2016 Annual Awards
Here we are, dishing out awards for 2016 memorable performances in Cambodian politics.
Tamer Award – Hun Sen
It is uncertain if Hun Sen tames a lion or a donkey, but he surely has subdued CNRP. Contrary to Kem Sokha’s claim of no-condition pardon, there are so many of them he may not see. He writes a humbled request for it as if he is guilty as convicted. The CNRP strips Sam Rainsy of his role and status of being equal to prime minister, despite the latter’s protest. Both CNRP leaders re-issue the statement denouncing those who insist on slandering the Huns; previous statement and deregistration of a culpable member are insufficient. Kem Sokha sings praises of Hun Sen’s achievements; CPP says he now speaks the truth, implying he used to lie. There may be more to come. Without them, would Hun Sen have issued a Get-out-of-jail Free card in his Monopoly game?
$4 Million Role Model Award – Thy Sovantha
Thy Sovantha is a living role model for those pragmatists who aim to brighten their future. At a tender age of only 22, she has achieved much more than what any educated pragmatists could ever dream of. Politics has made her fail Bac II exam twice, but she knows what counts is with whom she ingratiates herself – nothing else. She rubs shoulders with a PM’s son. Her affectionate grandpa PM is more than happy to donate $1 million for her pocket money. It would take him more than 72 years to afford it with his declared monthly salary of $1,150 without eating. Then, there is another $3 million for her from international donors details of which she refuses to disclose. As some intellectuals might say this role model is a nonsense, the education minister gives her a permit to run a university – just to make it a complete nonsense.
Thy Sovantha also has a full impunity. She delivers death threats at will to the new minority leader who has a status equal to prime minister. Authorities take no actions; mum’s the word.
Consensus Award – Joint recipients Vietnam, Hun Sen, and Sam Rainsy
It is a historic consensus among the recipients that Bonne maps and UTM maps are the same. While Vietnam and Hun Sen just say so, Sam Rainsy goes further – when a Bonne map with a scale of 1/1000,000 is expanded with a magnifier to a scale of 1/50,000, it becomes an UTM, which is twice as clear. Never mind if they have different names and mapping methodologies. Thus, when a Toyota is enlarged it is the same as a Rolls Royce.
This leads to another point of their consensus: no need to amend the Constitution that specifically calls for the Bonne map 1/100,000. Indeed, the maps are the same, aren’t they? Anyhow, the Constitution means little; its numerous articles have been ignored, re-interpreted, or amended for political expediency since its 1993 inception.
Well, make the most out of 2017, as it will give all the award recipients the most.
Ung Bun Ang
By The Way
Ministry of Mines and Energy spokesman Dith Tina, 16 December 2016, The Phnom Penh Post:
1. “I hope that we will stop talking about the $700 million. It relates to the size of the commerce. For example, a coconut is 300 riel [about $0.08] in Kampot, but it is 3,000 riel [$0.75] in Phnom Penh – and the sand case is the same.”
It seems we will not stop talking about the missing millions, until Hun Sen locks up some loudmouths and throws away the key. The coconut and sand trades are so profitable that anyone with a right connection must be tempted, which is very interesting to talk about.
Ministry of Mines and Energy spokesman Dith Tina, 16 December 2016, Khmer Times:
2. “Neither the government nor the ministry sell sand, businessmen do. What is sold here has a different value than what is sold in the buying country.”
That is correct, the government do not sell sand. Businessmen, or government’s officials who disguise as businessmen do. The sand export business is so profitable that a Thy Sovantha will not resist the temptation.
Ministry of Mines and Energy spokesman Dith Tina, 16 December 2016, The Cambodia Daily:
3. “If the figures in Cambodia and Singapore were the same, then we might begin to wonder. We might think that these two countries had made some deal with each other.”
Yes, the deal could be that both would keep a clean ledger that can be readily reconciled. Then there would be no need for guesses, speculations, and/or excuses. One would pleasantly wonder how one of the least corrupt in the world comes to make some transparency deal with one of the most corrupt on the planet.
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