Interior Minister Sar Kheng yesterday rebuked reports that the new Phnom Penh police chief Lieutenant General Sar Thet is his brother.
Lieutenant General Sar Thet officially took over as Phnom Penh police chief on Tuesday, filling a void left by General Chuon Sovann, who took over as vice chairman of the National Authority for Combatting Drugs.
Yesterday, Mr Kheng posted a message on his Facebook page clarifying that Lt Gen Thet is not his brother as some media outlets reported as he took over the top job.
“I want to clarify that some newspapers published that Lieutenant General Sar Thet is my sibling,” Mr Kheng said. “I don’t know where those newspapers got that information, or if they concluded that without a source, but it is not true; Lieutenant General Sar Thet is not my sibling like some newspapers said.”
Reached by phone yesterday, Lt Gen Thet said that he is indeed related to Mr Kheng, but is not his brother.
“I am not his sibling, but I am his cousin,” he said.
San Chey, executive director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, said on Tuesday that the decision to promote Lt Gen Thet was due to nepotism.
“We regret that the promotion is related to family nepotism, as it will affect public interest,” he said. “What’s more important however is that he carries out his responsibilities in order to avoid public criticism.”