Banteay Meanchey Governor Lambasts Local Official Over Fish Event

2 min read
Banteay Meanchey governor Oum Reatrey in a photograph posted to his Facebook page on June 27, 2022.
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A video has emerged showing Banteay Meanchey governor Oum Reatrey chastising a district governor for not having enough people to attend a planned event that will involve the prime minister this week.

The video, posted to a Facebook account, shows Phnom Srok district governor Chou Buth at the receiving end of Reatrey’s ire. The provincial governor was angry about Buth’s inability to organize enough people from the district to attend a fish-release event with Prime Minister Hun Sen on July 1.

In the video, the provincial governor is seemingly angry about the number of people Buth had collected ahead of the event, as well as the district official’s lack of clarity over the numbers.

“I told you the figure clearly, why did you not get it,” Reatrey pressed, after listing out how many were expected from three communes in Phnom Srok district.

The short video ends with Buth walking away from the event, with his head slumped.

VOD could not reach Reatrey or Buth on Monday.

Chuob Than, the chief of Srah Chik commune, attended the meeting and confirmed the altercation occurred on Sunday. He said the meeting was organized to discuss the release of small fish into a man-made reservoir in the district on Friday.

Asked about the argument, Than was reluctant to comment about the altercation and tried to downplay the episode.

“It is not a big deal for the big people. When we do something and there is an error, there is some blaming and it is a normal thing,” he said.

“When the leader gives us a plan to fulfill, we work hard to implement the policy and principles,” he added.

Soum Chankea, the Adhoc official who posted the video, said provincial governors should be role models for other government officials but did not want to comment on Reatrey’s behavior.

“[We] do not want to comment on this but we want to say that a good leader is a role model with high morality and should make other people follow them and do good things,” he said.

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