Regards the opinion piece in Khmer Times published August 22 and written by Chheang Vannarith suggesting there are two camps – one positive, the other negative – over Cambodia’s handling of the recent border dispute with Laos beggars belief and is the stuff of a Disneyland script writer.
There is no negative team. I am an independent journalist and I pride myself on being objective and honest. As for the offending quote, there is not one political party in Cambodia, or elsewhere for that matter, which would not be aware when an election year is at hand.
Nor would any political leader of any party, including Hun Sen, “shy away from flexing their muscles at home and abroad on issues that they deem central to a victory at the polls”.
It’s normal. It’s what politicians do.
Hun Sen was correct in his handling of the Laos border dispute, he met the expectations of an electorate that wants its sovereign borders secured and does not want to see a repeat of the events of 2008 when Bangkok sent its troops across the border and into Preah Vihear.
To suggest anything else is insipid, to lump an independent journalist into a “negative team” alongside an opposition politician is stupid – and in the scenario badly crafted by Chheang Vannarith smacks of bullying, verging on a public threat.
Chheang Vannarith should be reminded he is potentially libellous, should stop trying to ingratiate himself with the ruling party at other people’s expense while the editors at the Khmer Times, for the sake of transparency, should say exactly who he is and who he works for.
I ran this piece past my own CPP sources over a morning coffee. They didn’t get it either and may I suggest the next time Chheang Vannarith feels the need to write and head down such a path that he checks in with those he is trying to impress first. After all, that is what flacks normally do.