… autocracy that followed the end of the most tragic and genocidal KR regime at the very end of the 1970s. The country was like a company where the boss decides on everything from buying toilets papers to hiring who he wants. Checks and balances were unknown or didn’t exist, the legal system resembled the kangaroo court, and everybody was satisfied and threaded along.

To paraphrase William Pitt, a British Prime Minister in the 2nd half of the 18th century, nepotism is the off-spring of unlimited power that is apt to corrupt the mind of those who possess it.

Then came 1993 with some sort of democracy that lays parallelly with the existing autocracy. This gave birth to a compromise arrangement with a two-head leadership. Nepotism of the past became a highly prized example for the new party to copy and to put it into effect for its interests. Nepotism had then found the most fertile ground to breed and to grow. Each party stashed the administration with its minions regardless of competence, qualification, skill, educational background … the unwritten rule was that every position must be filled by 2 persons, one from each party. Parity obliges!

Within the society, it is even and often heard that: “if you do not know how to “si sam nauk”, it means you are not smart!” What type of society do people live in when good character and virtue are turned upside down and indicted by corrupted thinking and attitude! Furthermore the old Khmer phrase “si toach dôay toach, si thom dôay thom” remains 101% valid more now than ever!

In the words of George Bernard Shaw, democracy is a form of government that substitutes election by the incompetent many for appointment by the corrupt few.

Nepotism promotes new nepotism, and the process self-multiplies at exponential rate. Cambodia is then like a pizza pie owned by a patriarch who distributes each slice to each nephew at his own pleasure and with no question asked. Old-boy network, that is!

John Steinbeck, once said: Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts  … perhaps the fear of a loss of power.

So, Kacvey, you can then wonder how do we go from here to tame this monster called nepotism and its bedfellow called corruption?

In the latest report on world corruption, Transparency International studied the level of corruption in the public sectors in 175 countries, Cambodia …

To be continued to “The nephews – Part III”