PHNOM PENH: Prime Minister Hun Sen celebrates his 70th birthday today, 5 August. The Prime Minister previously had two listed birth dates, once in April and once in August, however, he officially clarified and changed his date of birth to 5 August 1952 earlier this year in June.
The Prime Minister clarified that the reason why he had his date of birth previously listed as 4 April was because this was the date he joined the troops in the forest fighting against national traitors and foreign invaders, following the call of King Norodom Sihanouk during the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s.
He stated in a message sent to his compatriots on 22 June, "During the war, I set the day that I joined the fighters, 4 April 1951, [as my birthday] and have used it since the past until now.”
He explained that the change of his date of birth to the actual day he was born is to avoid confusion from national and international dignitaries, as well as members of the general public, who send him birthday wishes twice a year.
Prime Minister Hun Sen was born Hun Bunal on the 5 August 1952. He changed his name to Hun Sen in 1972, two years after joining the ranks of the Khmer Rouge. It was in 1977 that he defected to fight alongside Vietnamese forces, helping to oust the Khmer Rouge and put his country on the path to peace.
At just 26, he served as the world’s youngest foreign minister, helping steer the negotiations that would create the modern Cambodia we know today. It was January 1985 when he accepted the office of Prime Minister when he was appointed by the National Assembly following the death of his predecessor Chan Sy. Today, after 37 years in office, he is one of the world’s longest serving Prime Ministers.
His “win-win” policy has been the cornerstone of his premiership, rebuilding a country left shattered by genocide and civil war. From one of the world’s last “low-rise capitals,” Prime Minister Hun Sen has overseen the development of Phnom Penh into one of the fastest growing cities on Earth. Investment continues to pour in – not only from China, but South Korea, Japan, Australia and many of the West’s leading economies.
It is also thanks to his leadership that Cambodia boasts the top ranking on the Nikkei Covid-19 Recovery Index, indicating the success of the Royal Government’s response and safety measures to the pandemic as well as the widely successful national vaccination campaign, which has led to 94.61% of Cambodia’s 16 million population fully vaccinated against Covid-19, as of 4 August 2022.
EAC News wishes Prime Minister Hun Sen a very happy birthday.