04 December 2007

The people spoke for democracy and against unlimited power

Here in Srok Khmer among my fellow Cambodians I feel am one of the lucky fews who could read write both in Khmer and English fairly fluently. My ability to understand the English language has really opening up my way of thinking in understanding the changes around me and the rest of the world.

On the current world event I couldn't help comparing Mr. Hugo Chavez of Venezuela to my current prime minister Hun Sen.

Yesterday Venezuelan people has voted "NO" and rejected Mr Chavez to become a president for life or until he's 96 years old. I would like to respect Mr. Hugo Chavez accepting his defeat on the ballot he put for voters. He's sad for his current presidency term ends in 2012. He assured the public "Venezuelan democracy is maturing...from this moment on, let's be calm " . He doesn't want people to protest. He continued " There's no dictatorship here."

This make me think about our Prime Minister Hun Sen of whom his CPP has cling on to power since 1979. Twenty-eight years--it's just been too long. PM Hun Sen lately said "បើប្រជារាស្ត្របោះឆ្នោតអោយ អញនឹងធ្វើ នាយករដ្ធមន្ត្រីអស់មួយជីវិត"​-- the language PM Hun Sen chose to use here is like a leader of a gangster mafia talks. He's so arrogant in his speech. It's beyond the English translation "If the people continue to vote for me, I (aign) will be [their] prime minister for life !!". Nobody holding any public offices using derogatory word "aign" in any public speeches like PM Hun Sen at all. Khmer language newspaper here published that Vietnamese settlers always vote for his party. I know for sure giving a fair election at western standard, PM Hun Sen CPP has no chance of winning at all.

Prime Minister Hun Sen built countless schools and named bridges, canals, recreation parks after him. PM Minister maybe good for Cambodia but I still certainly wouldn't want him to be my prime minister for life.

I am optimist my Cambodia will one day come out of this infancy stage of democracy. And I truly hope my PM Hun Sen could learn something from this current world event.

Let me end by stating a quote from American politician, Nicholas Burns commented to the Venezuela voters: "In a country that wants to be a democracy, the people spoke, and the people spoke for democracy and against unlimited power."

Phnom Penh


curbside_puppet said...

hi! i'm trying my best to relate well to your situation. i know it must be very hard to be under a dictatorial reign.
my country experienced that before under ferdinand marcos, although i was still an infant and too impossible for me to remember even just a bit about life during that time.
i just hope everything will turn out fine for cambodia and to the rest of SEAsia.

CJ said...

Hey Vanak. Nice post. You should really post more often.

About Hugo Chavez, he said more things that had double meanings, and that show that he is going to keep trying to get his "revolution" passed.

I think for Hun Sen, even his strongest supporters quietly recognize that it is time to let somebody else lead.

We are facing somewhat of the same situation in America- different, but still the same. If Hillary Clinton, the wife of our former President Bill Clinton, is elected next year, that means that 180 million Americans will have only known two families in power. It would mean that two families controlled our country for 25 years, maybe 29 years if Hillary were to serve a second term. Many of us are not too happy at all with this kind of concentration of power in only 2 families.

Many of us don't see a better future for our children- no matter what political party controls the power now. the political process here, though we are the oldest democracy in the world, is only open to the very rich and power has always been held by only two parties. maybe it is time for a revolution here too.

Jake Tornado said...

Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts abosolutely.

Blog By Khmer said...

Thank you all for your comments.
Curbside, our election is comming up in 2008. I will certainly vote for the change.

CJ, Thanks again for your comment. Let hope PM Hun Sen must come to realisation for the benefits of all Khmers. For the change, somebody else must lead. There are a lot of bright leaders out there who could lead Cambodia.

Nhuong Son said...


I enjoy the reading, wish I could read Khmer but I can't. Anyway I watch the Cambodian news a lot with my father. CTN shows Hun Sen and the king alot. I also think that it is time that Hun Sen step down and let someone else run the country. He has not done much to help the Cambodian economy. As for the King, he needs to carry himself better, just seems too puny.

Nhuong Son

Gypsy at heart said...

It is wonderful that you have begun the process of educating yourself, and under nost difficult circumstances. Foreign languages are the keys to understanding and you are well on your way. Keep up the good work.

Blog By Khmer said...

Thank you Nhuong Son & Gypsy At Heart for your visiting and comments. Your encouragement means a lot to me. It makes me want to write more.