Policies Debate vs Personal Attacks
Since the time coming closer to National Election in Cambodia (28.07.2013), we could observe that PM and politicians from the ruling party are trying hard to make life of the opposition politicians become more and more difficult. There is still a long way to go to bring real democracy to Cambodians, though we positively have seen, that there has been no violence or no body got killed because of politics in the past few months.
Recently, there were following intimidation acts as below:
- Using Kem Sokhon, younger brother of Kem Sokha, to scold the oppositions and his own brother in TVs. Kem Sokhon was member of the steering committee of the SRP, before left to join the HRP and then CPP after failed to win any seat in his constituencies. He got promotion from one to two star general after his shameful acts.
- Accusation towards Mr. Son Chhay, Party Whip and Cambodian National Rescue Party’s politician, as being part of the “Khmer People Power Movement” (KPPM) in the United States, a “terrorist group” aiming to topple the government and destroy the monarchy. Basis for accusation is a photo of Son Chhay talking on microphone and the flag of Republic Khmer of Lon Nol (1970-1975) behind him. It is absolutely baseless.
- Accusation towards Mr. Kong Koam, current President of the Sam Rainsy Party (SRP), as insulting the late King Norodom Sihanouk…Mr. Kong Koam was Deputy Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs in the eighties under Hun Sen, but has joined the SRP since its inception in 1995.
- Accusation towards Mr. Kem Sokha, CNRP Acting President, on controversial “audio tape” on his remarks over the Khmer Rouge and S-21 prison.
- All MPs of the opposition were recently stripped of their parliamentary status and their salaries freeze, an absolutely unlawful act.
- A law on “Khmer Rouge Denial” was drafted just in three days and was passed the next day by the CPP-only Assembly. An anti-corruption law needs more than 14 years to be drafted and passed.
- Staged demonstrations against Kem Sokha in Phnom Penh and other provinces on 09 June 2013. All TVs broadcast-ed live and people were forced or paid to demonstrate.
- Using trucks and people to build blockade disturbing Kem Sokha to talk in the public forum with CNRP supporters, yesterday, in a district east of Phnom Penh and other locations.
- This morning, I read in Kampuchea Thmey Daily an article stating that “Mother in law and minor wife # 2 of Mr. Kem Sokha come to explain about secret love affairs”….She has two children with him… and the love story begun in 1999 when Kem Sokha was the head of a Human Rights Organization….(sic!). As far as I know: in 1999, Kem Sokha was Senator….What a cheap trick again??
- And I expect that there will be more accusations, which will be used in trying to discredit the “popularity” of Mr. Kem Sokha etc. Most of the times, I read and heard such accusations, I could not help myself, but lough loudly to release my anger.
I must admit that the CNRP has come up with many policies (on health, education, agriculture, social and economic issues, anti-corruption, price, etc.) which could attract more voters and possibly creating a real threat to the ruling party. That is why the CPP is trying hard to manipulate the mass provided their superior in financial means and controlling the mass media, the court, the military and police, the constitutional council, the national election committee, etc. etc. The CNRP is the merger between the SRP and HRP in July 2012, in Manila, the Philippines. The SRP was established in 1995 and the HRP was created in 2007. Both parties have 26 and 3 MPs, respectively; in the 123 Seats Parliament. The basic fact that the two parties have merged is already a real threat to the CPP.
To me: our politicians should spend more time to debate on policies issues, how to bring the country forward, how to reduce poverty, how to end corruption, how to improve education system, how to improve health care etc; rather than dirty and very cheap personal attacks. PM should dare to have direct political debate with opposition via live broadcasting in TVs and mass media and let the voters decide, for whom they would vote for? You should win with dignity!