Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sovann is ‘critical but stable’

Sovann is ‘critical but stable’

Pen Sovann, former prime minister of Cambodia
Pen Sovann, former prime minister of Cambodia, is comforted by his doctor (left) and CNRP MP Nhay Chamroeun at Raffles Hospital in Singapore. CNRP

Sovann is ‘critical but stable’

Former prime minister and current opposition lawmaker Pen Sovann is in critical but stable condition in a Singaporean hospital after suffering both a heart attack and a stroke on Sunday, according to a colleague.

Nhay Chamroeun, a Cambodia National Rescue Party lawmaker who flew with Sovann to Singapore late Sunday night, said yesterday that he was still in intensive care.

Chamreoun said that Sovann, 78, had a stent put into his heart yesterday.

“[He is] mostly unconscious. Sometimes when we call out his name, he opens his eyes and then closes them again,” he said, adding Sovann hadn’t spoken.

“[The doctors] don’t say anything [about the outcome]. It’s not good; they need to do something [else].”

But CNRP leader Sam Rainsy said on Facebook yesterday that Sovann was “now out of danger” and that his condition was “no longer life-threatening”.

According to Chamreoun, Sovann had been taken to Central Hospital in Phnom Penh on Sunday after family members found him unresponsive early in the morning. He was later transferred to Calmette Hospital before being evacuated to Singapore at about midnight.

Sovann doesn’t have health insurance and the CNRP are appealing for donations. The medical evacuation alone cost $24,000, the party said.

Sovann served as prime minister of the People’s Republic of Kampuchea in 1981 before being purged and incarcerated in Vietnam for 10 years. He won a National Assembly seat in Kampong Speu province with the CNRP in the 2013 election.

Separately, Yim Leang, the chief bodyguard of ailing Cambodian People’s Party president Chea Sim, confirmed yesterday that the 82-year-old had recently been checked into hospital.

Sim left to a Vietnamese hospital for a “medical check-up” on Friday and is due back in a few days, Leang said.

Due to Sim’s old age and illness, Prime Minister Hun Sen has taken over his CPP role in all but name.

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CHEANG SOKHA

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

  • Ice cream, noodles flagged over carcinogen

    The General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) has identified three types of instant noodles and ice cream trademarks originating from Thailand, Vietnam and France that are suspected to contain ethylene oxide, which poses a cancer risk to consumers. The general department has

  • Exclusive interview with Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU

    CAMBODIA is hosting the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings this week with top officials from the US, China, and Russia and other countries in the region slated to attend and to meet with face-to-face with their counterparts on the sidelines. In

  • Rise in Thai air routes to Siem Reap fuels travel hopes

    Local tourism industry players are eager for regional airline Bangkok Airways Pcl’s resumption of direct flight services between the Thai capital and Siem Reap town on August 1 – home of Cambodia’s awe-inspiring Angkor Archaeological Park – which is expected to boost the growth rate of

  • 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

  • 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’