Former Minister of Cults and Religion Him Chhem, 82, died due to sickness after serving in the government’s religious sector.
Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday expressed his condolences to his family. Him Chhem was a former Minister of Cults and Religion. He died at around 10am after succumbing to his illness.
Mr Hun Sen said losing Mr Chhem was like losing a family member.
“He contributed actively to promoting culture and Buddhism. It is a great loss,” he said.
Mr Chhem was born in 1939 in Romeas Hek, Svay Rieng province. He was a teacher, who after surviving the Democratic Kampuchea, worked in the culture and information office of the People’s Republic of Kampuchea ( PRK) in 1979.
Minister of Interior Sar Kheng also released a condolence message to Mr Chhem’s family stating he was a senior official of the nation who was hard-working and contributed to social development.
National Assembly President Heng Samrin said the former minister also contributed towards and fought for national liberation.
According to the Ministry of Religion, his funeral will be held at his house in Chbar Ampov district.
Cults and Religion Ministry spokesman Seng Somony said: “I, my family and officials send our condolences to his family and may he rest in peace.”
Mr Chhem was PRK’s deputy minister of culture from 1980 to 1993. In June 1993, he was elected to the Constituent Assembly for Svay Rieng on the Cambodian People’s Party list. In October of that year, he was appointed to the Commission for Education, Religion, Culture and Tourism.
In 1998, Mr Chhem was reelected to the National Assembly in Svay Rieng and in 2016, he was appointed Minister of Cults and Religion.
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