Khmer Will Party president Kong Monika yesterday clarified that the slogan “positive change” does not mean that the government should be overthrown.
Several political parties, including the now dissolved CNRP, have been using the slogan to push their political message.
Last week, Interior Minister Sar Kheng compared the slogan to the Khmer Rouge’s “year zero”.
Mr Monika made the statement during a KWP anniversary event in Phnom Penh, where he said that positive change does not mean the government should be overthrown.
“Positive change means to make things better, it doesn’t mean the government should be toppled,” he said. “Change means we move a step forward to do better, and that we dare to not be afraid.”
“We should not be afraid to say that we want positive change, as long as these changes are done within the framework of the law and the constitution,” Mr Monika added.
Last week, Mr Kheng called on the public to ignore the slogan.
He said that it reminds him of the Khmer Rouge’s “year zero” notion that aimed to demolish progress in order to rebuild the nation from scratch.
“These words are not hard to use, but the meaning is exactly the same,” Mr Kheng said. “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
During the KWP event, Mr Monika also slammed supporters of the now dissolved CNRP for wanting “positive change”, but did not vote during last year’s election.
“For me, it was a lost opportunity for youths who were unable to join positive change,” he said, noting that 70 percent of Cambodians are youths.
Mr Monika said former CNRP leaders made a strategic blunder when they called on young people to boycott the election last year.
“A few people can’t make positive change in Cambodia, young politicians need to hold office to push and promote democracy and human rights in Cambodia,” he said, adding that CNRP supporters should join the KWP. “Please join the Khmer Will Party because this is a new choice for you all. We can go together to make positive changes in the future.”
During his speech, Mr Monika highlighted KWP’s achievements as a member of the Supreme Consultative Council. Mr Monika said KWP has helped villagers with land disputes, while at the same time going overseas to Japan, Singapore and Brunei to exchange experiences regarding the training of human resources and developing young politicians.