Nhiek Tioulong

Nhiek Tioulong (Khmer: ញឹក ជូឡុង; 23 August 1908 – 9 June 1996) was a Cambodian army officer, politician, and actor who served as Acting Prime Minister of Cambodia from 13 February 1962 to 6 August 1962. [1] He was a prominent politician during the tenure of Prince Norodom Sihanouk. He also served as Minister for Foreign Affairs in the 1960s and repeatedly as governor of provinces in Cambodia. In 1969 he received the honorary title Samdech Konhcharathipadei (Khmer: សម្ដេចចក្រីកុញ្ចរាធិបតី) by Prince Norodom Sihanouk.

Nhiek Tioulong
Nhiek Tioulong.jpg
Prime Minister of Cambodia
In office
13 February 1962 – 6 August 1962
PresidentNorodom Sihanouk
Preceded byNorodom Sihanouk
Succeeded byChau Sen Cocsal
Minister of Finance
In office
17 October 1945 – 14 December 1946
Prime MinisterSisowath Monireth
Succeeded bySon Sann
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
28 January 1961 – 13 February 1962
Prime MinisterPenn Nouth
Norodom Sihanouk
Preceded byTep Phan
Succeeded byNorodom Kantol
President of FUNCINPEC
In office
Preceded byNorodom Sihanouk
Succeeded byNorodom Ranariddh
Personal details
Born(1908-08-23)23 August 1908
Phnom Penh, Cambodia, French Indochina
Died9 June 1996(1996-06-09) (aged 87)
British Hong Kong
Political partyFUNCINPEC (1981–1996)
Sangkum (1955–1970)
Khmer Renovation (1947–1955)
Spouse(s)Measketh Samphotre
RelationsSam Rainsy (son-in-law)
Children7, including Tioulong Saumura
Military service
Allegiance Cambodia
Branch/serviceRoyal Cambodian Army
Years of service1949–1996
RankCambodian Army OF-09.svg General

Tioulong fathered seven daughters, one of whom was future lawmaker Tioulong Saumura, who would go on to marry prominent opposition leader Sam Rainsy.

Early lifeEdit

Nhiek Tioulong (fourth from left) as Cambodia's foreign minister during a trip to New York City with prince Sihanouk and US president John F. Kennedy.

Early Nhiek Tioulong was born in 1908 in Phnom Penh, in a family of mandarins with Chinese ancestry near the palace. After primary education in Lycee Sisowath in Phnom Penh, he attended, and graduated from, the prestigious high school Chasseloup Laubat in Saigon.

Political careerEdit

He returned to Cambodia in 1932 and served as governor of Pursat in 1937 and from 1939 to 1944 as governor of Kampong Cham. On March 9, 1945, he was appointed governor of Phnom Penh.

Under the Sisowath Monireth administration, he served as Minister of Finance from 17 October 1945 to 14 December 1946. He also served as Minister of Education during the Son Ngoc Thanh administration. In April 1948, he became the Cambodian government delegate from the French High Commissioner in Indochina and in August of the same year, representative of Cambodia to the High Council of the French Union in Paris. In September, he is part of the French delegation to the UN, as an advisor. On 22 November 1949 he was appointed colonel of the Khmer Royal Army and Chief of Staff. In May 1950, he was appointed as a governor again, of Battambang Province. In 1951, he returned to his position as Minister of Finance.

At the end of December 1953, after Cambodia gained independence, he was appointed the new governor of Phnom Penh and took part in negotiations with the French on the latest skills transfer between the colonial administration and the Cambodian government. On 7 April 1954, he became the Minister of Foreign Affairs. He became the first General of the Royal Cambodian Army. In 1955, he began his career as ambassador, to Japan, Poland, and later Czechoslovakia.

In 1966, he starred in the lead role of Sihanouk's first feature-length film Apsara.

In 1969, he retired to France and remained in the shadows until the mid 1980s when he became vice-president of the National United Front for an Independent, Peaceful and Cooperative Cambodia neutral (FUNCINPEC). This party was created by Norodom Sihanouk to fight the new regime established in Phnom Penh by Vietnamese troops. He led the Funcinpec from 1989 to 1992.

Tioulong died in a Hong Kong hospital on June 9, 1996, aged 87.[2]


  1. ^ Willemyns, Alex (2014-08-07). "CNRP's Plans in Opposition Break With the Past". The Cambodia Daily. Retrieved 2020-06-05.
  2. ^ Corfield, Justin (2009-10-13). The History of Cambodia. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-0-313-35723-7.
Political offices
Preceded by Prime Minister of Cambodia

Succeeded by