Phnom Penh (FN), May 3 – Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet dismissed the Cambodia Daily's publication, stating baseless accusations that Samdech Thipadei received bribes from Kun Nhem to delay retirement until 2028, as fake news.

The premier spoke on Friday (May 3) during the 6th meeting with journalists at Koh Pich Convention and Exhibition Centre.

"Yesterday, I was in a meeting. However, the Cambodia Daily reported that Kun Nhem, the delegate minister in charge of the General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia, had bribed me through my wife to postpone his retirement until 2028. What could be the [media] intention?" the premier underscored.

Samdech Thipadei continued, "This is fake news, which has not only affected me and my family but also has the potential to impact citizens and institutions. According to the Cambodia Daily, Samdech Techo Hun Sen announced Kun Nhem's retirement in 2025. Now, as it is time for his retirement, Kun Nhem supposedly wants to delay it until 2028 by allegedly bribing me through my wife."

"In response to these baseless allegations, I present the letter from Samdech Techo Hun Sen, announced and signed on 22 December 2022, two years ago, permitting Kun Nhem to extend his retirement until 2028 to oversee customs system reforms. We have documents as evidence. If Samdech Techo had not agreed, what would have transpired?" the premier added.

"In my capacity as prime minister, I reserve the right to appoint the head of the General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia at any time, based on meritocracy. I believe the Cambodia Daily, in reporting this news, may have intended for Kun Nhem to retire in 2025. However, if such a decision has already been made, Kun Nhem must continue to serve until 2028," Samdech Thipadei added.