PHNOM PENH, July 8 (FN) — Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Friday that there was no compulsion for media outlets to use the honorific title of "Samdech" for the country's top leaders in their news reports.

"As for the use of titles of government leaders, it is unnecessary to write the exact titles if journalists do not want to use them," he wrote on his official Facebook page.

He also urged journalists to write news stories in respect for the code of ethics in order to avoid printing untrue information.

The declaration from the prime minister came after Information Minister Khieu Kanharith earlier issued a final warning to media outlets to use the honorific title of "Samdech" for top leaders, or they would face legal action.

The title of "Samdech" is granted by the king to national leaders who have served the best interests of the nation and the throne.

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.