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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

The Straits Times, 29 October 2020
Retired Singapore diplomat Bilahari Kausikan dismisses claims by Cambodia of being agent to foreign power

Phnom Penh Post, 28 October 2020
‘No chance Cambodia booted out of ASEAN’

The Diplomat, 29 October 2020
Could ASEAN Really Cut Laos and Cambodia Loose?

VOA, 30 October 2020

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.”



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

Prisonnier de l’Ancien Khmer Rouge

My dear Kacvey,

You certainly recall this French book by Sihanouk: “Prisonnier des Khmers rouges” (ISBN:978-2010121845) published in 1986.

Hope your students remember and make connection between:
1) Sihanouk’s birthday and Halloween: 31 October, and
2) the following two reporting by Radio Free Asia and Sihanouk’s book title:
– ឧត្ដមទីប្រឹក្សាផ្ទាល់នៃព្រះមហាក្សត្រ ថ្លែងថា ព្រះរាជាបច្ចុប្បន្ន ដូចជាប់ឃុំក្នុងវាំង ព្រោះស្ថាប័នរដ្ឋាភិបាល
រដ្ឋាភិបាលមិនបានគាំទ្រព្រះមហាក្សត្របំពេញព្រះរាជ តួនាទីពេញលេញតាមរដ្ឋធម្មនុញ្ញ

There currently are so many innocent people who get arrested and jailed by the police and justice that are in the autocratic hands of the weak strongman. They are arrested and jailed for the peaceful and non-violent exercise of their freedom of political expression. Isn’t then there a commonality between the suzerain and the people: suzerain and subjects being prisoners of the same and one regime?

If the quote attributed to Jayavarman VII: “The suffering of my people is my suffering” is true, shouldn’t the suzerain and the people join hands to free themselves from the prison? How and what would and could the suzerain do to elevate the above quote to be: “The suffering of the suzerain is the people’s suffering”?

Kacvey, can this passage from Exodus 3:7 “And the Lord said, “I have surely seen the affliction of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows” help your students to ponder on this miserable matter in the City of Tonlé Buon Mouk?

1. A glimpse at the Sultan of Malaysia (pour mémoire)
Bloomberg: Malaysia’s Once-Peripheral King Emerges as Major Political Force

2. South China Morning Post, 29 November 2020
Why Cambodia’s royals need close China ties that are separate from Hun Sen’s government

When Qu Yuan Met The Old Fisherman

My dear Kacvey,

Here is a very ancient Chinese tale that Chinese of every generation, educated or otherwise, since that time knows by heart. You may wish to share it with your students as a lesson of righteousness, integrity and rectitude. It is out of this tale that were borne the origins of both, the sticky rice dumplings 粽子 (glutinous rice stuffed with different fillings and wrapped in bamboo leaves) and the Duanwu Festival 端午节 (Double Fifth Festival), also known as the “Dragon Boat Festival” celebrated on every 5 May.

In the “Songs of the South 楚辭”, the tale was titled “The Old Fisherman 渔父” and goes as follows:
“After Qu Yuan was banished, he wandered, sometimes along the river’s banks, sometimes along the marsh’s edge, singing as he went. His expression was dejected and his features emaciated.

“An old fisherman caught sight of him. “Are not you the Lord of the Three Wards?” said the fisherman. “What has brought you to this pass?”

“Because all the world is muddy and I alone am clear,” said Qu Yuan, “and because all men are drunk and I alone am sober, I have been sent into exile.”

“The Wise Man is not chained to material circumstances,” said the old fisherman, “but can move as the world moves. If all the world is muddy, why not help them to stir up the mud and beat up the waves? And if all men are drunk, why not sup their dregs and swill their lees? Why get yourself exiled because of your deep thoughts and your fine aspirations?”

“Qu Yuan replied, “I have heard it said: “He who has just washed his hair should brush his hat; and he who has just bathed should shake his clothes.” How can I submit my spotless purity to the dirt of others? I would rather cast myself into the waters of the river and be buried in the bowels of fishes, than hide my shining light in the dark and dust of the world.”

“The old fisherman, with a faint smile, struck his paddle in the water and made off. And as he went he sang:
When the Cang Lang’s waters are clear,
I can wash my hat-strings in them;
When the Cang Lang’s waters are muddy,
I can wash my feet in them.

“With that he was gone, and did not speak again.”

Here is the Chinese text:


Abandoning Multilateralism for Shackled Bilateralism

My dear Kacvey,

At the opening of the general debate at the United Nations 75th General Assembly on Tuesday 22 September 2020, the Phnom Penh Post reporter Niem Chheng penned an article: “Hun Sen says developing nations ‘targets of rivalry’

Your students and you can debate in the online class on various issues which are the subject of the United Nations General Assembly main agenda titled: “The Future We Want, the UN We Need: Reaffirming our Collective Commitment to Multilateralism.”

This letter is intended to introduce some ideas into your discussions on the specific case of Cambodia under the regime of the ex-KR weak strongman.

1. Has the weak strongman forgotten that it was the multilateralism of the United Nations that ended the war among Khmer in which the weak strongman was first a warrior with the genocidal Khmer Rouge and then later a puppet of a foreign force?

2. Has he forgotten that he was part the Supreme National Council (SNC) that was a party tot the 1991 Paris Peace Agreements?

3. Has he forgotten that it is through the United Nations multilateralism implemented by United Nations Transit Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) that he has become what he has been since the completion of the elections in May 1993?

4. Why has he now totally abandoned the multilateralism and espoused instead the unconditional bilateralism with China in every aspect of Cambodia economy, politics, military, human rights and international affairs?

5. Where is he going to find the money to reimburse the $30-to-$40 billions of loans that China have so far made to Cambodia, where as his government not only in complete bankruptcy now but also incapable of paying the $250 millions loan to the US?

6. Why has he signed contracts for Dara Sakor and Ream, prostituted Kg Som with Chinese casinos and thugs, and made long-term concessions of lands, forests, and water to Chinese investors, private or state owned enterprises?

7. Are there projects in Cambodia of the same magnitude in 6. above under Western or non-Chinese financiers and investors?

8. Where have those $30-to-$40 billions gone, since 99% of the country still lives in poverty, unemployment and indebtedness to microfinance, while the 1% wears $millions insane luxury watches, owns private jets, and has residences in the US, UK, France, and Cyprus?

9. In the presence of current virus pandemic that originated in Wuhan, the political and trade conflict between the US and China, the closing of hundreds of garments factories, the withdrawal of special tariffs treatment by the European Union, the return of thousands and thousands of migrant workers from neighboring countries, and the complete paralysis of tourism industry, does he realize that all issues shown in this letter are no longer in his hand, no matter how loud and lonely he and his sycophants claim in local forum? Does he understands he can’t solve those problems anymore because they are way beyond his domestic and personal ability and they will be instead handled over his head? He who created his own quagmire that he can’t extract himself out of it: the law of centrifugal force.

10. The weak strongman is no longer the one that he showed himself to be like in the past; instead he’s now sick, isolated from the people he pretends to govern, but oppress instead, self-prisoner in his 4-wall palace protected by a corps of bodyguards, and no more confidence and trust from his peers inside the corrupt people party.

Kacvey, like everything on earth, autocracy also has an end.
Fasten your seat belt tightly!

Trilogy that Can Befall the ex-KR Autocracy

My dear Kacvey,

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “trilogy” as: “a series of three dramas or literary works or sometimes three musical compositions that are closely related and develop a single theme.”

Let use that definition as a model for a series of three dramas for your students to study in Cambodia contemporary politics that befall the weak strongman.

If the play is titled: Trilogy that Can Befall the Ex-KR Autocracy, the three “dramas” are:
1. The Sword of Damocles Has Dropped
2. The Blue Tent That Became a Permanent Wooden Structure or How New Cyclopic Chéy Chétha Drew the Map of the New Kampuchea Krom, and
3. Dara Sakor, a base or not a base?

The weak strongman is no longer in command of the three quagmires that he has built under his feet that stand on corrupt and autocratic power. It’s the European Union, the United States and China that will oversee and decide above his head on the denouement of the three saga. He is expendable and the next leader who will succeed him will have enormous difficulties to deal with his excremental leftover.  And if he thinks that his son that, to this age, still holds the pleats of his pants can handle these issues, he must then have a rotten brain.

The weak strongman acting as main thespian is now less than a puppet and more like a one marble-glass-eye-scarecrow in the middle of the emptiness of a rice field.

If the weak strongman has become cockier with Khmer in domestic issues, it is – like a prisoner in his own palatial jail decorated with insane luxury watches and protected by thousands of bodyguards against his own intestinal enemies in the corrupt people party – that the gold bars on the cell windows that keep the bodyguards active for his cause until such a time that a storm blows that scarecrow away from its pole. Even a Mi 171E helicopter won’t be able to lift him on time to an unknown safe heaven.

Like in all Greek trilogy, the end is never a happy one.