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One should not over react to another’s myopic outdated views on Cambodia and Asean

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The ASEAN flag (R) leads the flags of the 10-member countries. AFP

Of late, especially in the past week, many senior government officials, academicians, commentators and analysts have lashed out at the comments made by a former has-been diplomat of an Asean country. This is despite the nation’s struggles to overcome national calamities such as floods, massive losses of crops, huge damages to infrastructure, the double economic whammy of partial loss of EBA and compounded by the global economic slowdown brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Khmer Times is of the opinion that these views are disproportionate overreaction to an egregious commentary about Cambodia. It is odd for some to find the time to do so; surely our officials have got more pressing matters to attend to.

This single delusional retired diplomat’s outdated perspective and myopic opinion ought not to have elicited, much less justified such a strong deluge of emotional reactions from a sitting government that has the mandate of the Cambodian people, regardless of the latter’s political inclination and worldview, or whether they are politically agnostic or atheistic.

This is all the more so when the person is no longer a civil servant, and certainly not a politician as some have sensationally alleged through an overly creative stretch of imagination or perhaps to pander to the growing establishment paranoia, not realising it only serves to feed this silly disconnect opinionated view of the individual unnecessary oxygen and limelight.

If this unwarranted attention given to a stray commentary is indeed justified, then might not it also be a signal to other governments, think-tanks, NGOs, CSOs and academics around the world that former politicians of the Kingdom of Cambodia, especially those who once held significant political offices in the Royal Government, should then henceforth and forevermore be given due recognition for their wayward and scurrilous views and self-serving mischievous opinions too?

Many diplomats and members of the international community have come to realise, most belatedly but subsequently to accept, that these former politicians do not represent the views of the government, military or even the people however eloquent, flamboyant or bombastic they may be perceived to be.

Should our establishment also not then give this retired civil servant of a fellow ASEAN member state his due, by ignoring him as his comments and views are not congruent or in keeping with the efforts and resources that the respective diplomats, officials, ministries and agencies have been investing into the newer member states for the sake of ASEAN centrality, unity and solidarity?

In the same proverbial vein, it is also ludicrous for those trying to vilify and nullify this selfish individual’s views to instead elevate his ‘status’ by giving him a catchy and flattering moniker – wolf warrior.

This flies against all logic, tactic or strategy of any public communications, which only suggests there is none. It further defies common sense for other commentators and self-proclaimed nationalists to now belatedly jump on the bandwagon to add to this flattery, by proclaiming he was a politician, the mouthpiece of a friendly government, and all sorts of unhelpful claims that if any of those opportunists had genuine contacts and sources to verify, would have known that these fantastical imaginings are rubbish at best or embellished and wildly exaggerated at worst.

They have in fact done this government and country a great disservice by being complicit in fulfilling the agenda of this ‘lone wolf’; if their labelling of the latter is correct, then they themselves would be the silly sheeps led to the slaughterhouse by their own aimless and senseless bleating.

Let’s all stop feeding oxygen to this spark of insignificance. Some have overreacted and fanned it into bigger flames, but what really defies logic is not this individual of inconsequence, but the selfish panderers who abet and seem determined to provide fuel to build it into an out-of-control firestorm, all the while hiding behind a false veil of being a ‘patriot’.

To what selfish ends, one should wonder.

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One should not over react to another’s myopic outdated views on Cambodia and Asean