh at the ministry’s annual meeting in March. Kanharith has asked all provinces to produce 20-to-30-minute propaganda videos on their ‘achievements’ before the election.
Information Minister Khieu Kanharith speaks in Phnom Penh at the ministry’s annual meeting in March. Kanharith has asked all provinces to produce 20-to-30-minute propaganda videos on their ‘achievements’ before the election. Hong Menea

Government asks all provinces to produce propaganda videos

Each of Cambodia’s provinces have been asked to get “creative” and produce half-hour propaganda videos showcasing their “achievements”, with the Information Ministry ordering them to be made before the upcoming elections in July.

Ministry of Information spokesman Ouk Kimseng said on Thursday that Information Minister Khieu Kanharith had informed all 24 provincial Information Departments, as well as the department in Phnom Penh Municipality, to look at the “achievements” their localities have made for society.

“That’s the government’s policy, because what we have done, we have to show,” he said.

As the “government is the CPP”, he said, the videos would naturally mention the long-ruling Cambodian People’s Party.

“Of course,” he said of the CPP being mentioned in the clips, “because the majority is the CPP.”

With the CPP’s Hun Sen at the helm as Prime Minister since 1985, the words “government” and “CPP” are often used interchangeably in Cambodia.

In November, the Cambodia National Rescue Party, the only viable opposition party, was forcibly dissolved in a case widely perceived to be politically motivated.

The government-run AKP newswire said Kanharith also told the provincial information departments that the video clips had to be “creative” in order to make sure they became “popular”. Kanharith couldn’t be reached for comment on Thursday, but AKP reported he said the videos should be completed three months ahead of the July elections.

Kimseng listed road connections, health care and public services, such as the issuance of birth certificates and identification cards, as some of the government’s achievements. However, medical experts have noted that the country’s health care system, in particular, has long struggled to improve its poor quality of services.

He said there had also been reforms on good governance, but wasn’t able to give specific examples.

“I cannot answer on behalf of people in each locality,” he said. “But what I can say is that the government has instructed local governments to provide better services, the best we can provide.”

It is unclear when the videos will be aired, but Kimseng said it must be in accordance with the Election Law, which outlines that the campaigning period typically lasts 30 days and ends 24 hours before the polls open.

Him Yun, with the Coalition for Integrity and Social Accountability, said the government should be careful with “any action that can violate the law”, as airing campaign videos outside the election campaign would be illegal.

“The achievements of the government should be shown during the election campaign,” he said.

Hang Puthea, spokesman for the National Election Committee, said a party can develop videos, but they should only air “during the period of the political party campaigning”.

Those parties who produce TV spots should use their own finances, Puthea added.

San Chey, executive director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, said voters wouldn’t be fooled by propaganda.

“Citizens are now smart enough to decide and judge” what achievements have actually been accomplished, he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • All Covid restrictions for inbound travellers lifted

    Cambodia has apparently taken the final step towards full reopening of the country without Covid-19 restrictions by removing all requirements for inbound travellers, who until now had to show health certificates indicating that they have tested Covid-19 negative in the past 72 hours as well as

  • Typhoon Noru brings flash floods – 16 dead

    An official warned that that the 16th typhoon of the season, Noru, had brought heavy rains to areas the Mekong River and flooded thousands of homes in the provinces bordering Thailand. As of September 27, the death toll from the flooding had risen to 16. National Committee

  • Cambodia stands firm on 5PC: No invite for Myanmar to ASEAN Summit this year

    Cambodia has not invited Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, chairman of Myanmar’s ruling State Administration Council (SAC), to the 40th and 41st ASEAN Summit and related meetings scheduled for next month in Phnom Penh. The government will instead invite a non-political representative from Myanmar

  • Mushrooming borey projects and home financing – a cause for concern?

    A spurt in housing developments is typically a sign of a growing economy but underneath all that might lay some anxiety of credit growth as developers offer financing to buyers at higher rates, an activity the central bank identifies as ‘shadow banking’ Earlier this year,

  • Thai Senate delegates in Cambodia to discuss anti-graft co-op

    A delegation from Thailand's Senate was in Phnom Penh on September 28 to meet their Cambodian counterparts to discuss strategies for fighting corruption and enhancing cooperation. The Thai delegates were from its Senate’s Committee on Studying and Inspecting Corruption, Misconduct and Strengthening Good Governance. They

  • Scholarship winner tells secrets to success

    Chhim Chaknineath was awarded the Chevening Scholarship for one year of postgraduate study in the UK for the academic year 2022-2023 along with a group of 10 other outstanding students who applied. She spent more than a year researching and studying – as well as consulting with