PM Offers VOD Staff Jobs at State Organizations

Hun Sen has announced that VOD journalists who lost their job after its license was revoked that they can work for state organizations
Ith Sothoeuth, media director at Cambodian Center for Independent Media, stands in front of VoD office. Kiripost/Siv Channa
Ith Sothoeuth, media director at Cambodian Center for Independent Media, stands in front of VoD office. Kiripost/Siv Channa

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday offered VOD staff to work in the government after the media organization had its license revoked on Monday.

“Because VOD shut down and [there is] no opportunity to reopen and thinking about the livelihoods of employees who lost their jobs made by the mistake of the leader, I have decided to provide [a] state work for those who intend to work [for the] state," Hun Sen said.

Hun Sen added that those who intend to work as civil servants, they can contact the Ministry of Civil Service to apply for work and they will be deployed to various ministries in accordance with their profession. A final decision to hire them will be from him, he added.

“Let others not interfere in internal affairs and we would like to confirm that I will not change my decision. Foreigners have no right to order us to do to their wishes; this is our internal affairs,” Hun Sen said.

He added that shutting down one media outlet does not kill freedom of press in Cambodia. Instead, it helps enforce the law and strengthen the ethics of journalism in the Kingdom.

As a freelancer at VOD, Sarum Sreynat said it is a good thing that has paved the way for former employees.

"If we really think about whether some or most of the institutions can discriminate against them because they used to work for VOD and their licenses were immediately revoked," Sreynat said.

"In the past, there were always rumors that it was a radio station or an institution that label the government badly, so I think there were a lot of people who did not accept to hire VOD people to work. Because there used to be big problems with the government.

“For me, I do not know whether to participate in the field of journalism or not, I cannot go to school and do any other work. How many employees will be able to work in state conditions, because what organization can they go to work with? I think maybe it is not difficult for VOD's staff to find new jobs in the case that the private sector does not discriminate.”

VOD’s staff, Meng Kroy Punlok, said he does not want to work anywhere else, especially working in the government while he looks for a solution.

“For me as an employee, it is unfair that we just quit and get shut up and we still love journalism, we can still work. For me, I also hope that there is an independent institution that allows us to work, but now we are waiting for the solution of the boss," he said.