PM: Cambodia Is Poor, But Responsible for Humanitarian Act

AKP Phnom Penh, February 21, 2020 — “Our country is poor, but we are responsible on this humanitarian act,” said Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen in a Facebook comment this evening on the Westerdam cruise ship case.

The Premier made the comment after the Malaysian authorities announced on Feb. 21 that the 83-year-old American woman, a passenger of Westerdam, “has been tested repeatedly for COVID-19, with the results showing that she is clear of the virus.”

Samdech Techo Hun Sen said that he had asked many times the Malaysian side to verify its laboratory tests on the American woman because he wanted justice for Cambodia and for the more than 2,000 people on the ship as well as for the American woman.

“Human crisis took place for one week before justice was rendered to us,” he underlined. “If I were the Prime Minister of Malaysia, I’d sack the health minister for his irresponsibility affecting the nationals of 41 countries.”

In a press release also released this evening, the Cambodian Ministry of Health stressed that the irregularities in the results announced subsequently by the Malaysian authorities have caused fear, confusion and discrimination among the Westerdam’s passengers and delayed the return of COVID-19-negative passengers to their homeland for several days.

Besides, the press release added, it has affected the honour and dignity of humanity and the country, creating a serious humanitarian crisis.

“Up to now, no Cambodian has been detected with COVID-19,” confirmed the Ministry of Health in the press release, continuing that it will further its cooperation with the Ministry of Health of Malaysia in responding to and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the country as well as in the region.

By C. Nika