Media around the world are crying foul over the takeover of The Phnom Penh Post, the oldest English-language newspaper in Cambodia.
However, while they were reporting on the government’s alleged attack on free press, citing the alleged forced closure of The Cambodia Daily and now the change of ownership of The Phnom Penh Post, they failed to point out the fact that previous owners of The Post had the easy way out by opting to sell the paper while painting the government in a negative image.
In reality, this is nothing but an attack on Cambodia’s tax regime and the Kingdom’s judiciary and by virtue of this, an attack on the country. Any attempts to link the sale to the forthcoming election in July is simply a case of misrepresentation, for which the publishing license of The Post should have been revoked.
As the oldest paper, it was riding a wave of supposed fierce editorial independence to attack the Khmer Times and along with it, government officials, corporations and others in a fraudulent attempt to hide their insidious attempts to defraud the government of tax revenue and deceive the general public, not only in Cambodia, but around the world by claiming it was the last remaining bastion of a free press in Cambodia.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Any attempts to paint itself as the last remaining bastion of a free press in Cambodia is deceitful and misleading.
An investigation into The Post’s affairs for several months showed a systematic path of deceit and chicanery which kept the government at bay for fear of negative publicity in the wake of The Cambodia Daily’s closure.
When social media was not sympathetic to their cause and their veiled attempts at peddling a forced closure failed, corporate greed set in and they decided to sell the paper which supposedly had a 26-year legacy of defending free press.
While Khmer Times sympathised with the ex-staff of The Cambodia Daily as they had families to feed and were left without any recourse due to the abrupt voluntary closure by its owners, Khmer Times feels no such sympathy for The Post as it had relied on venomous personal and degrading attacks on this paper as well as anyone connected to it in a vain attempt to prevent advertisers from placing their adverts in this paper.
It also demonised the publisher and anyone even remotely associated with the paper, such as personalities giving interviews to Khmer Times and not to them.
Given all of the above facts, The Phnom Penh Post is not the last remaining independent English paper in Cambodia. On the contrary, it is the oldest paper in Cambodia which thrived on half-truths, fake news, sensationalism, and covert support in a vain attempt to stay relevant in Cambodia.
Au revoir Phnom Penh Post.