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Cambodian leader says officials must master mobile Internet

PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA (AP) – Cambodia’s long-ruling Prime Minister Hun Sen declared yesterday that he would not appoint anyone to be a provincial governor who is not knowledgeable in the use of social media and smartphones.

Hun Sen, an avid user of Facebook, said at a hospital inauguration in the capital Phnom Penh that officials need to be able to use applications such as WhatsApp, Viber, LINE, Telegram, WeChat and Zoom to effectively do their jobs, such as organising online meetings.

Hun Sen said recently he has set up groups on WhatsApp and Telegram so he can use his phone to coordinate with various government ministries.

The 69-year-old Hun Sen has led Cambodia since first becoming prime minister in 1985, when what evolved into the Internet was still in its infancy and generally available only to academic institutions.

Hun Sen also urged members of his Cabinet, some of whom also entered government service more than three decades ago, to make sure they were adept in the use of smartphones and their apps.

Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen. PHOTO: AP