We Cambodians need to build our friendships, both old and new

Sothea Nim / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
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Dear sir,

The political scene around the world resembles a live soap opera. There’s been so many ups and downs and tonnes of drama. There have been many threats and provocative acts.

US President Donald Trump and the supreme leader of North Korea, Kim Jong-un, have been spewing words at one another up to the point where there is no room left for face saving. The move, made by President Trump, to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and the fierce rhetoric and reaction from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, led by Turkey, has intensified the situation in the Middle East.

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If we keep turning our news feeds on we can easily get depressed.

That said, one thing is that as a member of the Cambodian diaspora, we cannot ignore the progress of the latest political situation in Cambodia. No matter how depressing it sounds, I have to keep my eyes and ears open.

Seeing what is happening, combined with some recent historical accounts, it reminds me that the friendships and global image that Cambodia has built is something that wasn’t built overnight. It was built with strategic policies.

It was built with sweat and blood. It was built with incredible hard work. It surely didn’t happen by accident – it took strategic thinking and maturity to build.

Because of the image that Cambodian leaders have worked hard to restore the country and the number of good friends the nation has fostered over the past 20 years, Cambodia has been able to expand its trading activities. Also, the Cambodian upper classes have greatly benefited from these friendships as have the growing middle class.

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This improved global image has allowed Cambodians to be well integrated and well connected with the outside world.

With the latest resolutions made by the European Union Parliament and the reactions from Prime Minister Hun Sen, it reminds me that friendship is fragile. It’s very difficult to establish and grow, but it’s so easy to break.

When it breaks, it creates wounds, scars, shame and will not be easily restored. It needs some kind of magic touch in order to maintain and continue to grow.

Therefore, I hope the Cambodian people will continue to work hard to maintain the precious friendships and relationships that our leaders have built for us with the outside world. Moreover, I am hoping that Cambodian officials are looking at things strategically and opting to take a balanced approach.

I believe we all have a role to play in order for our country to continue to prosper. We cannot think only of ourselves, but we must think of the greater good.

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We have great leaders. We have good history. We have great success stories. We need to act like we do.

Let’s work hard to maintain the friends that we have and try to build new ones.

Sothea Nim
Independent Analyst
Phnom Penh

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