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Cambodia needs collective democracy, not individualist democracy

Chin Malin, Secretary of State and Spokesperson of the Ministry of Justice – would human rights suffer without a holiday to mark it? Photo supplied

Based on social and historical context, Cambodia needs Collective Democracy – Asian-style democracy – which puts collective interests and national interests first, but not the Western-style democracy – Individualist Democracy – which elevates individual rights and interests above [the collective ones].

The remarks were made by Chin Malin, Secretary of State and Spokesperson of the Ministry of Justice in a recent message on his Facebook page in response to some civil society organisations – both national and international – that are still demanding for a break and gatherings to commemorate the Human Rights Day (Dec. 10).

“Would human rights and democracy in Cambodia go down if we did not take a break and come together to observe the Human Rights Day on Dec. 10?” he asked. “How many democratic countries in the world, and especially in our ASEAN region, are taking a day off and coming together to celebrate Human Rights Day on Dec. 10?”

Mr Malin continued that in this hard time of being attacked by COVID-19, those civil society organisations should work together with the government to prevent the community transmission, instead of getting together which can pose a risk to society. “This to ensure the basic right of citizens, i.e. the right to life,” he underlined.

The spokesperson reminded that activities that serve the interests of society and humanity are those promoting human rights, but if they endanger society and humanity, they can be illegal. C. Nika – AKP

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