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A political endgame

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Lately, there has been too much sound-bites and public discourse about the supposed impending return to the country of one fugitive politician.

This coward politician is unfortunately very divisive, astute and manipulative in contemporary Cambodia. His view and approach have been extreme and irresponsible.

His populist politics has somehow gained support from some EU parliamentarians and US congressman and senators, who in their rush to see regime change in Cambodia are blindly throwing their support.

This politician has turned demagogy into a science. He understands how to play to the gallery to garner support from some overseas activists who share the view to see a regime change.

This politician, by announcing November 9 as his supposed date of return, is trying to hijack Cambodia’s Independence Day, which is the legacy of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk.

His strategy is quite simple. He is using rhetoric and portraying himself as the victim of injustice to try to earn sympathetic support.

The Cambodian government should not underestimate the risks to be caused by this politician as he is going to burn the house to boil his egg.

The local authority needs to assess the threat level of this politician and his support network. Preventive measures are urgently needed.

This politician uses external threats and mass protests to challenge the legitimate government. The time has come. The government needs to put an end to this prolonged political drama. The government should adopt a “short-term pain” for a “long-term gain”. There is no gain without pain.

The return of this politician provides an opportunity for the Cambodian government to exercise its authority in accordance with the rule of law to cut the roots of all evils.

Meanwhile the Cambodian people, domestic and foreign investors, and international friends should stay calm and be confident that peace and stability prevail, and economic development continues to thrive.

Dignity, justice and sustainable development are the core foundations of long-term peace and stability. The government should effectively implement the so-called fifth principle “surgery” to fight against corruption and to bring justice and dignity to the people.

It is the responsibility of all Cambodians from all walks of life to stay confident and focus on their task at hand – to build the country together.

Over the past two decades, we have seen empowerment of women, constant seven percent GDP growth, significant poverty reduction, rapid infrastructure development, and enduring stability.

Cambodians do not have an appetite for a violent regime change. They want to see serious, continuous reforms that can improve their livelihood, respect their dignity, and promote fairness and justice in society.

Some politicians and activists, including some foreigners, who seek regime change through violent mass protests and color revolution will realize how effective the government is in mitigating and eliminating potential threats. More importantly, they will learn how strong and resilient Cambodian society is.

It would be a political endgame, once and for all, if the outlawed opposition leaders decide to return to destabilize the country. Some foreigners who buttress this fugitive politician should think twice and back out. It will be a serious business.

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