Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Banh: Oknha title or position

Banh: Oknha title or position

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defense Tea Banh has said all officials holding thehonourific Oknha must choose to maintain the title or their position in the military framework. Heng Chivoan

Banh: Oknha title or position

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defence Tea Banh has ordered all institutions under the ministry’s supervision to collect data of officials holding the honorific Oknha.

Speaking during the inauguration of a new military base in Sen Sok district on Tuesday, Banh said once the data had been compiled, the ministry would set a deadline for the officials to choose between the honorific and their position within the military framework.

“Let me make this clear – all the heads of each institution must collect the data more quickly. Be careful and do it as quickly as possible to ensure a speedy reform.

“Of course, I understand that some of those who hold the title have contributed a lot to national development, to such an extent that they are bestowed with the honorific Oknha.

“However, from now on, only one title can be kept. If you wish to maintain the honorific Oknha, you must forfeit your position in the military framework,” he said.

The ministry’s directive came after Prime Minister Hun Sen raised the issue during the ruling Cambodian People’s Party’s Central Committee meeting last month.

At the time Banh requested an ultimatum for officials with the two titles to decide to avoid upsetting them.

“We want to agree before making it official. If we just do it without any consultation, some of them could feel frustrated,” he said.

Senior national defence ministry officials said it had no specific figures for those with the two titles.

However, it said that in the framework of the General Command of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF), 61 officials were holding the title Oknha.

Among them, 45 had decided to forfeit the title while 16 others chose to maintain it and agreed to resign from the military framework.

RCAF General Command spokesman Thong Solimo said he could not provide exact figures while a meeting with minister Banh was pending before a decision is made.

“We have already prepared data, there is no change. The 61 RCAF General Command officials will soon meet directly with Samdech Tea Banh,” he said.

Solimo said after the officials choose between the two titles, the government would request a Royal Decree terminating either one.

Official figures made available to the public said there were 704 Oknhas as of February 2014. A newly amended prakas states that one must make at least $500,000 in donations for national development before the honorific is bestowed through a Royal Decree.

MOST VIEWED

  • Research key to Kanitha’s rep for expertise

    Sok Kanitha is used to weighing in on controversial issues using a confident approach that signals expertise and authority, and a recent video she made was no exception. Her “Episode 342: The History of NATO” video went live on January 16, 2023 and immediately shot to 30,000 likes and 3,500

  • 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

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • 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