Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has been fined by Koh Kong province’s police for not wearing a helmet during his motorbike ride last week and after he apologised to the public for his mistake.
According to a receipt for acts of violating the road traffic law issued by Sre Ambel district traffic policeman Sun Nem, dated June 18, he monitored a motorcycle rider named Hun Sen who violated article 6 of the traffic law and was fined 15,000 riel (130 baht), the Khmer Times reported on Thursday.
“Please go to pay the bill at Phnom Penh,” Nem said.
Hun Sen wrote on his Facebook page on Wedneday night that he accepted the fine and would like to pay for himself and also the owner of the motorcycle, Sen Dy, who would also be fined the same amount.
“I predicted that even though I apologised, the police still fined me because I committed a fault,” he said.
Hun Sen added that the parliamentary immunity in Cambodia’s constitution and other laws do not pardon any politician or prime minister from being penalised for breaking the traffic laws like riding a motorbike without wearing a helmet or having a number-plate.
“I am responsible for the fine of myself and the owner of the motorbike, though his bike had no number-plate. I am doing that just to help him and let him get the number-plate after that,” Hun Sen said. “I appreciate Koh Kong province’s Srae Ampel district police who implement the law without discrimination and with independence and without any fear of powerful people, including the prime minister.”
Hun Sen also called upon all his supporters to not blame the police, but to encourage and take this as an example of law enforcement.
He went to Koh Kong on Saturday and did not plan to ride a motorcycle. But when he came out from his car, he immediately walked towards the motorcycle taxis who were staying next to the bridge. At first, he just rode it for fun with the motorcycle’s owner and only went about 250 metres without wearing a helmet.
Hun Sen apologised for his mistake on Monday in a graduation ceremony at the National Institute of Education for his carelessness in not wearing a helmet.
According to an Interior Ministry report early this month, in the first five months of this year, there were 286 accidents which killed 128 people and left 507 injured. Of those deaths, 90 people, or 73%, were motorcycle riders not wearing helmets.