Saturday, 10 January 2015

Hun Sen Summons the Non-Imbecile

 “Of course, Samdech Hun Sen has played a clear role in encouraging the royalists and Sihanoukists to join forces and not continue to be divided.”

Funcinpec president-to-be Prince Norodom Ranariddh, 3 January 2015, The Cambodia Daily

“My re-entry this time, there is no payment from the CPP. I received nothing… no blue light, no green light, no red light; I have not received anything…”

Prince Norodom Ranariddh, 6 January 2015, Radio Free Asia

“Only the imbecile does not change their mind. [Like my father] I change to suit circumstances. I change… [because] circumstances change…”

Prince Norodom Ranariddh, 6 January 2015, Radio Free Asia

“I spoke to Samdech Arun this morning, saying, ‘Samdech, I seem to receive a party without a headquarters, don’t I?’ Samdech Arun said ‘There is no headquarters because His Excellency Nhiek Bun Chhay sold it already.’”

Prince Norodom Ranariddh, 6 January 2015, The Cambodia Daily

“If one day they think of uniting all within the current regime, I will very warmly welcome them.”

Prince Norodom Ranariddh, 6 January 2015, Radio Free Asia

“They [royal families] are not really concerned about the nation… I want to say that if we speak only the royal families [for succession plan] we won’t go very far. But we must take something as a basis for the nation for the monarchy that is the people.”

Prince Norodom Ranariddh, 6 January 2015, Radio Free Asia

It is uncertain when Prince Ranariddh is lying or telling the truth. He initially claims Hun Sen brings him into limelight only to refute it three days later that the latter has no hand in his rebound. Then again, it is quite possible he is not an imbecile who cannot tell different stories to suit different circumstances.

Whether or not Ranariddh suffers from temporary amnesia, Hun Sen stands to benefit from his rebound. Ranariddh can divert the CNRP’s attention, if not the public’s, away from pounding on major on-going problems the government is unable or unwilling, to solve: land disputes, logging, corruption, etc… Though it is unlikely to deliver Hun Sen fatal blows, its relentless pursuit has increasingly become a source of annoyance beyond Hun Sen’s tolerance level. Furthermore, Funcinpec may once again become a potential force to split anti-CPP votes, which will require the CNRP attention and resources.

The benefits to Hun Sen could be so great that the prince’s re-emergence is anything but by chance. There are Hun Sen’s fingerprints all over Ranariddh’s defibrillator.

For an effective diversion, the animated prince, who says he is also mercurial like his father, can still serenade some opinion leaders. For others, it is difficult to envisage Ranariddh will return with any substance. After his father won the 1993 elections for him, he has squandered all the 58 seats plus the party’s headquarters prime property. Then again, he may now change from a loser – as circumstances now change – unless he is an imbecile.

Resuscitated Funcinpec will cut into anti-CPP votes unless Hun Sen for some reason pulls the plug on Ranariddh before the next elections. Ranariddh says he is not going to break up any party’s votes – but his political mission is to unite everyone under Hun Sen’s wings. Though Ranariddh is unsure how many seats he will get, he says he will get some. If Hun Sen believed that the CNRP seats are unaffected, in the zero sum game the seats would have to come from the CPP. Does Hun Sen execute a strategy that gives away some of CPP seats to Funcinpec? Unlikely, especially when Hun Sen has a track record of accurately predicting election results before vote counting completes.

Also Ranariddh’s rebound may be just short and sweet; it comes without any succession plan in place for Funcinpec. In response to a prompt that ageing CPP leaders are bringing in their grown-up children to takeover, Ranariddh says he has Cambodian people to succeed him, which is not exactly a vote of concern for an effective long-term planning. This means the comeback is for personal, not national interest as claimed.

For such control and benefit, it must cost Hun Sen something; only he and Ranariddh know exactly how much. Ranariddh denies rumours that spread like a bushfire that Hun Sen pays him five million bucks for the stint. As he is not an imbecile who is unyielding to changing circumstances, it is uncertain if he is now telling the truth.

Ung Bun Ang

Parthian Shot

“This may sound a bit pompous but I would prefer to die standing than to live on my knees.”

Stephane Charbonnier, editor-in-chief of the satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo, 2012.

Going by the pen name “Charb”, he was killed along with three of his colleagues after gunmen had stormed their offices on 7 January, 2014.

Should you wish to receive Pseng-Pseng on your screen as soon as it is released, subscribe to it at

Pseng-Pseng is published on the tenth, twentieth, and thirtieth day of every month. Previous issues are archived at

No comments:

Post a Comment