PHNOM PENH – The OPCC is concerned about the sale of The Phnom Penh Post to a Malaysian investor whose PR company is connected to Prime Minister Hun Sen.
Buyer Sivakumar Ganapathy said he would maintain the paper’s independence in a statement reported in The Phnom Penh Post. However, we feel that the connection with Hun Sen does not bode well for a paper’s independence.
The Post reported today that Sivakumar had previously written an autobiography of Sarawak state’s Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud titled Taib – The Visionary. However, global watchdogs and independent journalists have filed stories and reports showing evidence of corruption.
The Kingdom’s other English daily, The Khmer Times, does not have a reputation for editorial independence. News reports have linked the paper to businesses owned by Hun Sen’s family. After the shuttering of the Cambodia Daily and the harassment of RFA and VOA reporters, The Post seems the last remaining independent news outlet in Cambodia.
The OPCC call on Sivakumar to be true to his word and allow The Post to continue its excellent reporting.