Birth and Studies
Mr. Nhek Bun Chhay (N.B.C) was born on 07 February 1958;
in Ta Ong Khang Lech Village, Svay Chek Commune, Thmor
Pourk District, Battambang Province. There are 10 siblings (7
brothers and 3 sisters) in his family. He is the second child and
married to Mrs. Sam Sopheap with two daughters. His father
was a carpenter and his mother was a small business woman.
Fleeing and Joining Resistance Movement against
From 17 April 1975 to March 1976; he was living in Khmer
Rouge Regime in a mobile unit.
In March 1976, he fled to Thailand, but was arrested and accused
as intellectual by Khmer Rouge.
In March 1976, he was imprisoned in a military base in Aranhaprathet
District of Thailand for 4 months.
In August 1976, he lived in Aranhaprathet Refugee Camp
(Suon Thai Samatr)
From 1976 to 1978, he moved to join a resistance movement
against Khmer Rouge along the Cambodian-Thai borders, re-
sponsible for securing medicines, materials, finances and
weapons to support Khmer Sor Resistance Movement. He was
arrested and imprisoned several times by Thai military police
when he got outside the camp.
In 1977 and 1978, he used to cooperate with Thai army to fight
Red Thais who came down for training in Cambodian Territory
through border pole No. 27.
Joining National Liberal Resistance Movement
against Vietnamese Forces
On 01 January 1979, Mr. Nhek Bun Chhay initiated a resistance
movement with 7 people and 2 weapons in front of Nong
Mark Mon Village in Thailand; west of Yeang Dongkum Village
of Cambodia, near border pole Nor. 43 called Chumrom
Chas (Old Camp).
In March 1979, H.E Nhek Bun Chhay invited Mr. Van Saren,
Mr. Khuong, Mr. Saveuy and Mr. Yan etc. who were fellow
fighters against Khmer Rouge in the areas of Phnom Malai and
Phnom Baraing Thleak to join the movement. Upon his arrival
at the movement base, Mr. Van Saren also invited Mr. Andres
Ouk Thol (Prince Soryavong) to join.
In May 1979, Mr. Nhek Bun Chhay met Mr. Kong Silah in
Bangkok and invited to join the movement.
In early 1980, when Mr. Kong Silah was staying in the camp,
he was having conflict with Mr. Van Saren and Mr. Andres
Ouk Thol. Mr. Nhek Bun Chhay led Mr. Kong Silah to establish
another camp called Chum Rom Thmey (Nong Samith) or
Camp No. 007.
In mid 1980 Chum Rom Thmeny was occupied by Mr. In
Sakhor and Mr. Moul Sary, who were appointed Chief and
Deputy of the Camp by Mr. Kong Silah. Mr. Kong Silah and
Mr. Nhek Bun Chhay and supporters had to move out of the
camp and established another camp called Chum Rom Kok
Kchhoung in between Chum Rom Chas and Chum Rom
Thmey. One year after its operation, the camp was attacked by
Thai army and Chum Rom Chas forces causing hundred of
deaths to the people. Mr. Kong Silah escaped and re-established
Nong Chan Camp in early 1980.
On 31 August 1980, Mr. Kong Silah invited all the resistance
movements along the border and inside the country to an assembly
in Seung Changha in O’Chov District to establish a resistance
movement called “Cambodian National Liberal
Movement” or Mouvement de liberation Nation du Kampuchea
in French or MOULINAKA in short. The assembly decided
to appoint Mr. Kong Silah President of MOULINAKA,
Mr. Nhem Sophon Vice President and Mr. Nhek Bun Chhay
was appointed commander of Battalion No. 124 and Mr. Khan
Savoeun commander of Battalion No. 125 of MOULINAKA.
Late 1981 Mr. Kong Silah was poisoned to death and Mr.
Nhem Sophon was chosen as President of MOULINAKA and
Mr. Duong Khem as Vice President.
Late 1982, Vietnamese forces attacked Nong Chan, Russey
Srok and Prey Preah Phnov Camps that were the strongholds
of MOULINAKA. MOULINAKA forces; including their families;
consisted of about 30,000 people. They were all evacuated
to O’ Smach and Ta Tum bases.
On 21 March 1981, His Majesty Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk
found a movement called National United Front For
Independent, Neutral, Peaceful and Cooperative Cambodia
(Le Front Unite Nation Pour un Cambodge Independant, Neutre,
Pacifique et Cooperative) FUNCINPEC in short. It was
joined by three big movements including MOULINAKA; led
by Mr. Nhem Sophon; Khlaing Moeung Movement; led by
Mr. Tuon Chay, based in Bak Ronos Camp near border pole
No. 27 and Northern Movement (Odor Teus Movement); led
by Mr. Svy Thoeun; based in O’ Smach and Samdech Preah
Norodom Sihanouk appointed H.E In Tam his representative
in Asia and Cambodia, based in O’Smach.
On 04 September 1981, Samdech Ov announced the establishment
of an army called Sihanoukist National Army (Army National
Sihanoukist) ANS in short including troops from
MOULINAKA as military division No. 1, Khlaing Moeung
Movement as military division No. 2 and Northern Movement
as military division No.3. Samdech Ov apppointed Gen. Tiep
Ben General Chief of staff and Gen. Kim Men deputy general
chief of staff; responsible for operation and H.E Tea Chamrath
deputy general chief of staff; responsible for finance of ANS.
Later on ANS established another military division called military
division No. 5 with Prince Norodom Chakrapong as
commander Division. This military division was also known
as Royal Bodyguard and Prince Norodom Chakrapong was
appointed deputy general chief of staff. Mr. Nhem Sophon
was appointed commander of Military Division No.1, Mr Ton
Chay, commander of Military Division No. 2, and Mr. Svy
Thoeun; commander of Military Divison No. 3. After Military
Division-Royal Bodyguard No. 5, another military division
known as Military Division No. 6 was established with Gen.
Kieng Vang as commander.
In late 1983, Mr. Nhem Sophon died from malaria and Mr.
Duong Khem was appointed commander of Military Division
No. 1, Mr. Prak Sen and Mr. Nhek Bun Chhay were appointed
deputy commanders of this division.
In February 1985, Mr. Nhek Bun Chhay was sent to study at
a military chief school in Thailand and later on in high military
chief school in Thailand.
In April 1985, Vietnamese troops invaded most of the resistance
camps of the tripartite government along the border. Gen.
King Men; as Deputy General Chief of Staff; was killed in Ta
Tum battlefield in April 1985.
After the death of Gen. King Men; Gen. Ton Chay was appointed
Deputy General Chief of Staff of ANS.
Mr. Nhek Bun Chhay was appointed commander of Military
Division No. 2 in place of Mr. Ton Chhay.
On 27 April 1990, Sihanoukist National Army was renamed as
National Army of Independent Kampuchea (Army National
Kampuchea Indepedant-ANKI). Then His Majesty was in
peace talk with Samdech Hun Sen and it was suggested that
the army should not be personal in nature.
Mr. Nhek Bun Chhay was a military chief from Khmer Sor
Movement and MOULINAKA, who was actively engaged in
many big battlefields making his troops well known to the international
arena and he was offered many medals by
Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk.
During election time in 1993, organized by UNTAC, Mr. Nhek
Bun Chhay was appointed president of FUNCINPEC in Battambang
and chief of security of FUNCINPEC during election
After the general elections in 1993 organized by UNTAC Mr.
Nhek Bun Chhay was appointed first deputy commander-inchief
of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces by the Coalition
Government led by FUNCINPEC and the Cambodian People’s
On 04 August 1996, Mr. Nhek Bun Chhay was appointed vice
chairman of committee for supporting people reintegrated in
the National Society in the North-west area (Government De-
cision No. 34 ssr).
Mr. Nhek Bun Chhay was appointed chairman of committee
for supporting Khmer Rouge Armed Forces (Decision of Joint
Committee dated 06 May 1997).
12 August 1996 was the first time for Nhek Bun Chhay to meet
Mr. Sok Pheap, Mr. Ee Chhien and Mr. Ieng Vuth etc. in
order to negotiate for their reintegration into the national society.
After his negotiation with Mr. Sok Pheap, Mr. Ee Chhien and
Mr. Ieng Vuth, they decided to reintegrate with the national
On 19 August 1996, Mr. Nhek Bun Chhay took Mr. Pol
Saroeun, Mr. Sou Kin Sun and Mr. Keo Pong to meet Mr. Sok
Pheap, Mr. Ee Chhien and Mr. Ieng Vuth in person and then
he handed over the tasks to Mr. Pol Saroeun to continue to
find way to bring the Khmer Rouge compatriots from south
of National Road No. 5 into the national society (Provision 4 of
the Government Decision No. 34 ssr dated 04 August 1996).
Mr. Nhek Bun Chhay continued negotiation with Khmer
Rouge compatriots from north of National Road No. 5 including
Phnom Chhat, and Anlong Veng etc. Military division No.
519 of Khmer Rouge based in Phnom Chhat decided to join
the Royal Government and later on some other military divisions
from Anlong Veng also agreed to join the Royal Government.
However, some other Khmer Rouge military divisions
led by Mr. Saroeun (#05) Mr. San (#06) and Mr. Khorn from
Anlong Veng, who were loyal to Pol Pot, declined not join the
Pol Pot, with the support from some troops, was accusing Mr.
Son Sen of betraying in contacting the Royal Government and
arrested and killed Mr. Son Sen and his whole family cruelly.
At that time, Ta Mok, who had been put in house arrest by Pol
Pot for a long time, stood up with some Khmer Rouge troops
against Pol Pot and arrested him. Ta Mok organized a people
trial for Pol Pot on 25 July 1997 and Mr. San (06), Mr. Saroeun
(05) and Mr. Khorn, the commanders who supported Pol Pot
were all murdered on Ta Mok’s order.
June 1997, Mr. Nhek Bun Chhay as the vice chairman of committee
for supporting compatriots to join the national society
from the north-west and with the order from Samdech Krom
Preah Norodom Rannarith, approached Mr. Khiev Samphan
in order to bring Khmer Rouge forces from Anlong Veng to
join the national society and the Royal Government. He was
approaching Mr. Khiev Samphan through Mr. Pich Bunreth
and Mr. Tep Khunnal. As a result, Mr. Khiev Samphan
agreed to join the national society. and the Royal Government
through Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Rannarith as President
of National United Front.
The Royal Government appointed Mr. Khan Savoeun vice
chairman of sub-committee No. 2, responsible for the northern
part of National Road No. 5 (Royal Government Decision No.
34 dated 04 August 1996, Provision 4).
March 1997, ordered by Gen. Khan Savoeun, a helicopter was
carrying some provincial leaders and military officers to talk
with Khmer Rouge foces in Anglong Veng. They were captured
by the Khmer Rouge forces. The helicopter was destroyed
and some military officers and provincial leaders were
killed and some other were taken prisoners in Anlong Veng.
On 5-6 July 1997 after the fire outbreak in Phnom Penh, Mr.
Nhek Bun Chhay travelled by walk for one month to O’
From 5-6 July 1997 to the general elections time in 1998, Mr.
Nhek Bun Chhay was a leader of resistance movement in O’Smach.
In early 1999, Mr. Nhek Bun chhay returned to Phnom Penh
and was appointed second vice president of the senate.
In 2003, Mr. Nhek Bun Chhay was again appointed president
of FUNCINPEC in Battambang Province. He stood for the general
elections and was elected as a member of the National Assembly
for Battambang Province. But after the election result
was officially announced by the National Election Committee,
he handed over his seat to H.E Ky Lum Ang.
After the general elections in 2003, it was impossible to form a
new government due a political deadlock. Mr. Nhek Bun
Chhay was involved in solving the conflict successfully leading
to the formation of a coalition government between the
Cambodian People’s Party and FUNCINPEC.
13 July 2004, Mr. Nhek Bun Chhay, as the Acting Head of
State, signed a complementary article to the Constitution to
end the political deadlock. The situation was normalized after
After the political deadlock and a new coalition government
was formed, Mr. Nhek Bun Chhay was appointed Deputy
Prime Minister and Co-Minister of National Defense and was
promoted 4-Gold Star General.
On 26 February 2005, Mr. Nhek Bun Chhay was offered a topmost
decoration of Cheatopaka “National Construction”
In 2006, Mr. Nhek Bun Chhay distributed motorcycles and
battery-run bicycles to former resistance veterans for them to
travel to work for the country.
On 18 October 2006, Mr. Nhek Bun Chhay was leading a reform
within FUNCINPEC. After the reform, he was appointed
Secretary General of FUNCINPEC.
April 2007, Mr. Nhek Bun Chhay initiated to hold funerals for
former resistance fighters of the tripartite resistance movement
in Thmor Pourk District of Banteay Meanchey Province,
Angkor Chum District of Siem Reap Province and Stong District
of Kampong Thom Province.
In each ceremony, there were thousands of attendees. Gifts
both in materials and cash were distributed to families of the
In July 2008, Mr. Nhek Bun Chhay was elected as a member
of parliament in Banteay Meanchey Province and he has maintained
his seat since then.
In the fourth term of the current government (2008-2013), Mr.
Nhek Bun Chhay was appointed Deputy Prime Minister.
On 18 February 2010, Mr. Nhek Bun Chhay received a PhD
from St. Clements University of Switzerland.