Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sar Kheng says CNRP stole ‘national rescue’

Sar Kheng says CNRP stole ‘national rescue’

Interior Minister Sar Kheng attends a meeting at Phnom Penh’s City Hall yesterday, where he compared a new opposition movement to ISIS and accused them of stealing the phrase ‘national salvation’.
Interior Minister Sar Kheng attends a meeting at Phnom Penh’s City Hall yesterday, where he compared a new opposition movement to ISIS and accused them of stealing the phrase ‘national salvation’. Hong Menea

Sar Kheng says CNRP stole ‘national rescue’

Interior Minister Sar Kheng yesterday lamented the phrase “national rescue” had been co-opted by the opposition party and their new movement – which he claimed could “become ISIS” – because the concept of “national salvation” belonged to the ruling party.

The words “rescue” and “salvation” – which translate to the same word in Khmer – were invoked in Prime Minister Hun Sen’s “United Front for National Salvation”, when his Vietnamese-backed force overthrew the Khmer Rouge in 1979.

Kheng said he was sorry the opposition party “stole” the term, but the Interior Ministry could not reject the name when the Cambodia National Rescue Party was registered in 2012.

He added the Cambodia National Rescue Movement was “not alive” in Cambodia due to constitutional law that would not allow anyone to “break democracy”, and said existing laws would “prevent” it from growing.

“If we do not control it, this movement can become ISIS or create army troops at the border. It is an illegal organisation. We must kill it,” he said.

CNRM founder Sam Rainsy suggested Kheng and his party did not have a copyright or patent on those words, and that the violent threats to eliminate his movement merely showed Cambodia needed rescuing again.

“Why are they so afraid of words? Maybe it’s a tacit recognition on their part that ‘national rescue’ or ‘national salvation’ have become relevant again, but this time against them,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior

  • Bullets to bracelets: Siem Reap man makes waste from war wearable

    Jewellery is often made from valuable gemstones like emeralds or diamonds and precious metals like gold or silver, or valueless things like animal horns. But a man in Siem Reap has approached the manufacture of delicate pieces from a different angle. His unique form of

  • 61% of 2022 imports came from just 3 markets

    The three largest exporters to Cambodia – mainland China, Vietnam and Thailand – accounted for 60.94 per cent of the Kingdom’s total merchandise imports last year, at $18.245 billion, which was up 11.99 per cent over 2021, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise. Cambodia’s total imports