The Conflict of Generation in Cambodia and the Mindset of Policy Maker

In Cambodia, those post-baby boomers are known for their conceptualization on the Politics of the United Nations, Human Rights, Democracy, Free and Fair Election, and Freedom. They have lived through time of political reconciliation, non-violence, culture of dialogue, democratic elections, economic liberalization, social injustice, social gap, minimum wage and jobs seeking, and contesting leadership of two party state of Cambodia. They were not divided by monarchy and anti-monarchy, political violence of systematic atrocity and revenge, but experienced the Vietnamese military presence in Cambodia. They are not xenophobic, paranoiac, or irrational in general. They are more into conflict resolution than conflict revolution.

They were born out of fear and PTSD syndromes. Their attitudes are likely rebellious and pertaining sophisticated public expressing. They like to take risk and adventuring in life cultivation. They have not been reluctant to seek new world or new unknown territories such as traveling to abroad for jobs or to urban areas for new decent career opportunities. Those have become family chief, not the parents or elder siblings as ever been before. They are used to with smart phone and internet media. Like those post-baby boomers, but slightly different, those silent generations of Cambodia are more rebellious than post-baby boomers and engaging deeper into the world of mystery, fantasy, and unpredictability. Their political approaches are sharp and vital. Their worldview is justice, equality and freedom.

Last time, I described the shock of political culture of Cambodia and the

Courtesy and Copyright by Sophoan Seng
Courtesy and Copyright by Sophoan Seng

prospect to gaining new social fabric of this society through the new approaches of opposition party CNRP; today I am keen to explore some argument that can boost the right decision-making for the policy maker in organizing political party.

What has shocked political culture of Cambodia? – The three dichotomous generations through experiencing three distinctive political patterns in Cambodia such as generation of anti-monarchy (1970-1975), generations of violence (1975-1979), and generation of foreign occupation who accumulated extreme sentiment over Vietnamese hegemony (1979-1990). At least, individual Cambodian has possessed one of these syndromes, two, or all of them. The dividing Cambodian society has been illustrated by this political shock.

What is the conflict of generation in Cambodia? – According to the research of demographic change in Cambodia, at present, there are at least 70% of Cambodian population are aged under 38 years old. This youth bulk figure has impregnably indicated the domination of youth or younger generation. This generation is counted into post-baby boomers and silent generation. They are called post-baby boomers because they were born out of affection of the three syndromes-problematic generations. They are called the silent generation because their belief, behavior and future vision are out of traditional norms, unpredictable, and mysterious. While most of their spending time is with the internet and facebook, they have overwhelmingly expressed with their peers in a very secretive way.

Continue reading “The Conflict of Generation in Cambodia and the Mindset of Policy Maker”

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CNRP, CPP and the Court during this few days political tension

Weekly Political Analysis:

Now, it is time for the CNRP MPs and especially those high ranking MPs such as the First Vice President of the Assembly, the Chairs of the Committees, and the Vice Chair of the Committees must work harder to protect the nation interest and its supporters through all those due processes allowing within the Assembly. Once, we were happy to hear Vice President of the Assembly led by MP Kem Sokha to interrogate Prime Minister Hun Sen at the Assembly on many wrong doing things including voting in favor by the Assembly Members in which the Assembly has reserved full power in doing this. If not the PM being questioned in the Assembly, the Minister especially the Minister of Justice who has directly handled with all impunity and jailing, she/he must be invited to the Assembly for interrogating and questioning, and if the evidences are lucrative he/she should be voted in favor by the assembly from both parties, at the earliest.

CNRP and CPP are desperate during these few days while the increasing tension of political environment in Cambodia struck by the arresting and in-jailing many CNRP’s activists and land activists. Worse than this is the unknown authority forcefully defrocked the three monks to pave way for the court to order jailing conviction without conducting due process.

When the CNRP issued letter to demanding and condemning CPP for their conspiracy as the government party of neglecting the abusing of power by the authority and the court, the CPP has quickly reacted with their always statement “strengthening the rule of laws including fighting against the impunity”. They emphasized that the authority and court are independent body from the government and the party.

In Cambodia, the three motto “Nation Religion King” is the highest institution in paralleling to the Constitution which is the source of power enabling the legitimacy of the Assembly, the Court and the Executives, in accordance to the administrative system of Liberal and Plural Democratic Governance inscribed within the CONSTITUTION mandated since 1993, first democratic election sponsored by the UNs.

The recent action of lower and authority to forcefully defrock the three monks and put them in jail with the conviction order of the Executor and Judge, has been seen a grave violation over the Buddhist institution (Religion), the national Constitution and Universal Declaration of Human Rights especially the national motto: NATION, RELIGION, KING.

Courtesy: MP Mu Sochua www.sochua.wordpress.com
Courtesy: MP Mu Sochua www.sochua.wordpress.com

The Cambodia National Constitution inscribed that Buddhism is the State Religion. To defrock the three monks without respecting to the existing laws, due processes and Buddhist Vinaya is a grave offending of the fame and dignity of this nation. The issues and schemes (អធិករ) of the Bhikkhu monks must be deliberately resolved by the Buddhist Sangha: preceptor (ព្រះគ្រូឧបជ្ឈា), Vinaya leader (វិន័យធរ), Chief Monk of Province (មេគណ), Chief Monk of District (អនុគណ), Supreme Patriarch (ព្រះសង្ឃរាជ) and the Sangha (គណសង្ឃ). There are different levels of offending. The gross offending of the Bhikkhu monks towards the Vinaya are four Parajika (បរាជិក៤) i.e. having found of sexual intimacy(សេពមេថុនធម្ម), killing of others (សំឡាប់អ្នកដទៃ), stealing of eligible amount of other asset (លួចទ្រព្យគេ៤មាសកៈឡើងទៅ), and claiming Enlightenment in which one doesn’t really attain it (អួតឧត្តរិមនុស្សធម្ម). When the secular authority found guilty on monks who violated the laws and orders, the civil authority must consult or bring the case to the Sangha, so that the Sangha can solve the issue including to disrobe if the violation could be convicted to jailing term. To be retired from a monkhood is at the same procedures to becoming a monkhood.

Becoming a Monk
• To become a novice (samanera) all that is needed is to approach a monk of at least 10 years standing and ask to be accepted. After undertaking several years training and being at least 20 years old the novice is qualified to be a fully ordained monk. To do this he must approach an assembly of 10 monks each of at least 10 years standing who are respected for their virtue and learning. The candidate is then asked 11 questions to determine his suitability. (1) Are you free from disease? (2) Are you a human? (3) Are
you a male? (4) Are you a free man? (5) Are you free from debt? (6) Do you have any obligations to the state? (7) Do you have your parent’s permission? (8) Are you at least 20 years of age (9) Do you have your robe and towel? (10) What is your name? (11) What is your teacher’s name? If the candidate answers these questions satisfactorily and if no objections are raised by the assembly, he is considered to be a fully ordained monk
(Bhikku). A monk can use property belonging jointly to the sangha but he himself is supposed to own only eight things – three robes, an alms bowl, a razor, needle and thread, belt, and a strainer to purify drinking water. He is also obliged to abide by the 227 rules contained in the Vinaya Pitaka.

The tension has arisen during the celebration of the Free Impunity Day and the arriving Human Rights Day of December 10 this year. But what the observers and reporters wrote and analysed the most is the culture of intimation and political pressure from the Cambodian’s People Party (CPP) that they successfully arrested and jailed members of parliament of the CNRP in order to cancelling the assembly boycott of the opposition MPs.

However, the recent pre-emptive action against the CNRP is an illustration of political dichotomy of: violence and non-violence, culture of dialogue and culture of threat, etc. During the boycotting to legitimize the government led by the CPP, the CNRP MPs learnt bitter lesson of this arresting, handcuffing and jailing. So after entering the assembly, it should be a hope these 55 MPs should take action to bring this case to their action plan as a primary agenda. Actually, there are many agendas on the table that are very important. Among those agendas is the Reform of the National Election Committee. But like everyone has perceived, the NEC reform agreed on the 22 July 2014 was not in good detailed written but it has been in good spirit to speed up for the achieving result all democrats expected, it is not only one heuristic mechanism to solve the overall problems of Cambodia.

According to the interview on Khmer Post recently, MP Mu Sochua expected to having more responsible government officials to face with the interrogating by the assembly members. Like MP Long Ry, the vice chair of the defense and national security of the assembly shall swiftly ask those involved authority to clarify at the assembly on beating and harassing those land activists, and particularly on defrocking the three monks. MPs Son Chay also provided some clue he has gone through on the disclosing of patronage system in handling with the corruption in the assembly and he might face the displacement from the post or dis-favoritism by the bureaucrats. He pointed out that according to the laws, the president of the assembly and the higher ranking of the assembly such as the vice presidents can initiate to interrogating and questioning those Ministers as well as the Prime Minister to be accountable on their own actions in handling with injustice, impunity, corruption and violation over the rule of laws of Cambodia.

We have seen some strong movement of the CNRP MPs in knowing their status, their power, their duty and their active engagement to strengthen the Rule of Laws within the Assembly. But many observers especially the members and supporters of the CNRP are still seeing ineffective in framing its action plan, MPs performance and seemingly few groups are working hard while others are very silent.

Now, it is time for the CNRP MPs and especially those high ranking MPs such as the First Vice President of the Assembly, the Chairs of the Committees, and the Vice Chair of the Committees must work harder to protect the nation interest and its supporters through all those due processes allowing within the Assembly. Once, we were happy to hear Vice President of the Assembly led by MP Kem Sokha to interrogate Prime Minister Hun Sen at the Assembly on many wrong doing things including voting in favor by the Assembly Members in which the Assembly has reserved full power in doing this. If not the PM being questioned in the Assembly, the Minister especially the Minister of Justice who has directly handled with all impunity and jailing, she/he must be invited to the Assembly for interrogating and questioning, and if the evidences are lucrative he/she should be voted in favor by the assembly from both parties, at the earliest.

There are many directions that the CNRP MPs can speed up in-dept reform for the interest of Cambodia nation. The NEC is just one of them and CNRP must not walk like the tortoise step at all. CNRP MPs must not be cool-blooded or too passive pacifistic in handling with injustice and bogging down by their political rivalry. The concept of non-violence and culture of dialogue could be achieved only through active engagement in crafting and strengthening the rule of laws, the impartial court system, and the independent civil servants including the arm-force.

The power is already in the hand for the CNRP MPs to effectively use it. CPP has already supported this process to end the culture of impunity and to strengthen the Rule of Laws. This recent cracking down of the supporters of democratic value is not viral to dismantling the bonding, but to empower the bonding becoming more precisely, effectively and due diligently. The rhetoric solely cannot help anything to the survival of the democrats.

Below are some video clips to supplement this analysis:

1. RFA’s Public Discussion Program on 14 November 2014 to learn more about the due processes on solving Bhikkhu schemes.

2. RFI’s interviewing of Phay Siphan on the latest stance of the government and the CPP on the issue.

3. Last clip of RFA’s Public Discussion of MP Son Chay on tasks he is doing and the clue that Assembly can do to stop the ongoing social injustice and impunity.

 

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The Study of Comparative Leadership between Hun Sen and Sam Rainsy

The Study of Comparative Leadership between Hun Sen and Sam Rainsy

ABSTRACT

Hun Sen and Sam Rainsy were born from different family status and experienced younghood at different social set and schooling. Hence, both have cultivated their life at the same political environment of Cambodia and political change of the world. At the present, they both have embarked political journey at the same strength in term of two party state of Cambodia, while Hun Sen has possessed all political means in hand during his 30 years premiership comparing to Sam Rainsy who has been active opposition leader for this more than 21 years and he has been expected to becoming future premier of this country. How have the two leaders induced their public figure during these two decades? How have personal traits and external influences shaped them? And how could the political futurist define their future success?

This study is part of political leadership exploring in Cambodia by debating the two emerging leaders into its key discussion. As Cambodia have been publicly attracted by her former charismatic leader King Norodom Sihanouk who has already passed away, the two prominent leaders in this study have passed through with both collaborative and confrontational political activities with the stated former king. Leadership has variably studied by different disciplines and purposes. This study will aim to articulate the concept of leadership of modern democratic movement in combining with the emerging trends of Cambodian leadership and its viability.

King Norodom Sihanouk and Queen Monineath Sihanouk during their coalition with the Khmer Rouge revolution in the forest. Photo courtesy: Facebook
King Norodom Sihanouk and Queen Monineath Sihanouk during their coalition with the Khmer Rouge revolution in the forest. Photo courtesy: Facebook
Prime Minister Hun Sen, His Spouse Bun Rany Hun Sen, and their children. Photo courtesy: Facebook
Prime Minister Hun Sen, His Spouse Bun Rany Hun Sen, and their children. Photo courtesy: Facebook
In the picture, Sam Rainsy is the youngest son in this family photo. Photo courtesy of Sam Rainsy Page on Facebook.
In the picture, Sam Rainsy is the youngest son in this family photo. Photo courtesy of Sam Rainsy Page on Facebook.

Some visionary video clips that can draw attention on the different styles of speech and leadership illustration.

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Political Platform Crafting and Debating

Reading article by  Cambodia Daily on “CNRP Leaders Hammer Out Party Platform” intrigued my deep thought on Platform and Reform agenda in which CNRP has stepped beyond imagination. The political platform in this page is also one of the examples.

Cambodia is not disturbed by political platform debating at all. In reality, Cambodia has been daily disturbed by Political Realism ie. abusing of power, impunity, corruption, unjust court system, wide gap of rich and poor, or destitute rural livelihood and city cast-system dwellers, inadequate public infrastructure and services etc. The immediate agenda should be REFORM, not PLATFORM at this moment.

Political 7 Points of CNRPCNRP’s parliamentary members as well as the party’s manpower has pushed for genuine REFORM from within of the 20 years old monopolistic government. The outcomes are at the reaching fingers while the framework for REFORM is at its play: many ministers, dignitaries and high profile powerful elites are in row to be questioned by the law-makers to clear the way for ACCOUNTABILITY, TRANSPARENCY and GOOD GOVERNANCE.

REFORM shall be useless if those powerful elites are not properly tamed and rule of laws are not properly enforced. CNRP has held ball with full grip in hands to play with the CPP. When each team has been discharged to the field, don’t think you are protesting on the street, or you are advocating for some special right such as the rights for the GAYs etc.

CNRP can play the REFORM GAME at the fullest within the prospect of law making to change the corruption system such as strengthening national assembly, NEC reforming, judiciary impartiality, neutrality of all types of arm-force and public servants, sound economic, sustainable and equitable development, and fair distribution of the nation wealth etc.

Hence, for political platform, I don’t think someone else is better than CPP in term of their written policy and long term plans. Their Triangular Shape Policy Platform as well as their Proposals for Foreign Aids and Loans are at the international standards, but one weakest thing for the CPP is the IMPLEMENTATION and MISMATCHING OUTCOMES.Political Platform in Canada 1

CNRP has well utilized the 7 points policy platform successfully to raise awareness among voters but this platform was just mainly focusing on Economic Development and Quality of Life in term of Standard of Living. It was lack “full package platform”.

Political Platform in CanadaFull package platform for Cambodia is very different from other countries. It is heuristic or holistic, the Cambodia Political Platform can not be imported, or handed over by the foreign think tanks. In Canada, the platform (as shown with the picture), the neutral court and national arm-force are not on the agenda, or the corruption is not on the table for face to face striking at all; and the voters are variable in need and in debate about the platform as politics and elections are the “place-based contraction”.

Thus, Cambodia is in contrast. The corruption issue and patron-clientele administration is at the door-step of the CNRP, the parliamentary building. MP Son Chay has taken a leading step to clean this door-step first before broadening its mission to other places.

I would request the CNRP to focus on Three Motto: Responsible + Respect + Reform.

  1. Responsible is the core value all human beings. Each of us deserves to having Freedom but the Freedom must come along with Responsibility. Cambodian people who are 18 years of age must be responsible in front of the law and the society. Individual Cambodian must primarily learn Responsibility from their parents, family, community and school. These factors are imperative.
  2. Respect means individual Cambodian must respect the righteousness and the rule of laws. CNRP has adopted strict and constructive internal leadership and regulations, for instance, every member must respect or comply by the regulations to effectivate the tasks of the party etc.
  3. Reform refers to key outstanding issues occurring in Cambodia right now: NEC, Judiciary, Assembly, Corruption, Non-neutral arm-force and public servants, Disparity of Economic Development, Land Grabbing and Forced Evictions, Abusing of Power by the Elites, Sovereignty Independence, Garment Labors and Displacement Workers, Child Labor and School Abandoning, Public Violence and Family Violence etc.

In short, political platform or party platform should not be secretly discussed by few top leaders. It must be engaged by all party member activists, supporters and general citizens. To craft a platform means everyone can voice their concerns and shared responsibility. In the meantime, it is a good time to propagate it to the larger audience on behalf of a liberal and democratic party. The party must create “working group” or “task force” by selecting those academics or experienced researchers to outreach with survey as well as public forums and conferences/seminars to brainstorm as well as to collect accurate first-hand data. A successful political platform means it is applicable, practical, comprehensive and due diligent.

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