The soundbites emanating from misguided, cheated and misled supporters for a demagogue should be given serious consideration and attention.
To this end, the orders of Interior Minister Sar Kheng to security forces to be vigilant during the coming Pchun Ben holiday period must be given importance because any slacking in surveillance and letting down of guard, could have catastrophic consequences.
The antagonist and master manipulator, Sam Rainsy, has managed to coerce the overseas Cambodian diaspora to provide funds to facilitate his supposed return.
However, these funds were not allocated to bribe the nation’s security custodians to commit high treason by defecting to wage an illegal war against the country, its constitution and the King.
These are not acts of a nationalist and a self-proclaimed democrat who in reality is a politician who is obsessed with wanting to be prime minister at any cost, including violence and chaos brought about by the only plausible way, forced regime change.
His supporters, overt and covert, should realise that these efforts are destructive because Cambodia’s democracy is predictable, alive and thriving as seen by last year’s general election when invalid or protest votes numbered close to 600,000, or slightly less than 10 percent of the total ballots cast.
This sheer volume of invalid ballots shows that the voters in Cambodia do have the right to cast their votes any way they wished and there was no coercion nor rigging, again because of the sheer number of observers who outnumbered the official staff at most counting stations.
The question that Rainsy’s supporters have failed to ask is “What is the benefit of his return because he has continuously misled his supporters, his benefactors. raised huge sums of money with no accountability and lives a grandiose lifestyle?”
Would his return lead to democracy prospering or the country degenerating into economic, security, social and civil chaos?
Rainsy’s style of political extremism will lead to only one possible outcome, setting the country back in all sectors and derailing the development and prosperity that the nation and the people are enjoying.
He had spurned, in fact “destroyed and left in ashes” the culture of dialogue that was prevalent after the formation of the 2013 government.
Cambodians should realise that the embers of political extremism, if not controlled, will burn all and the persecution will commence, bringing back to mind, the dark days of the genocidal regime.
Rainsy’s insult on His Majesty the King challenges the core legitimacy and nationhood of the country, with the aim to put the whole nation into jeopardy.
Even the supporters of the opposition movement, especially Kem Sokha’s followers, are against the extreme political move of Rainsy.
There will be political turbulence if Rainsy really returns to Cambodia. The authorities should quietly and swiftly arrest him either at the border checkpoint or at the airport, depending on which route he uses. To do this, intelligence sharing with neighbouring countries is critical.
In addition, Sam Rainsy, as in the past, might use ahuman shield to protect him. But it will not be effective since the local political support network of Sam Rainsy has been weakened and disintegrated.
Moreover, Kem Sokha’s faction might take the opportunity to stand up against Sam Rainsy due to political distrust, strategic divergence and the suicidal path taken by the latter.
Rainsy is waging a physiological war of deception. The real political risk for Cambodia is from within. If the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) cannot maintain its unity and fails to win the heart and mind of the people, the legitimacy and authority of the government will collapse and this is what Rainsy is betting on and in fact trying to incite.
It is therefore crucial for the CPP to stay united to fend off any threats to be imposed by external actors. Reforms must be robustly implemented so that the public trust and confidence in the government can be enhanced.
Securing job opportunities for the youth is of national security concern as economic security is critical for national security.
The political turbulence which Rainsy’s supposed return would propagate, might affect investors’ confidence and market performance and economic punishment from the US and the EU . This might affect Cambodia’s export markets. These economic risks will cause political and security risks.
If Cambodia could mitigate these short-term risks, it will prove to the domestic and foreign investors and the general public alike that the regime is resilient and capable of effectively responding to risks.
The Cambodian public and foreign investors should remain calm and continue to have confidence in the leadership of the government in controlling and managing political and security risks.
Rainsy’s impatience, and the drumbeats for forced regime change in Cambodia through any means possible, except the ballot box, will bring Cambodia to a dangerous place where Cambodians have been already.