Cambodia Political Leadership
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Political Paradigm of Pragmatism from the Khmer Youth part 51
This part (51), Mr. Sophan Seng elaborated on good leaders who have always produced more leaders, not more followers. Theoretically, the concept broadens from family leadership, to community and nation leadership. Western philosophy as well as Cambodian philosophy exclusively boosts the importance of empowering youths and new members of community to be self-reliance and self-accountability. Khmer proverb says “young bamboo shoots are the backbone of future generations” is a testament of this basic human resource leadership.
Practically, at the juncture of Cambodia changes, political landscape has been inherited by hierarchy of upper power abused their own power boundary to advance for personal gains. Subsequently, the lower powers and bottom line citizens are tamed to be submissive and dependent. This type of leadership shall shrink this nation in the long term future.
To develop this nation for long term future sustainable growth, the attitude change is a must for all Cambodian citizens. But to achieve this mission pragmatically, we should consider the Khmer proverb “don’t bent the Srolao tree, don’t instruct the oldies”. So to change attitude of Cambodian people, we should begin with those children (kindergarten or grade 1).
Political Paradigm of Pragmatism from the Khmer Youth part 50
This part (50), Mr. Sophan Seng analysed on an unavoidable internal conflicts within the weak laws enforcement states. Political scientists found that major democratic states were evolved from internal conflicts and competitions especially among “personal interest group”. It is rare to having change to democracy through external force.
But, this evolution has experienced fragile and risky than sustainable success because of deadly conflicts among personal interest group and internal rivals were not deterred including the dividing force is too strong to resist.
PM Hun Sen has believed in himself about controlling people with all means he could use to maintain such leadership. His leadership style is more inclined into private CEO rather than to fulfill his duties in accordance to democratic principles or the rule of laws. Realistically, Cambodia has been a paternal government (leaders are regarded as father of the people) and oligarchy leadership (only strong and powerful networks operate the state affairs) through UNTAC organized democratic election in 1993. When PM Hun Sen were able to control power, he has remained using the same leadership “paternal government and oligarchy networks by mixing with crony free market capitalism”.
Many times, PM Hun Sen has explicitly and implicitly intervened the due processes of the Cambodia court. The effort to control the court shall intensify the internal conflicts as well as the bloody conflict which is hardly to be avoided.
This part (48), Mr. Sophan Seng analysed the old political tactic of “creating events aiming to control events”. This tactics have been used a lot among those states with weak laws enforcement. When court is not reliable, the powerful can utilize all means to strengthen and prolong their power.
The strategy of “divide and conquer” has been also well-known among those week law enforcement state.
This part (47), Mr. Sophan Seng has continued to analyse on the political tension between Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) and Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP). Focusing on the weak national institution or lacking of political institution for the nation, the current shape of Cambodia political landscape is remained fragile. Though, political figures ie Somdach Hun Sen and HE Sam Rainsy have jointly established “Culture of Dialogue” to avoid further dividing according to Khmer proverb said “Tide up, fish eat ant; water recess, ant eat fish”. But this new approach is not enough to bring about change, and it has been fragile as the state’s political institution basing on the “Rule of Laws” has not been established.
Question on independence of three branches: Executive, Assembly, and Court implementing in a civilized state, how does it work as Member of Parliament must serve as Minister appointed by a winning party? In practice, Canada’s Minister couldn’t monopolize power or reshuffle the Ministry at all as those technicians and expertise are remained in position protected by the Law; or whenever Minister is changed or transferred, those expertise are fully respected in the same posts. For the Minister themselves, if they got less votes among their party’s rival/candidate within their constituent, the Minister Post shall also been affected.
This is contradictory to Cambodia that Members of Parliament are bordered by province boundary which is larger than ability of each MP to oversea it. More than this, MP Candidacy is appointed by party without conducting election to be chosen within their circle at all.
This part (46), Mr. Sophan Seng continued to analyse the ongoing political tension in Cambodia between government-led party and opposition party that has affected people livelihood and foreign investments.
As mentioned previously, a strong political institution nation has never been shaken by the conflict among political parties because this conflict, in nature, aims to boost social benefits and development. However, public speech of Prime Minister of Cambodia on war and other threatening speech, without investigating from the court on his intentional public threat, is considered a violation on independent judiciary body, and this is an act of totalitarian political maneuver.
Cambodia has seen as a fragile state because of lacking legal enforcement towards wrongdoers especially among the upper echelon. Since the establishment of “Kingdom of Cambodia” through the general election sponsored by the United Nations in 1993, Cambodia has likely slip away from the overall intention: to reduce central power through empowering civil society and not-government-led political parties towards totalitarianism. Recent phenomena of political attitude maneuvered by PM Hun Sen in many occasions such as warning about war triggering if he is voted out of power, warning about retaliation of mass demonstration in Phnom Penh and it was happened including deadly violence against two members of parliament from the opposition party, and many other recorded speech etc. is a testimony of power monopoly contradictory to the intention of the United Nations.
Without strengthening the political institution through enforcing the laws by implementing impartial judiciary system, Cambodia is remained a fragile state.