JAKARTA: At 45 years old, Prime Minister Hun Manet is the youngest leader to attend this year’s ASEAN Summit, which his father, former Prime Minister Hun Sen, suggested was fated by the gods as he himself had been the youngest leader at his first ASEAN Summit in 1999. The new prime minister has already had official meetings with several of his ASEAN counterparts as he makes his debut on the international stage.
This is the first time Cambodia has had a new leader represent it on the international stage in nearly 40 years, however, the former prime minister has certainly not left the public conscious. On September 5, Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Bin Ibrahim made a courtesy call to Prime Minister Hun Manet, where he praised his father, former Prime Minister Hun Sen, as a close friend and Cambodia’s top leader.
The two leaders also discussed enhancing cooperation between Cambodia and Malaysia in the fields of politics, trade, investment, education, energy, security, employment and the fight against transnational crime.
Prime Minister Hun Manet, who has been in office just over two weeks now, has also held official meetings with the premiers of Vietnam, Laos, Singapore, and Indonesia, among others. Nearly all the leaders have praised the former PM, while also extending congratulations to the new PM on his role. Prime Minister Hun Manet has agreed to build and strengthen cooperation with all of his ASEAN counterparts that he has met with so far in everything from trade, human resource training and education to counterterrorism efforts.