“Mr. Khieu Kanharith, the Minister of Information, provided such support as he participated in the General Assembly of the CCJ, which was held at Suon Samnieng Restaurant during the evening of 25 August. The Minister said that in Cambodia, there are up to 15 journalists’ associations. However, he noticed that the CCJ has many activities. Therefore, he decided in favor of Mr. Pen Samitthy, the president of the Club of Cambodian Journalists, to be the representative of Cambodia [for Cambodian journalists] in ASEAN. He added that he will write to send Mr. Pen Samitthy’s name to ASEAN.
“Speaking to more than 100 members of the CCJ, Mr. Khieu Kanharith stated that it is the position of the Ministry of Information that the Ministry does not want journalists to be detained. He said that as a result, Cambodia has become a country in which press freedom ranked first in ASEAN. He continued that he even wants that the press freedom in Cambodia to be ranked first in Asia, and if possible, it would be best to be ranked first in the world.
“Mr. Pen Samitthy, the president of the Club of Cambodian Journalists and the editor of Rasmei Kampuchea, said, ‘On behalf of all journalists, I am delighted about any support by the government for the promotion of press freedom in Cambodia.’ He added, ‘Democracy will be in good progress if a country has complete press freedom, which enables journalism to play a role as an independent monitor of what happens in society.’
“Moreover, he also said that in the present globalized world, Cambodian journalists and journalism in general must also enter into wide cooperation in the region and in the world. In collaboration with the journalists in the region and in the world, Cambodian journalists and journalism in general can gain experience and catch up with the development situation in the whole world.
“Mr. Pen Samitthy is a member among 15 members of the Board of Directors of the CCJ, which has been elected by the members of the CCJ. After getting the support from the members of the CJJ, the Board of Directors decided unanimously to elect Mr. Pen Samitthy as president of the CCJ; the CCJ had ever increasing activities under his leadership for the last two terms. As for Mr. Prach Sim, the editor of Pracheaprey, he has been elected as secretary-general of the CCJ.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.15, #4374, 28.8.2007