Election Watch by Sophoan: Bias of the media in Cambodia

In conclusion, the media plays vital role to receive free and fair election. The share of time and footage must be equal. The reporters must be in the sate of professionalism and independence. But in Cambodia, the independent reporters have been considered non-existence. Only few foreign media affiliates who are independent but still under fear of reprisal of their news if it is critical to the government or powerful entities. The NEC has no ability to resort independent media at all as this body is likely created by the controller of the media.

 

Democracy couldn’t be mushroomed if the media is not a mean for people to weigh their decision making and social participation.

It is a trustworthy and popular word saying that Cambodia under the leadership of Prime Minister Hun Sen, the media in this country is not neutral and independent. On his term of every full five years, major media including TVs, Radio channels and printing media, have been drumming loudly to support the ruling party. Those reporters must avoid as much as possible to report news critical to the government. Particularly, TV channels of both government-owned TVK and other several private channels have aired every word of Hun Sen’s speech from the beginning to the end without interrupting by ads sport during all events of his speech and participation.

However, during the election campaign, I do hope those traditional practices would be changed and National Election Committee (NEC) can monitor all media not to be biased. Hence, my thought has been changed after watching two video clips available online on the first day of election campaign on 27 June 2013.

First clip is from Cambodia Television Network (CTN) which is a private channel and it is popularly viewed by major Cambodians. The commentator from the main office in Phnom Penh coordinates to different reporters from different locations entire Cambodia. Those local reporters are likely at the same mindset in their reporting that there are only large rally from the CPP, and they don’t see other party organized a rally during their reporting time. The news anchor repeated that it is true that only CPP that has much ability for the campaign; they have a lot of supporters and volunteers. Once, the anchor tried to balance his news by saying that it is normal for the government to have more accessibility and organizing ability more than other parties as same as in Germany and many other countries (sic). Thus, the footage broadcasted the rally of CPP more than other party especially the key rival of this party: CNRP.

The second clip is from TVK, the only one channel considered free media owned by the government using the people’s money (tax collection), but previous times before the national election campaign, this channel has never allowed opposition parties to air their voice at all. Their first news footage on the first day of Election Campaign, the rally footage repeatedly displayed the ruling party (CPP), not the opponent party (CNRP). The volume of footage released to the public for people view is not in the equal sharing level at all.

In conclusion, the media plays vital role to receive free and fair election. The share of time and footage must be equal. The reporters must be in the sate of professionalism and independence. But in Cambodia, the independent reporters have been considered non-existed. Only few foreign media affiliates who are independent but still under fear of reprisal of their news if it is critical to the government or powerful entities. The NEC has no ability to resort independent media at all as this body is likely created by the controller of the media.

Democracy couldn’t be mushroomed if the media is not a mean for people to weigh their decision making and social participation.

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Policy Watch by Sophoan: Economy Policy of the CPP addressed by H.E.Ouk Rabun

Ouk Rabon CPPAfter watching the economy policy of the CPP addressed by H.E.Ouk Rabun who is the permanent member of the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), the address is detailed, clear and well organized. The policy written in the paper is sliced into pieces regarding economy plans if the CPP won election. Of course, if one has anticipated the CPP which is the ruling party since 1997, the policy in each election has not changed much. This election mandate, the CPP has publicly announced that they will carry out the old policy but new implementation approach.

The address in this time, the policy is attractive and achievable, but audience has placed doubts on its political will and concrete implementation. Lesson learned from previous elections, the similar policy has been publicly addressed but after the CPP won, there have been grossly unproductive to what party promised. There are some progress within the policy, but there are many flaws and violations over the policy such as the land concession, the forest management, the non-transparency of mineral and natural resources bidding, the corruption unit which is not independent and neutral in handling with corrupted officials, the widening gap of people’s living standard, the inability to collect national revenue especially tax to use for national development, the inability to pay back debts, the craving for more foreign loan without worrying the future adversity of this country and many more. In contradict to inclusive growth and equity economic development, the CPP has successfully built its strong political patronage for future strength of political power.

While maintaining the political status quo has been well aware among the ruling elites of the CPP, the unfair games in each election have been plentifully produced by the CPP although those games are not abiding by the National Constitution, the Democratic Principles and those games were extremely criticized by the foreign observers.

Thus, I appreciate the paper work of this policy and hope the CPP can implement it accordingly if they won the election. Let stay tune to hear other party’s economy policy.

Don’t forget to caste your vote on July 28, 2013.

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Policy Watch by Sophoan: Economy Policy of the CNRP addressed by H.E.Kem Sokha

After watching the economy policy of CNRP addressed by H.E. Kem Sokha, I do believe this economic policy is tangible on inclusive growth and it is practical, approachable and attainable. However, I would like to encourage H.E.Kem Sokha to address best persons who can operate this economic policy such as H.E. Sam Rainsy who has obtained great degree on financial management and great experience during his term as the minister of finance,

Some capable persons from Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), the largest opposition party that are competing for this 28 July 2013 national election in Cambodia. Photos courtesy: facebook.com
Some capable persons from Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), the largest opposition party that are competing for this 28 July 2013 national election in Cambodia. Photos courtesy: facebook.com

Madame Mu Sochua who has obtained great degree on social work and experience during her post of minister, H.E. Son Chhay who has obtained great knowledge on law and experience in handling with the corruption law, parliamentary etc. and many other capable candidates of CNRP to prove on concrete undertaking of the policy when this party win the election. I am looking forward to hearing the policy of CNRP on other fields such as immigration, rule of laws, freedom of expression and human rights, democracy principles, sovereign integrity, and international relations. Let stay tune to watch policy from other parties.

 

Let go to caste the vote all Khmer compatriots!

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