26 October 2006

What I Think About Conscription Law

Logo of Cambodia National Assembly. It recently has just passed the conscription law. It requires to draft men from 18 to 30 years old to serve in the military.

Cambodia 'Rath Sakphea' National Assembly has just passed the conscription law. The new law requires men of my age to serve the military for 18 months. If our Cambodia in the time of war I can understand that. But,we are in the time of peace. Economic development and education should be our top priorities. We don't need to have a larger army. Who are we going to fight against ? The Vietnamese ? The Thai ? Militarily, we have no chance against the modern weaponry of these powerful neighbours. Educate ourselves and learned the internation law is more beneficial should 'muy jom-arm' ( 1 inch) of our land is encroaching by them.

According to western voices this conscription law is to correct the Cambodia unemployement problem. So true, I agree with the western critics. Cambodia should have strong rule of law. Clean up corruption in all of the government posts, such as police, judges...etc. If our country is free of corruption, then outside countries would be willing to invest and woudn't be afraid to do businesses in our country. This will lead to economic development.

Mandatory serving in the military will put me 18 months BEHIND from my pursuing goal. I am so sad and afraid of the military drafting law right now. How incompetent these Khmer law makers. Who's in the right mind came up with this ?
Insanity. I will not vote for the persons or the party who are made and passed this law. In such a peaceful time as now, whoever came up with this law are not out here to serve the public for prosperity of Cambodia; they are very, very short sighted.

25 October 2006

The Fool of A Prince

The Fool of A Prince

There is news all over here in Phnom Penh on Prince Norodom Ranariddh has been ousted from the leadership of FUNCINPEC party will start a new party. This is what I called the 'Fool of A Prince', and Prime Minister Hun Sen 's dream comes true. PM Hun Sen loves new parties created. The devision of the opposition parties would weakening the core of the opposition itself. Split votes would be resulted from the multi opposition parties. Thus, Mr. Hun Sen's party will ALWAYS win the election. Since the plan fall right into it perhaps PM Hun Sen himself is behind the scheme of Prince Ranariddh's ousted.

Why us Khmer never learn ? The prince's pride and the ego are so high. I wish he would just accept the fact. Humble himself. Rather than start a new party he should throw support to endorse the FUNCINPEC party. Be true to the party for he will win the people's heart and mind. 'Humble' is the key word. Apologize to the people and his party that he had disappointed them. Come out clean !! I have a soft heart readily to forgive, forget and live on.

One thing is optimistically about my Cambodia is that we still have the opposition party in the political arena, or otherwise we're no different from our neighbour Laos, where I think Hanoi is currently dictating the head governement at Vientiane.

From My Opionion,
Vanak Thom

13 October 2006

The Element of Fiction

I came across and bought this novel at Phnom Penh Psa Tmey (New Market)last week. It was the only copy left. The cover was a bit dusty and slightly torn. The pitcure shown here was borrowed from Amazon.com website.

My Review:
The novel "The Kite Runner" was written by Khaled Hosseini. The story is about two Afghanistan boys. One is the privileged educated while the other boy is illiterate and very poor. Thier lives interconnected with each other with elements of love, loyalty, hatred, cowardice, bravery, violence, hornour, and secrecy .

Although I am Khmer and (non-practicing)Buddhist by religion, I wanted to try a reading on different part of the world: Afghanistan and Islam. From this book I've learned alot about Afghanistan during the Taliban ruled. It's sooooooo good!! I wish I can write like this author. The novel is 370 pages long and easy read. Recommended !! Please continue reading the selected excerpts i choose. The first one on 'greed' and the subsequent one on 'sin'.
Excerpt#1: (on greed)
"That same night, I wrote my first short story. It took me thirty minutes. It was a dark tale about a man who found a magic cup and learned that if he wept into the cup, his tears turned into pearls. But even though he had always been poor, he was a happy man and rarely shed a tear. So he found ways to make himself sad so that his tears could make him rich. As the pearls piled up, so did his greed grow. The story ended with the man sitting on a mountain of pearls, knife in hand, weeping helplessly into the cup with his beloved wife's slain body in his arms." -- Chapter 4 page 31 "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini.

Here's a conversation between the boy named Amir and his Baba (father)taken directly from the end of chapter 3 of the novel. (Mullah is a Muslim clergy).
Excerpt #2: (on sin)
"Hmm." Baba crushed an ice cube between his teeth. "Do you want to know what your father thinks about sin ?"
"Then I'll tell you, " Baba said, "but first understand this and understand it now, Amir: You'll never learn anything of value from those bearded idiots."
"You mean Mullah Fatiullah Khan?"
Baba gestured with his glass. The ice clinked. "I mean all of them. Piss on the beards of all those self-rightteous monkeys...They do nothing but thumb their prayer beads and recite a book written in a tongue they don't even understand". [...]
"Now no matter what the mullah teaches,there is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft. Do you understand that ?"

"No, Baba jan," I said, desperately wishing I did. I didn't want to disappoint him again. [....]

"When you kill a man, you steal a life," Baba said. "You steal his wife's right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone's right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness. Do you see ?" --- Chapter 3 page 17-18 "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini.

These passages really stimulated me. How I marvel at creative writing of the book ! This is the first novel I read that I felt so touched. I cried a least 3 times during the reading. So if you're picking this book up, let me warn you: Be prepared to wipe your tears and blow your nose.

Thom Vanak

11 October 2006

Another Gift from Prime Minister Hun Sen

No need for translation on this one. (Please click on the picture for larger view).

Politicians are public figures to serve the interest of the public. The populace voted for them, therefore all politicians are open for criticism. That's what it should be. I'm just expressing how I feel that is all, I'm not even criticize. Do I just keep my mouth shut and always praise that our dearest leader Prime Minister Hun Sen is ALWAYS right ? Truely I don't hate our prime minister. But can I disagree with his policy or do I have to agree with the prime minister ALL of the time ?

I never been outside of our country. I've learned from reading a lot materials. I am not sure if the western countries are like Cambodia in regards to naming a bridge, school, hospitals...etc as 'THE GIFT' from thier current leaders. For example,

Australia: Bridge is GIFT from John Howard.

France: School is a GIFT from Jacque Chirac.

USA: Hospital is a GIFT from George W Bush

They may named in honoured of someone, then that would be OK with me. In our Phnom Penh we have Luis Pasteur Hospital, Mao Tse Tung Boulevard...etc. This is fine with me. (Although I'm not too fond of naming our road after a Communist).

If anybody has comments please enlighten me on this. Thanks for visiting my blog.


04 October 2006

A Gift from Prime Minister Hun Sen

Sangkai River Bridge 91.50meters
Gift From
Samdach Hun Sen, Prime Minister
of Kingdom of Cambodia

I think the bridge shouldn't be labeled as a gift from any individual person. It's more like a government's responsibility and duty to build/maintain roads, irrigations, bridges, schools, hospitals...and so on to improve the lives of the people.