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BREAKING NEWS: National Assembly First Vice President Nguon Nhel Dies at 79

PHNOM PENH: A day of mourning for Cambodians. A leader has passed away on Friday morning, the National Assembly’s First Vice President Nguon Nhel. He was 79. Nhel had been an icon for leadership of the Cambodian people since 1970s.

A friend, a philanthropist, a teacher, a leader. Nguon Nhel’s description by his friends, colleagues and loved ones on Friday, when the news broke that he passed away. He had touched many lives. From ordinary people up to fellow government leaders. He had been a member of the Cambodian People's Party and a member of the National Assembly of Kampong Thom since 1993.

Nguon Socheat, a Member of the Parliament and son-in-law of Nguon Nhel, wrote on his official Facebook page this morning saying that their family is deeply saddened by the death of his father due to illness.

Nhel survived the Pol Pot regime in 1975 to 1979. He was slaved by the Khmer Rouge Regime. In 1979 to 1980, the leadership spirit in him surfaced. He was elected three times as the chief of Trapeang Chrey Village in Kampong Thom. Then he became the provincial chairman and chief of the provincial police and secretary of Kampong Thom Provincial Military Party in 1980 to 1988.

His responsibility grew bigger when he became the Minister of Agriculture and Director General of Rubber Plantation at the same time from 1988 to 1993. And from 1994 up to this year, he had been serving the public as member of the National Assembly. He had been performing different roles in the National Assembly and the last before he died was being the First Vice President.

Prime Minister Hun Sen’s son, Hun Many, who is a Member of Parliament for Kampong Speu says, “I and my family are deeply saddened by the family of the late His Excellency Nguon Nhel, First Vice President of the National Assembly. The loss of His Excellency is the loss of one of Cambodia's most prominent figures, who in the past has sacrificed his physical, mental, intellectual and heroic courage to serve the nation and the people of Cambodia.” With Nguon Nhel’s contribution to the Kingdom of Cambodia, he will surely be remembered.

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