Pseng-Pseng in Cartoon
Hun Sen’s Cane Shares
Image courtesy of Michael Leunig
Another voter has just been arrested for an alleged violation of a new lèse-majesté law Hun Sen made up a few months ago. It seems the cane shares have begun with ridiculing the King whom Hun Sen has brought to heel and is likely to extent to those who are running campaigns, like the Clean Fingers Campaign, to boycott the July elections against the King’s wishes.
When shared by half of eligible voters, the cane shares will not be so hurting, if not so honourable and privileged. There will not be much more any sensible leaders can do, but to surrender to the will of the people after the cane shares.
Nothing can un-nerve any tyrants like half of the voters taking the cane shares. Those tyrants like Pol Pot and Hun Sen pretend to be strong but are surrounded themselves with loosely worded-laws, rules, and edicts that sound just, but allow their interpretations at will to persecute anyone – mainly to calm down their own nerves.
Still, Hun Sen is increasingly nervous. He and his minions threaten others with lawsuits and wild legal interpretations almost daily leading up to the July elections. The crack in his circle is widening. He no longer places his fate on top generals Kun Kim, Pol Saroeun, and Meas Sophea whom he once used to trust. He sends them to the National Assembly that carries neither guns nor practical power. Swift responses by his minions to the US sanctions against his for-now-faithful body guard General Hing Bun Hieng have been over the top, particularly when the general claims the US sanctions miss the target as he has no assets abroad to be frozen and that he has no desire to travel to the US. Even if he is not lying, the pugnacious reactions from himself and various government quarters indicate the sanctions shake the Hun Sen’s close circle far beyond the one general. Hun Sen and his close minions must feel the heat and he is likely to retire more armed generals, which in turn grows further panic and resentment to his rule.
Anyhow, Hun Sen cannot, at least for now, afford to lift his foot off the voters’ throat. Like Pol Pot, he awaits a people’s revolt to do so.
Ung Bun Ang
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