Khmer Will Party president Kong Monika said on Sunday that now-dissolved party’s “positive change” message does not amount to overthrowing the government.
Speaking during the first year anniversary of KWP founding and congress in Phnom Penh’s headquarters on Sunday, Mr Monika said that some senior CPP officials have interpreted “positive change” rhetoric as overthrowing the government.
“We want to clarify that positive change here means making it better. It does not mean toppling [the government],” Mr Monika said “Change does mean that we move a step forward by doing something better than now. So we are not afraid of saying positive change as long as these changes are carried out within the framework of law and constitution.”
“For my personal opinion, positive change cannot be made by a few politicians aged 60 years or 70, so they could not make positive change in Cambodia but it needs young politicians or next politicians to actively join politics in order to promote democracy and respect of human rights in Cambodia,” he said.
Mr Monika’s remark came after Interior Minister Sar Kheng called on the public to ignore former opposition party rhetoric, comparing the now-dissolved party’s “positive change” message to the Khmer Rouge.
During a speech in Battambang province’s Mong Russei district last week, Mr Kheng said the message reminds him of the Khmer Rouge’s “year zero” political notion that aimed to demolish progress in order to rebuild the nation from scratch.
“Demolishing everything and rebuilding is like Pol Pot’s regime,” Mr Kheng said. “There are some people there who are doing it under the pretense of ‘positive change’.”
.“These words are not hard to use, but the meaning is exactly the same,” Mr Kheng added. “Please don’t rush to believe it. We experienced this very painfully in the past, and now we are developing so we have to continue developing.”