More than 2 dozen former Voice of Democracy staffers apply for Cambodian gov't jobs

The job offers were extended by Prime Minister Hun Sen when the independent outlet was closed earlier this month.
By RFA Khmer
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More than 2 dozen former Voice of Democracy staffers apply for Cambodian gov't jobs The Voice of Democracy office in Phnom Penh on Feb. 13, 2023.
Credit: Associated Press

At least 25 former staffers of the shuttered Cambodian media outlet Voice of Democracy have applied for government jobs as of Tuesday, the deadline that Prime Minister Hun Sen set for them to join without taking the required entrance examinations. 

The offer from the prime minister followed the closing of the country’s last independent news outfit earlier this month. The government job offers are part of a wider effort ahead of the July general elections to co-opt opposition members by luring them to join the ruling Cambodia People’s Party.

Six of the 25 staff members are women who have already applied to work in government ministries, CPP spokesman Sok Ey San told Radio Free Asia. As promised by Hun Sen, the former employees won’t need to take the normally required government entrance examinations, he said, calling it a special case.

“The government has the right to make the decision. Please have confidence in the government who is responsible for giving jobs to them [VOD staff] during this difficult time,’ he said.

VOD reported widely on abuses of power and corruption in Cambodia for more than 20 years. It was shut down by Hun Sen after the outlet reported on Feb. 9 that the prime minister’s son had approved a government donation to support Turkey’s earthquake recovery efforts. 

The closure has left the country with no independent source of news.

VOD’s acting director Ith Sothoeut said the former staff members have the right to join the government. He said he remains saddened that the government revoked the license, but he hopes VOD can someday continue its mission to promote freedom of expression in Cambodia.

“Cambodia’s constitution guarantees press freedom. VOD hopes to promote this freedom,” he said.

Translated by Samean Yun. Edited by Matt Reed.


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John Le Fevre
Mar 02, 2023 06:57 PM

The last time I checked Cambodja was an independent source of news. And there are a lot of independent Khmer language news sources. This article is crap. Poorly fact checked, not accurate. Not journalism.