It is inspiring and hilarious after reading this article. I could not stop my thought on penning and criticizing this article.
Cambodia – The Laziest Nation in the World
There is something to be said when it comes to the laziest nations in the world. Most publications associate laziness with what people do (or NOT do) in their spare time, after all duties have been taken care of. To me, that’s a fundamental mistake and doesn’t reflect on the laziness at all. People who bust their butts off so they can have some time for themselves are not lazy. True laziness comes to play when an entire nation can’t get the work – the necessary duties done because they can’t be bothered to get off their soft motorcycle seats. And this is why Cambodia is the laziest nation in the world. Everywhere you go, any time of day you will see hundreds of people of all ages idling in the streets, doing absolutely nothing just killing time by hanging loose. You will be wondering why they are all out here doing nothing. You will be asking yourself – shouldn’t these people be at work and kids at school? How can a nation sustain itself if nobody can be bothered to do any work? Those are all legitimate questions and anyone who pays attention will undoubtedly have them cross their minds upon their first visit to Cambodia.
Photo: Lazy Cambodian Youth Killing Time With Their Motorcycles
History of Cambodia – The Laziest Nation in the World
It comes as a striking contrast when one visits the temples of Angkor Archaeological Park and sees the megalomaniac structures Angkorian era civilization was capable of constructing. Could the laziest nation in the world built the world’s largest religious complex? Obviously, Cambodia a millennium ago was different from Cambodia today – aside from being a culture of violence, as Cambodians are as violent today as they have always been.
So Cambodians were definitely not lazy back then, back when the temples of Angkor were built, but what happened? That I guess is as difficult to explain as is the abrupt end to once powerful empire. Ancient Khmer rulers were on top of the game and controlled the region but then something happened and Angkor was abandoned. Everything about the Khmer people, everything – including their approach to work has changed. The end of Angkorian era was the end of decent Cambodia. The empire failed and so did the people. People who were once capable of building monumental structures are nowadays capable of nothing more than idling and doing absolutely a great deal of nothing. Unless verbally and physically abusing foreigners can be considered an activity. Luckily the former can be done from the comfort of their motorcycle seat…
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By Sophan Seng
Intervention & Change in Cambodia: Towards Democracy? By Sorpong Peou. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2000, Hardcover: 573pp.
Recent studies of Cambodia have extensively focused on democracy building including its challenges as a post-conflict country. In 23 October 1991 is considered the significant turning point and it is the renaissance for Cambodia to develop democracy. This date is the Paris Peace Agreement collectively signed. The United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) was appointed as the central body to implement all tasks stipulated by the Paris Peace Agreement. Among those key goals is to neutralize Cambodia’s politics that have been divisive among different political factions and ideologies. Building the capacity for democracy in Cambodia after the Paris Peace Agreement is the main focus written by Sorpong. In order to reflect the reality of democracy development in Cambodia, Sorpong has turned 90 degrees arguments to draw attention by contrasting many different approaches of his thesis. His work is engrossed and erudite through the combination of the topical, analytical, chronological and descriptive approaches. He put effort to justify his book as not substantially based on quantitative or statistic research, but his approach is academically prevalent. He used democracy development as the independent variable and he precisely included Cambodia’s political anti-democratic behavior, internal political structures, and external intervention as the based dependent variables to secure his debate.
Sorpong Peou presently is the Associate Professor of Political Science at Sophia University in Japan. He received his PhD in York University from Ontario, Canada. His researches interest is International relations in the Pacific Asia, comparative politics of East Asia, collective human security. His written books focusing on Cambodia potentially reflects his academic background in this area and his nationality as a Cambodian-born Canadian accredits his comprehension on Cambodia issues very well. This book is worthy to read for those who seek to read the academic works from Cambodian scholar writing about Cambodia. Sorpong has numerously written many books about Cambodia such as “Cambodia – The 1989 Paris Peace Conference : Background Analysis and Documents” in 1991, “Conflict Neutralization in the Cambodia War: from Battlefield to Ballot-Box” in 1997, “Intervention & Change in Cambodia: Towards Democracy?” in 2000, “Cambodia: Change and Continuity in Contemporary Politics” in 2001, “International Democracy Assistance for Peacebuilding: Cambodia and Beyond” in 2007, “Human Security in East Asia: Challenges for Collaborative Action” in 2008 and other numerous published articles relating Cambodia. So we can agree that Sorpong has well illustrated his expertise on Cambodia.
Continue reading “Anti-Democratic Politics: Book Review”