2017 Annual Awards
There is so much excitement in 2017 that award winners for this year should not be a surprise to anyone unless they have just woken up from a coma.
Law-Abiding Autocrat Award – Hun Sen
Persistent assertions by Hun Sen and his minions give an impression that Cambodia has the best rule of law on earth. Every move to persecute opponents is so legalistic that they may think spirit of the law is a liquor’s brand name. Hun Sen instigates specific laws to prosecute certain opponents; he redefines legal terms, like “in flagrante delicto” to mean an exact moment he wants someone arrested. Treason, incitement, terrorism, subversion, revolution, etc… becomes their words in vogue. To them, being “legal” is being “just”.
Panic-Driven Action Award - Hun Sen
This year is perhaps the most taxing year for Hun Sen, who has burnt his candle on both ends and the middle, highlighting an intense anxiety and fear of losing power.
Outcomes of a comprehensive public opinion research conducted for Hun Sen in 2016 by Shaviv Strategy & Campaigns indicate he would inevitably lose the 2018 elections. Voting intention for CNRP improves from 36% in May to 44% in September 2016 while CPP’s drops from 46% to 35%. Sixty-four percent believe legal processes against Kem Sokha and Sam Rainsy are unfair. For their credibility, Shaviv claims, “Dr Thaksin will passionately endorse the quality and efficiency of my work…”
Hun Sen considers two main strategic responses to the expected loss: renege on power handover after the elections, or removal of CNRP from the election process. With a solid inroad the opposition makes in the 2017 commune elections, Hun Sen becomes hysterical; he opts for the second option. CNRP is now disbanded.
Yet, the premier trusts none outside his inner-circle. Despite his close generals’ repetitive assurance that their troops are always behind him, Hun Sen still questions their loyalty. He establishes a new military brigade of up to 10,000 troops that Defence spokesman Oum Socheat assures “will listen to the government’s orders”. He creates a new spy school to be controlled by his son Manith, who already heads the military’s intelligence department.
Thick Skin Award – Norodom Ranariddh, PhD
No award is more suitable for this holder of PhD in law who applauds Hun Sen for allocating to his party 44 parliamentary seats for, he says, “doing absolutely nothing”. His well-trained legal mind succumbs to the rule that Hun Sen laws always override justice and morality. It does not matter how these seats become vacant so long as he gets some. Ranariddh must be very thick-skinned to sit in parliament without getting elected. What other elected representatives may think of him and his unelectable cohorts is irrelevant. Then again, the other elected members who are so servile to Hun Sen’s rule may not be sensitive enough to feel any different in their parliamentary façade. Birds of a feather flock together.
Well, 2017 has almost gone; and some piles of cash are stashed away in foreign lands with a prayer that they will not be frozen for whatever reasons in the New Year. Keep praying.
Ung Bun Ang
By The Way
« បើអ៊ីចឹង ដើម្បីបានជំនួយទាល់តែឱនក្បាល ថា បាទៗ អ៊ីចឹងហើយ ហើយជាតិមួយ ធ្វើអ៊ីចឹង តើយើងទៅរួចទេ? សុំទោស ខ្ញុំមិនអាចតំណាងជាតិសាសន៍មួយនេះ ធ្វើអ៊ីចឹងបានទេ ។ មិនថាបរទេសហ្នឹងជាប្រទេសណាទេ ខ្ញុំធ្វើមិនរួចដោយសារ តែ ខ្ញុំស្អប់ខ្ពើមនូវការឈ្លានពានរបស់បរទេស ដោយសារឪពុកម្តាយ ជីដូនជីតា ស្អប់ ខ្ពើមនូវការឈ្លានពានរបស់បរទេសបំពានលើឯករាជ្យអធិបតេយ្យភាពរបស់ កម្ពុជានោះហើយ បានជា ប្រទេសយើងត្រូវតស៊ូងើបឈរឡើង ដើម្បីឯករាជ្យ អធិបតេយ្យភាពរបស់ជាតិ ។»
នាយករដ្ឋមន្ត្រីហ៊ុន សែន ថ្ងៃទី ១៨ ធ្នូ ២០១៧ The Phnom Penh Post (Khmer Edition)
What a music to one’s ears. Hun Sen does know how to hit the right notes. But who is he trying to kid, besides himself and the gullible? Others are incredulous.
For a person who seeks help from Vietnam to remain in power for decades and builds Vietnam-Cambodia Friendship monuments throughout Cambodia as a reminder of his eternal gratitude to the foreigner, he must be either lying, or have a death wish, or have a permission from Vietnam to sing the tune that the latter may be offended.
He says he is against foreign interference into Cambodia’s domestic affairs, yet he asks visiting Vietnam deputy minister for Defence Nguyen Chi Vinh for advice on how to fight a colour revolution, which is a domestic issue that has consumed him. He has indeed bowed to China for easy cash.
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