Supreme Justice’s Son Selected for Agriculture Minister

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New Agriculture Minister Dith Tina, in a photo posted to his Facebook page on February 10, 2021.
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Dith Tina, Energy Ministry secretary of state and the son of Supreme Court president Dith Munty, has been put forward as the replacement for sacked Agriculture Minister Veng Sakhon.

Sakhon was removed from his position by royal decree over the weekend, with Finance Minister Aun Pornmoniroth made acting minister.

But Prime Minister Hun Sen also signed an official government request to the National Assembly to make Tina the new agriculture minister.

Tina’s father is Supreme Court president Dith Munty, while another member of his family — Cambodia Microfinance Association vice chair Dith Nita — is married to Environment Minister Say Sam Al, the son of Senate president Say Chhum.

The request, also signed on Saturday, was posted online by pro-government Fresh News on Monday.

Sakhon’s removal came after public criticism from Hun Sen in February over not cooperating with other officials.

On Monday, CPP spokesman Sok Eysan said Sakhon had not helped farmers quickly enough after floods.

“The main problem is that the people are impacted from flooding, but it doesn’t have a quick response,” Eysan said. “Agricultural experts [must] solve this problem of the rice crops with measures for farmers who are impacted by the flooding.”

Eysan said the removal was more about current issues than the previous criticism from Hun Sen.

“For every minister — if the government is dissatisfied with their work, the government can decide to remove or change them.”

Agricultural tycoon Mong Reththy said the private sector had no problem with Sakhon.

“For me, I can’t judge anyone. But I saw that his work with the private sector didn’t seem to have any problems,” Reththy said. “From day by day and year by year, the agricultural sector is getting developed. It doesn’t go backward.”

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