Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Cambodia PM defends Asean tirade


Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday defended his outburst to the media during a regional summit last week in Phnom Penh, saying his critics treat him "like a child".

Hun Sen railed against domestic opponents and "stupid" analysts who misread his country's close ties with regional power China at a news conference following a meeting of leaders of the Association for Southeast Asian Nations.
The tirade stunned international media, with a reporter for the Wall Street Journal later writing that Asia's longest-serving premier "seemed to forget" he was speaking as current Asean chair.
"You talk about me like I'm a child," Hun Sen said in a speech broadcast on national radio on Monday, following criticism of his performance, adding that he had vented his anger because he had held his tongue for long enough.
"I exercised maximum patience, waiting for the Asean summit to be over so that I could respond," he said.
"But they say Asean is not a place to criticise others. Oh, so when I became prime minister, they took away my right to talk? When I became the Asean chairman, I lost my right to speak out? Excuse me!" he said, with his customary flair for drama.