King Norodom Sihamoni has terminated honorary title Oknha, or tycoon, for 36 senior National Police officers in a bid to curb conflict of interest.
In August, Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered members of the military and police forces holding the title to choose between their state positions or private titles in a move that government officials said was aimed at avoiding conflict of interest.
According to a Royal Decree signed on November 23 by King Sihamoni, honorary tycoon titles of 36 senior national police officers were removed.
“[We] order for the honorary title termination of 36 senior national police officers,” the royal decree said, noting that Mr Hun Sen has to carry out the order.
Those senior police officers hold the ranks of general to captain. Two of the tycoons included General Kheng Someth and General Chhorn Sarane, both deputy National Police chiefs.
Over the last two years, a dozen tycoons were apprehended after being implicated in various crimes such as illegal logging, land grabbing, drugs, fraud, violence and natural resources crimes.
Gen Someth yesterday said he was delighted to abandon his private title.
“We did not regret for the loss of Oknhas, and it does not matter to me,” he said, and then declined to further comment.
Lieutenant General Duong Ngieb, deputy secretary-general of the Interior Ministry’s general secretariat, also agreed to give up his title.
Lt Gen Ngieb said public officials are obliged to respect the law.
“We must choose between Oknha and ranks,” he said. “We do not regret the loss because we are obligated to help our society and nation,” he said.
He said he was bestowed with the title because he funded the construction of schools and roads.
In September, a royal decree was issued to end the Oknha titles of 75 senior Defence Ministry officials and officers of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces.
The titleholders included General Neang Phat, a Defence Ministry secretary of state, General Khun Vuth, and General Chao Phally, both undersecretaries of state at the ministry.
Defence Ministry spokesman General Chhum Socheat yesterday hailed the move to have Oknha titles of RCAF officers revoked.
“We support the decision by the King and the government,” Gen Sucheat said.