PHNOM PENH, July 8 (FN) — Cambodia has given a last warning to media outlets to use the highest honorific title of "Samdech" for the country's top leaders, or they will face legal action, according to a statement released on Friday.
The title of "Samdech" is granted by the king to national leaders who have served the best interest of the nation and the throne.
Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany, Senate President Say Chhum, National Assembly President Heng Samrin, Interior Minister Sar Kheng, and Royal Palace Minister Kong Sam Ol are currently holding the title of "Samdech".
The Ministry of Information first ordered the media outlets to use the honorific in December last year and again in May this year by setting a June deadline for the outlets to start using the title in their news articles.
Information Minister Khieu Kanharith said in the statement that most of the media outlets have complied with the order, but a few media outlets still turn a deaf ear to it.
"A handful of media outlets and journalists still show aggression in practicing the opposite to what the ministry has informed them, as well as giving commentary which is contrary to the reality in order to create a poisonous social atmosphere, affecting the dignity of the leaders of the nation and cultural traditions," he said.
"The Ministry of Information issues the last warning. If any media outlets still continue to violate the announcement, the Ministry of Information will take measures in accordance with the law," he added.
Information Ministry officials said in May that media outlets that ignore the order could risk license revocation.