Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Hun Sen slams royal ballet performance in Singapore

Hun Sen slams royal ballet performance in Singapore

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Prime Minister Hun Sen delivers a speech at the 22nd National Cultural Day celebration at the Koh Pich Convention and Exhibition Centre on Tuesday. Hun Sen Facebook

Hun Sen slams royal ballet performance in Singapore

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday criticised a performance by the Royal Ballet of Cambodia in Singapore, saying it insulted Cambodian culture and arts because a Singaporean magician performed in front of them as they sat in prayer behind him.

Speaking at the 22nd National Cultural Day celebration at the Koh Pich Convention and Exhibition Centre, Hun Sen also laid recommendations to improve national culture.

Regarding the recent performance, he said the ballet troupe was meant to perform during a prayer service for happiness.

However, he said the dancers sat in prayer at one point while a Singaporean magician performed in front of them, bringing dishonour to classical Khmer arts.

“As the head of government, I cannot accept this degrading performance by the Royal Ballet of Cambodia as it was not executed properly. All royal ballet performances must face the King or the head of the government.

“Though the ones who led the troupe are royal family members, they still have to invite the members to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts for advice after this. They cannot present themselves as royal family members and bring Khmer arts to destruction.

“Our national arts belong to the Cambodian people rather than any royal family members. The King doesn’t consider arts to be his exclusively,” Hun Sen said.

He said the dispute was not between the governments of Cambodia and Singapore. Rather, he said a Singaporean person had committed an inappropriate act along with some Khmer people, including one person who was removed from his position by the prime minister on Tuesday.

While Hun Sen did not reveal any name, he said the person had the rank of the assistant to the minister attached to the prime minister. He then ordered the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts to manage arts more seriously.

Hun Sen also laid out some recommendations, including the preservation of historical sites and pagodas.

He expressed support for the ministries of Culture and Fine Arts, and Information, to find prime time settings to screen Khmer films.

He said local authorities had to facilitate the shooting of Khmer films. The Ministry of Culture had to collaborate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Consulate to hold cultural events every year, he said.

Hun Sen also requested that artists stop throwing insults at each other on social media, as they were role models for their fans.

Watch video:


  • Joy as Koh Ker Temple registered by UNESCO

    Cambodia's Koh Ker Temple archaeological site has been officially added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, during the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on September 17. The ancient temple, also known as Lingapura or Chok Gargyar, is located in

  • Ream base allegations must end, urges official

    A senior government official urges an end to the allegations and suspicions surrounding the development of Cambodia’s Ream Naval Base, now that Prime Minister Hun Manet has addressed the issue on the floor of the 78th UN General Assembly (UNGA 78). Jean-Francois Tain, a geopolitical

  • Cambodia set to celebrate Koh Ker UNESCO listing

    To celebrate the inscription of the Koh Ker archaeological site on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, the Ministry of Cults and Religion has appealed to pagodas and places of worship to celebrate the achievement by ringing bells, shaking rattles and banging gongs on September 20. Venerable

  • CP denied registration documents by ministry

    The Ministry of Interior will not reissue registration documents to the Candlelight Party (CP). Following a September 21 meeting between ministry secretary of state Bun Honn and CP representatives, the ministry cited the fact that there is no relevant law which would authorise it to do

  • Cambodian diaspora laud Manet’s UN Assembly visit

    Members of the Cambodian diaspora are rallying in support of Prime Minister Hun Manet’s forthcoming visit to the 78th UN General Assembly (UNGA 78) in the US’ New York City this week. Their move is an apparent response to a recent call by self-exiled former

  • After three deferrals, Capital Gains Tax to take effect Jan 1, 2024

    The General Department of Taxation (GDT) will implement the Capital Gains Tax starting January 1, 2024 to after being deferred three times as industrial players warn that the implementation might have some negative impact on the property market growth, which is down due to the economic downturn.