My dear Kacvey,

Hope you recall the “War of Words – Part I” of 20 March 2015. Well, a new one has broken out while the memory of the holidays during the 62nd Anniversary of Independence of Cambodia have barely faded away.

But this time, there is a slight change in:

  • the dramatis personae: the ruling star against the leading opposition star, and
  • the prop/stage: social media is the interface.

You and all of your friends have already seen all sort of accusations, counter-accusations, justifications, threats, court summons, police mobilization, apologies, schemes/plans, airports alerts, and reactions/condemnations on the internet that it would be better to leave those things where they are and continue to develop along the course of time. The two stars are two headstrong protagonists that seem to know what they want for themselves as well as from/against each other.

Kacvey, you must also be tired of the proverbial metaphor “when 2 bulls fight …” that was used in the “War of Words – Part I” and in the “Disunited Unity”; nonetheless, the repetition serves as an emphatic reminder that you and your friends should unequivocally resist to be “the grass to get hurt.” Settling of personal scores is not a state business, as you may very well remember the duel Burr-Hamilton on 11 July 1804 in Weehawken.

Putting that aside, there is something very unsettling and troubling in the way of using social media as a means of communications on national politics and affairs. Indeed, an account in a social media allows the owner to express freely his/her positive/negative perception like a monologue. If, however, two persons at very high positions in the national and political hierarchy resorted to social media as a “disguised” means of communications, it is clear as summer daylight that not only they are in fact “disconnected and disconnecting” from each other in real life of politics, but also the face-to-face interaction, conversation or dialog (cultured or otherwise) between themselves is totally broken down. Has the institutional relationship between the legislative and executive collapsed or shattered and nobody cares about it anymore? Has the standard in Khmer politics in the City of Tonlé Buon Mouk fallen this low and become worst than juvenile irresponsibility? Where is the respect towards those upon whom they pretend to lead or govern?

Oh, Kacvey, one more thing: decorum. Message through social media can carry a long way when the discourse contain these elements: honor, good manners and politeness.

Jonathan Swift, once, said: “Good manners is the art of making those people easy with whom we converse. Whoever makes the fewest people uneasy is the best bred in the room.”

To be continued in “War of Words – Part III”