My dear Kacvey,

While 2014 is about to close-out, the Asia Foundation has timely issued the result of a survey that it conducted between May 19 and June 9, 2014 in a 94-pages report “Democracy in Cambodia 2014: A Survey of the Cambodian Electorate.” Please click on the link if you or your friends wish to read and analyse the collected data and its interpretations:

Like everything else on the planet, there is more than one way to skin a cat when reading the survey report. For our part, let’s focus on the issue what would the government intend to do with the information provided therein, the most noteworthy being that most Cambodians think and say that:

– the country is headed in the wrong direction,

– corruption, deforestation, poverty, unemployment and economic issues are the source of their negative views, and

– their trust in government institutions are very low.

In the face of such an unfavorable publication, it wouldn’t be a surprise to anybody who knows how the government wishes to please the author, to see a spokesperson appearing in front of the world camera to say that the government is very pleased with the survey, thanks the author for the good work, takes note of the report contents and will address the identified problems in the course of the future and in accordance with our resources, and blah, blah, blah. Everybody is then happy, and everything stays in the report.

Now Kacvey, joke and irresponsibility aside, would you think that there would be high-ranking officials who would seriously read the report written in English? Would there be a government agency that would examine minutely chapter per chapter and reassess its actions and performances vis-à-vis the critiques? Would the government compel itself to implement the non-binding recommendations? If the report shows that Cambodian people know what the problems are, does the government know that it doesn’t know it?

The longevity of power obscures the power to serve the people, and as Catherine the Great said: “Power without a nation’s confidence is nothing.”