“Delay Is Preferable To Error”

My dear Kacvey,

Today is 4 January 2021, and you, without a doubt, have heard that the return of the vice-president of the opposition has been postponed to 15 January 2021.

Since the weak strongman in the City of Tonlé Buon Mouk has confirmed that he is a pure selfish coward and funk in refusing to issue entry visa to her and to other members of the opposition to attend the court hearing for which they have been summoned, it is fair to assess that such coward strongman has weighed his dilemma on the scale of risks: no matter what happens, for his political safety, it would be preferable for him, for now, to keep the opposition outside the country, be it in France or the US, by using whatever means available: ugly, illegal, irrational, insane or otherwise; simultaneously, inside the country, he would continue the politics of repression by his goons and injustice by his kangaroos court. He is not that dumb not to know that if the vice-president returned, she would be acclaimed and welcomed like the former oppo No. 1 did in July 2013. The specter of that return combined with the one related to the funerals of Mr. Kem Ley in July 2016 still haunt him day and night, because never in his life he has been recognized, acclaimed, cherished or respected like in those 2 events, albeit 3 years apart. Worst, as of now, the only contact with the people, even his own people, is through the solitary screen of Facebook in his gilded 4-wall palace guarded by thousands of bodyguards.

The following articles are for your students to keep abreast of the fluidity of the situation and to ponder consequently. The letter will be updated as situation evolves:

– RFA, 2 January 2021
ថ្នាក់ដឹកនាំ​គណបក្ស​សង្គ្រោះ​ជាតិ​លើក​ពេល​វិល​ចូល​ស្រុក​ពី​ថ្ងៃ​ទី៤ ទៅ​ថ្ងៃ​ទី​១៥ មករា​វិញ
– Phnom Penh Post, 4 January 2021
Former senior CNRP lawmaker’s return postponed
– VOA, 4 January 2021
មាតុភូមិ​និវត្តន៍​របស់​លោក​ស្រី មូរ សុខហួរ ​ត្រូវ​ជួប​ឧបសគ្គ​ដោយ​ពុំ​ទាន់​បាន​ទិដ្ឋាការ​ប្រភេទ ​K
Cambodian Gov’t Says Mu Sochua Free to Come Back, But Won’t Issue Visa

Is this postponement to 15 January 2021 a blessing in disguise for the opposition or “timeo danaos et dona ferentes” for the coward? Since no mortal can predict the future, it would not be imprudent or injudicious to reflect on the words of:
1) Thomas Jefferson in his letter to George Washington on 16 May 1792: “Delay is preferable to error“, and
2) Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger in his interview with Smithsonian Magazine in November 2010:  “A delay is better than a disaster.”

Stay tuned!

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Update:

1. SEA GLOBE, 5 January 2021
‘Be a leader’: Sochua calls on king to intervene to ensure her return
2. The Diplomat, 7 January 2021
A Letter from a Cambodian Woman in Exile
3. RFA, 8 January 2021
រដ្ឋាភិបាល​ប្រកាន់​ជំហរ​មិន​ផ្តល់​ទិដ្ឋាការ​ឲ្យ​ថ្នាក់​ដឹក​នាំ​បក្ស​ប្រឆាំង​ចូល​ស្រុក​តតាំង​ក្ដី​ក្នុង​តុលាការ​ឡើយ
4. The Diplomat, 11 January 2021
The Cambodian government says it will not grant travel documents to exiles hoping to return to stand trial.
5. RFA, 11 January 2021
មេធាវី​ការពារ​ក្ដី​ឱ្យ​មេ​ដឹក​នាំ​បក្ស​ប្រឆាំង​គ្រោង​ដាក់​លិខិត​ទៅ​តុលាការ​ថ្ងៃ​ទី១២ មករា​ជួយ​អន្តរាគមន៍​អាច​ឱ្យ​កូនក្ដី​ខ្លួន​មាន​វត្តមាន​នៅ​តុលាការ
Opposition Lawyer to Request Court Allow Clients Entry to Cambodia to Face Charges
6- Thmey Thmey, 13 January 2021
លោកស្រី មួរ សុខ​ហួរ ស្នើសុំ​ព្រះមហាក្សត្រ​អន្តរាគមន៍​លើ​រដ្ឋាភិបាល ​ឱ្យ​ខ្លួន​ចូល​ស្រុកវិញ​ ដើម្បីតតាំងរឿងក្តី
7- RFI, 16 January 2021
ដំណើរមាតុភូមិនិវត្តន៍របស់ថ្នាក់ដឹកនាំអតីតគណបក្សប្រឆាំង ទទួលបរាជ័យជាលើកទីពីរ
លោក​ស្រី មូរ សុខហួរ ទាមទារ​រក​យុត្តិធម៌ ក្រោយ​ត្រូវ​ក្រុមហ៊ុន​អាកាសចរណ៍​បដិសេធ​មិន​ឲ្យ​ឡើង​យន្តហោះ

There was 9 November 2019. Now, it’s 4 January 2021

My dear Kacvey,

You’re certainly aware of the planned return from the US of the vice-president of the opposition party to the City of Tonlé Buon Mouk on 4 January 2021. If you are, local media comments, analysis, opinions can’t escape your attention. That being said, you must now be waiting for the reaction of the weak strongman: Would he behave the same way as he did on 8-9 November 2019 when the oppo No. 1 was returning from Paris via Bangkok and then changed to Malaysia, such as: threatening to arrest him as soon as he stepped his feet on Khmer land, threatening international airlines, pressuring neighboring ASEAN governments not to let him in their country, mobilizing thousands of bodyguards, soldiers and policemen, deployment of tanks, missiles, heavy artillery and machine guns near the borders and at airports?

Nobody is surprised anymore if that would happen again! Fear of losing power is the food that the weak strongman feeds himself every time he breathes.

But thing is different this time around: the vice-president of the opposition volunteered to return at her own “known and expected” risk and peril in direct response to the subpoena issued to her to appear at the court on criminal charges. The first questions are: Will the weak strongman allow his sycophantic embassy if Washington DC to issue entry visa to Cambodia to her on her US passport? Would he have political courage to allow that to happen and be enough of a man to be face-to-face with the opposition of the opposite sex?

Meanwhile, your attention is drawn to these two articles where the position of the US ambassador to Cambodia is very clear and unambiguous:
VOA, 18 December 2020
សហរដ្ឋ​អាមេរិក ប្រាប់​កម្ពុជា​ឱ្យ​គោរព​និង​ទទួល​សំឡេង​ប្រឆាំង
U.S. Ambassador Questions Cambodia’s Single-Party Parliament, Attacks on Dissent

Time will tell what will happen on that 4 January 2021 at Pochentong airport in front of world television cameras and thousands smart phones. History tells that the Pol Pot KR and his brain-washed subalterns were not afraid of inflicting fatality or injury to innocent Khmer, as testified by the torture instruments and photos left in S-21 and the skulls in Choeung Ek. Will the weak strongman issue order to his thousands bodyguards, soldiers and policemen to arrest the single unarmed lady after her deplaning?

What other alternatives would the weak strongman have? One ploy that he has been recently using and quite often is to let the judges who are under his power grip to find any excuse, lame or otherwise, to postpone the hearing again and again. So doing, postponement saves his cowardliness and spinelessness.

Kacvey, this letter will be updated with any development that will occur between now and 4 January 2021.

=====
Update:

– RFA, 2 January 2021
ថ្នាក់ដឹកនាំ​គណបក្ស​សង្គ្រោះ​ជាតិ​លើក​ពេល​វិល​ចូល​ស្រុក​ពី​ថ្ងៃ​ទី៤ ទៅ​ថ្ងៃ​ទី​១៥ មករា​វិញ
– Phnom Penh Post, 4 January 2021
Former senior CNRP lawmaker’s return postponed
– VOA, 4 January 2021
មាតុភូមិ​និវត្តន៍​របស់​លោក​ស្រី មូរ សុខហួរ ​ត្រូវ​ជួប​ឧបសគ្គ​ដោយ​ពុំ​ទាន់​បាន​ទិដ្ឋាការ​ប្រភេទ ​K

The Three Kingdoms

My dear Kacvey,

Please do not be alarmed by the title of this letter; it has nothing to do with the classic “Romance of the Three Kingdoms” 三国演义 with states of Wei 魏, Shu 漢 and Wu 吳, nor with Liu Bei 刘备, Cao Cao 曹操, Zhu Geliang 诸葛亮, Zhang Fei 张飞 or Guan Yu 关羽 etc… It is rather about the three kingdoms in current Southeast Asia, and on the way how each suzerain, in dealing with or governing his people, is seen in contemporary time through media.

Numerous articles have been written about the suzerains of these three kingdoms that you and your students could easily find in google for expansive information. However only 3 articles have been chosen as a base for discussion in this letter.

Malaysia
Reuters, 25 October 2020
Malaysia’s king rejects emergency rule in blow to PM Muhyiddin

Thailand
The New York Times, 18 November 2020
‘Now, We Fight Face to Face’: Thailand’s Protests Shatter Taboos
Reuters, 18 December 2020
The last taboo

Cambodia
Radio Free Asia, 21 October 2020
ឧត្ដម​ទីប្រឹក្សា​ផ្ទាល់​នៃ​ព្រះមហាក្សត្រ ថ្លែង​ថា ព្រះរាជា​បច្ចុប្បន្ន ដូច​ជាប់​ឃុំ​ក្នុង​វាំង ព្រោះ​ស្ថាប័ន​រដ្ឋាភិបាល
Radio Free Asia, 30 October 2020
“រដ្ឋាភិបាល​មិន​បាន​គាំទ្រ​ព្រះមហាក្សត្រ​បំពេញ​ព្រះរាជ តួនាទី​ពេញលេញ​តាម​រដ្ឋធម្មនុញ្ញ”

Your students should be suggested to conduct a comparative study on the difference in way the suzerains reign over and rule their subjects. Today’s news from Sweden could give some impetus to the thinking when the Swedish monarch, as reported in Business Insider, openly said: “I think we have failed. We have a large number who have died, and that is terrible

This brings us to recall 1) what the Proverbs of Solomon said: “In the multitude of people is the king’s honor; but in the want of people is the destruction of the prince”, and 2) what Bhumibol Adulyadej, king of Thailand, once said about himself: “I am not afraid if the criticism concerns what I do wrong, because then I know. Because if you say the King cannot be criticized, it means that the King is not human.”

Please let us know when they complete their homework!

=====
Update:

1. Asia Times, 12 January 2021
Does Cambodia have a ‘puppet king’?

Chickens Under State of Emergency

My dear Kacvey,

Do you still love chicken for your meal?
If so, watch out for the price increase in the market as one of poultry farm owner was arrested because the weak strongman, who seems to be in total delusion, associated himself with chickens that are being domestically raised.

Your students and you should be wondering what would Juvenal, Horace, Persius or Seneca the Younger think if they lived to read these 2 articles:

1) VOD, 14 December 2020
Covid-19 ‘Chicken’ Commentary Lands Phnom Penh Man in Prison
https://vodenglish.news/covid-19-chicken-commentary-lands-phnom-penh-man-in-prison/, and

2) VOA, 14 December 2020
Agribusiness Owner Jailed After Poultry Commentary on Hun Sen’s Speech
https://www.voacambodia.com/a/agribusiness-owner-jailed-after-poultry-commentary-on-hun-sen-speech-/5698670.html

Such behavior by the weak strongman is a sign common to all dictators who fear the specter of the end of their reign. Donning the plumage of the chicken, the weak strongman fears the fox that is lurching behind the wall of the coop.

Like Yuval Noah Harari said: “The domesticated chicken is probably the most widespread bird in the annals of planet Earth. If you measure success in terms of numbers, chickens, cows and pigs are the most successful animals ever”, it’s very easy to conclude that chicken, imaginary or real, will ultimately end up in the pot of “sngaur moan” or in the fox jaws.

Could his crystal eyeball see himself, soon, in one of those two places?

Delusion is human sickness, ex-KR or otherwise.

Summit for Democracy

My dear Kacvey,

Please keep these two articles in your archives and wait until it happens to see whether the weak strongman that has become Cambodian most corrupt autocrat would make the list:

1. Foreign Affairs: Why America Must Lead Again – Rescuing U.S. Foreign Policy After Trump by Joseph R. Biden, Jr., and
2. Politico: Are you on the list? Biden’s democracy summit spurs anxieties — and skepticism by Nahal Toosi.

Justice Thurgood Marshall, once, wrote: “Where you see wrong or inequality or injustice, speak out, because this is your country. This is your democracy. Make it. Protect it. Pass it on.”

How the Future of the Ruins of Angkor Wat is Ruined

My dear Kacvey,

First the weak strongman has crowned himself as the Chéy Chétha of the 21st century by vassalizing himself and the country to the foreigner that supported him since 7 January 1979 by progressively sliding Cambodia into a New Kampuchea Krom.

As this has not been enough for him to destroy Cambodia, he not only re-vassalizes the country to a second foreigner but also destroys the culture and heritage that ancient Cambodia has left since its creation.

This letter is not only to document the flow of events that will help your students to understand how the ex-KR continues the legacy of his mentor Pol Pot in destroying Cambodia horizontally and vertically but also to push your students to think and to act on how to stop this evil deeds against Khmer people, country and culture. It is clear as daylight in mid-July that the weak strongman doesn’t care what will happen to Cambodia as far as his present time and life is concerned, as he has shown no interests at all for Cambodia but instead he serves foreign interests that generously enrich him, his tribesmen and his sycophantic scums with power and money. To paraphrase Ken Frydman in his New York Daily News column: “Rudy’s bitter end: A former friend and staffer tracks the mayor’s sad decline”, it all comes down to the bottom line: “But, he’s said, he doesn’t care about his legacy because, “I’ll be dead.”

Your students might ask:
– Have Egyptians allowed a hotel to be built 500 meters from the Pyramids?
– Chinese, from the Great Wall?
– Indians, from the Taj Mahal?
– U.S. citizens, from the Grand Canyon or Bryce Canyon, or inside the Navajo National Park, or in Utah’s Red Rock Country?
– Australians, from Uluru or on the Whitehaven Beach?
– Peruvians, from the Inca citadel of Machu Pichu?
– Guatemalans, from the Pyramids of Tikal?
– Mexicans, from the Pyramids of Chichén Itzá or La Iglesia of Coba?
– French, inside Parc du Chateau de Versailles?
– U.K. citizens, from Stonehenge?

This letter is dynamic as it will be updated as news develops:

1. Inside Asian Gaming, 16 November 2020
NagaCorp to build US$350 million non-gaming resort near Cambodia’s Angkor Wat

2. VOD, 17 November 2020
NagaCorp Plans ‘Angkor Lake of Wonder’ Theme Park Resort in Siem Reap

3. Phnom Penh Post, 17 November 2020
NagaCorp set to build $350M non-gaming IR resort in Siem Reap

4. VOD, 20 November 2020
Hun Sen’s Land Intervention Cleared Path for Naga’s Angkor Resort

5. RFA, 21 November 2020
អាជ្ញាធរ​ជាតិ​អប្សរា​ថា គម្រោង​វិនិយោគ​របស់​ក្រុមហ៊ុន​ណាហ្គាខប មិន​ប៉ះពាល់​ដី​ឧទ្យាន​ជាតិ​អង្គរ

6. RFA, 22 November 2020
ទស្សនៈ​ពលរដ្ឋ​ចំពោះ​គម្រោង​វិនិយោគ​របស់​ក្រុមហ៊ុន​ណាហ្គាខប នៅ​ជិត​តំបន់​អង្គរ

7. RFA, 23 November 2020
Planned Theme Park Poses Risks to Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, Culture: Residents, NGOs

8. ASEAN Today, 27 November 2020
Cambodia’s Angkor Wat to see new theme park and resort by casino firm NagaCorp

9. Courrier international, 30 novembre 2020
Sacrilège.Attention à la création d’un parc de loisirs à proximité d’Angkor Wat

10. VOD, 18 January 2021
NagaCorp CEO Gains Cambodian Citizenship

Culture, once destroyed, can never be rebuilt.

Delegation of authority? ប្រគល់​ការងារ?

My dear Kacvey,

First, let acquaint ourselves with this reporting:
RFI, 7 November 2020
លោក ហ៊ុន សែន ប្រគល់​ការងារ​សង្គម​ទៅ​លោក ស ខេង ខណៈទំនាក់​ទំនង​អន្តរជាតិប្រគល់​ទៅ លោក អូន ព័ន្ធមុនីរ័ត្ន

Just wondering whether you have seen any strange things happening in the way the weak strongman “delegated” his authority while he is in self-quarantine after being in close contact with Peter, the Hungarian super-spreader on 3 November 2020.

1) Why being in self-quarantine would be an impediment to be in video conference if he is healthy and tested negative or not incapacitated?

2) Did he “delegate” his authority the many times in the past that he was overseas either on official trips or for medical treatments?

Kacvey, please keep your ears to the ground!

The Hungarian Super Spreader

My dear Kacvey,

Were you invited to meet the Hungarian Péter Szijjártó who was on a flash visit in the City of Tonlé Buon Mouk? If you were you have to read this letter while in voluntary quarantine, … and listening to Frank Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsodies!

If you weren’t, the links below will tell you how the visit ended up and the souvenir that the visitor left behind for the weak strongman. While you’ll be reading them, chances are that you certainly recall the Westerdam saga in Kg Som on 13-14 February 2020 where the weak strongman played superman with no fear of the corona virus.

The list will be updated as availability of info happens.

France 24, 4 November 2020
Hungarian minister tests positive for virus on Southeast Asia tour

Asia Times, 4 November 2020
Hungarian minister tests positive in Southeast Asia

Associated Press, 4 November 2020
Hungary’s Foreign Minister Tests Positive For Coronavirus

Remix, 4 November 2020
Hungarian FM Szijjártó has coronavirus, isolated in Bangkok hospital

Thmey Thmey, 4 November 2020
សម្តេច ហ៊ុន សែន ដាក់ខ្លួននៅដាច់ដោយឡែក ក្រោយជួបរដ្ឋមន្ត្រីការបរទេសហុងគ្រីដែលមានកូវីដ-១៩

Channel News Asia, 4 November 2020
Hungary’s foreign minister tests positive for COVID-19 after arriving in Thailand

VOA, 4 November 2020
ក្រោយ​ចេញ​ពី​កម្ពុជា រដ្ឋមន្ត្រី​ការ​បរទេស​ហុងគ្រី​តេស្ដ​វិជ្ជមាន​កូវីដ​១៩

Euro News, 4 November 2020
Hungary’s foreign minister tests positive for coronavirus while on state visit to Thailand

RFI, 4 November 2020
លោកនាយករដ្ឋមន្ដ្រីហ៊ុន សែន និងអ្នកពាក់ព័ន្ធជិតស្និទ្ធមានលទ្ធផលតេស្តអវិជ្ជមានកូវីដ១៩

Bangkok Post – 4 November 2020
Hungarian foreign minister tests positive on arrival in Bangkok

VOA, 5 November 2020
មនុស្ស​ជាង​៦០០​នាក់ ធ្វើ​តេស្ត​កូវីដ លទ្ធផល​អវិជ្ជមាន ក្រោយ​ប្រាស្រ័យ​ទាក់ទង​ជាមួយ​រដ្ឋមន្រ្តី​ហុងគ្រី
Hundreds Test Negative After Coming in Contact with Infected Hungarian Minister

VOD, 5 November 2020
Official Says Hungarian Delegation, Foreign Ministry Asked for No Masks

RFI, 5 November 2020
ក្រសួងសុខាភិបាល៖អ្នកប៉ះពាល់ជាមួយរដ្ឋមន្រ្តីការបរទេសហុងគ្រីមាន៦២៨នាក់ ប៉ុន្តែសុទ្ធតែតេស្តអវិជ្ជមានទាំងអស់

RFA, 5 November 2020
លោក ហ៊ុន សែន ត្រូវ​​ក្រុង​ក្នុង​ផ្ទះ ១៤​ថ្ងៃ ក្រោយ​ជួប​រដ្ឋមន្ត្រី​ការបរទេស​ហុងគ្រី ដែល​ផ្ទុក​កូវីដ១៩

VOA, 6 November 2020
មនុស្ស​ជាង​២០០​នាក់​ទៀត ធ្វើ​តេស្ត​កូវីដ លទ្ធផល​អវិជ្ជមាន ក្រោយ​ប្រាស្រ័យ​ទាក់ទង​ជាមួយ​រដ្ឋមន្រ្តី​ហុងគ្រី

RFI, 6 November 2020
លោក ហ៊ុន សែន ព្រមានពីការផ្ទុះកូវីដ១៩ នៅកណ្ដាលទីក្រុង ប្រសិនបើការធ្វើចត្តាឡីស័កមានភាពខ្ជីខ្ជា

RFA, 7 November 2020
លោក ហ៊ុន សែន ព្រមាន​ពី​ការ​ផ្ទុះ​រាលដាល​ជំងឺ​កូវីដ១៩ ក្នុង​សហគមន៍ បើ​ធ្វេសប្រហែស​ក្នុង​ពេល​ធ្វើ​ចត្តាឡឺស័ក

RFI, 7 November 2020
លោក ហ៊ុន សែន ប្រគល់​ការងារ​សង្គម​ទៅ​លោក ស ខេង ខណៈទំនាក់​ទំនង​អន្តរជាតិប្រគល់​ទៅ លោក អូន ព័ន្ធមុនីរ័ត្ន

San Francisco Chronicle, 8 November 2020
Cambodia shuts schools in capital area as virus precaution

RFI, 8 November 2020
លោក ហ៊ុន សែន៖ លទ្ធផលវិជ្ជមានកូវីដ១៩លើអង្គរក្សខ្មែរ គឺជាបញ្ហាធ្ងន់ធ្ងរបំផុត

Phnom Penh Post, 8 November 2020
PM: Covid situation in Cambodia ‘alarming’

Straits Times, 9 November 2020
A*Star researchers simulate how droplets fly when a Covid-19 patient coughs without a mask

Thmey Thmey, 9 November 2020
លោក សួស យ៉ារ៉ា, ទូតហុងគ្រីនៅកម្ពុជា និង​មន្ត្រីកសិកម្មឆ្លងកូវីដ-១៩ពីរដ្ឋមន្ត្រីហុងគ្រី

VOD, 9 November 2020
Three More Found With Covid-19 in Second Tests After Hungarian Visit

Cambodianess, 9 November 2020
Three More Test Positive for COVID-19 After Contact with Hungarian Foriegn Minister

Phnom Penh Post, 10 November 2020
PM urges calm in wake of ‘November 3 event’

UCA News, 10 November 2020
Cambodia acts after bodyguard tests positive for Covid-19

U.S. News & World Report,11 November 2020
Cambodia Bans State-Organized Events in Capital Over Virus

The Guardian, 11 November 2020
Cambodian PM isolating after Covid outbreak linked to Hungarian minister

VOD, 12 November 2020
Foreign Minister Defends Szijjarto, Citing Hungary’s Support on EBA
PM’s Assistant Asks ‘What Did I Do Wrong?’ After Dozens Quarantined

RFA, 14 November 2020
មន្ត្រី​ការបរទេស​ហុងគ្រី ថា​រឿង​មិន​ពាក់​ម៉ាស់ គឺ​នាំអាទិ៍​មកពី​ខាង​ភាគី​កម្ពុជា

Let us ponder on a few things just to satisfy our own curiosity:
– Was the visitor tested before arriving in Pochentong?
– Were the Pochentong airport or government officials given the test results before deplaning?
– If the visitor was tested positive in Bangkok after an hour flight from Pochentong, did he get it before boarding the plane or in the plane?
– If he got it before boarding the plane, did he get it while in contact with maskless hosts, himself being maskless, or did he get it even before landing in Pochentong?
– Now, the weak strongman and his tribesmen are “self-quarantined”, but in such an autocratic regime, who dare control or verify whether or not they abide by the health requirements?
– Is this the way diplomacy is conducted between two ex-communist-turned-autocratic regimes?
– What type of friend is this, who came and went without telling that he tested positive and left with a “quarantine” souvenir for the host and his entourage?
– This whole enchilada reminds of this article by The Washington Post.
– More than 800 people, including ministers and high-ranked government officials, were estimated to be “in close contact” with the guest. Could it be statistically possible that none of these 800 people were tested positive? And what if the weak strongman, an ex-heavy smoker, were tested positive, would the public be informed?

How this will play out in the weeks or months to come is everybody’s guess, but one thing is certain, “something” will have to happen either in the Magyar capital or in the City of Tonlé Buon Mouk, as this fits exactly what Dr. Anthony Fauci has said: “A pandemic influenza would mean widespread infection essentially throughout every region of the world.”

The corona virus does not carry any passport, either Cambodian or Hungarian. It flies with and inside whom who flies.

“We may have to cut loose the two to save the eight”

My dear Kacvey

A bombshell of news exploded on 24 October 2020 by an article published by “Mothership” in Singapore. You and your students will discover its content on your own through this link: Bilahari Kausikan: Asean may have to cut members if they continue to be led by an external power – True neutrality means taking positions based on your own interests, and not allowing others to define your interests for you.
https://mothership.sg/2020/10/bilahari-asean-china/

That article by Bilahari Kausikan drew different reactions from inside and outside Cambodia as follows:

Fresh News, 27 October 2020
Open Letter: A Singaporean Wolf Warrior Is Destroying ASEAN Unity and Centrality
http://en.freshnewsasia.com/index.php/en/localnews/19862-2020-10-27-09-23-34.html

Asia Times. 28 October 2020
Time to boot Cambodia out of ASEAN

South China Morning Post, 28 October 2020
Bilahari Kausikan dismisses claims he is an ‘agent’, after hinting Asean should expel Cambodia, Laos over Chinese influence
https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/politics/article/3107483/bilahari-dismisses-claims-he-agent-after-hinting-asean-should

The Straits Times, 29 October 2020
Retired Singapore diplomat Bilahari Kausikan dismisses claims by Cambodia of being agent to foreign power
https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/politics/retired-singapore-diplomat-dismisses-claims-by-cambodia-of-being-agent-to-foreign

Phnom Penh Post, 28 October 2020
‘No chance Cambodia booted out of ASEAN’
https://www.phnompenhpost.com/national-politics/no-chance-cambodia-booted-out-asean

The Diplomat, 29 October 2020
Could ASEAN Really Cut Laos and Cambodia Loose?
https://thediplomat.com/2020/10/could-asean-really-cut-laos-and-cambodia-loose/

VOA, 30 October 2020
មន្ត្រី​ជាន់​ខ្ពស់​កម្ពុជា​ប្រតិកម្ម​នឹង​សំណើ​ឱ្យ​ដក​កម្ពុជា​ចេញ​ពី​អាស៊ាន​ថា​ជា​«គំនិត​បង្ក​ហេតុ»
https://khmer.voanews.com/a/hun-sen-aide-hit-back-at-proposal-to-boot-cambodia-out-of-asean/5641659.html

The list will be updated with additional reactions as they become known.

Kacvey, as you now have perused all the above, some hard questions will certainly be thrown at you by your students. Let just prepare the possible or plausible questions:
– Why did Bilahari Kausikan raise this issue in an open public forum?
– Why at this time when the multifaceted relations between the US and China are at the lowest level: US elections, world pandemic (causes and consequences), trade war espionage, and South China Sea?
– Why at this time when the US State Secretary and the Chinese Foreign Affaires are crisscrossing Asean and Indian subcontinent capitals?
– Is there or is there not an imaginary relation between what Bilahari Kausikan said with the issues of Dara Sakor and Ream seen from the regional and global perspectives and eyes?
– Would it also draw reactions by Asean and non-Asean “officials”, observers, academicians, strategists or press commentators?
– Does the weak strongman have enough intellectual, cultivated and polyhistoric ammunitions to directly challenge or fire back at Bilahari Kausikan’s arguments through conventional channels and not on the screen of his Facebook page in Khmer?
– By discussing “Cambodia”, would Bilahari Kaisaukan mean Cambodia as a nation or its current autocratic leader that has Chinafied Cambodia? Would Bilahari Kausikan review his opinion if Cambodia is under different leadership and politics in the future?

Hope your students drill you to the core, and for those who are not interested, they should read what Plato, once wrote: “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors” and Dante Alighieri: “The darkest places in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of moral crisis.”

=====

Update:

Fresh News, 30 October 2020
Cambodian Journalist Recalls Bilahari, Former Singaporean Diplomat