My dear Kacvey,
Four months into the Year of Hanuman, Cambodia is in a state of political havoc. Everything that is good is broken: trust, confidence, dialog, peace and rule of law. Everything that is bad is fashionable: hypocrisy, mistrust, wiretapping, trumped charges, arrest, accusation, police violence, interdiction, beating, jailing, killing and assassination.
Kacvey, how do you fathom what would happen next? Well, whoever masterminded the jailing or the assassination have succeeded to put the entire country and the population into a state of fear, jitters and anxiety; whoever strategized the arrest or the killing schemes have not failed to re-assure their followers that they are still in firm control.
Autocracy has just revived an old culture that was widely used during the Cold War era, and adopted by the KR, and now fully validated by the ex-KR. It can be characterized as a culture of jailing and killing (or COJAK).
But, why COJAK now? Because, autocracy has come to realize that:
– its popular support has eroded to the point of no return. Autocratic clan has become the 1% that enriches itself through “Hostile Takeover” leaving 99% of the population scraping dirt to survive. The 99% is inclusive of the ordinary, honest and hard-working urban and countryside people, the civil servants, policemen, soldiers who have to moonlight in order to be able to bring foods and textbooks to their children. How can one rationally explain that with a monthly salary of about US$1,800, one would have a fortune of about US$200 millions, and his closed family with a wealth estimated in the US$600-700 millions range? Please ask other Khmer families whose monthly income is equivalent to US$300-500 what would they think;
– its millions of “likers” have evaporated into the mist of cyberspace, and running the country through social media like a kid playing in a sandpit only commands respect from the mass of fools;
– cracks have surfaced among the mass of courtesans that make up the autocracy. Have you looked at the face of those courtesans who silently sit and listen almost daily to the vociferation at Koh Pich conference hall? Pathetic, the least one can say! Are they sending a message of disapproval through their silence? It’s fair to guess that there always are courtesans who want to free themselves, however!
Therefore, they resort to COJAK as the antithesis to the culture of dialog, and a modus operandi towards the 2017 and 2018 elections: jailing the official opposition and killing prospective opposition, even from cradles. Similar to the KR era, it is the renewed brutalization of Khmer by other Khmer. Same old story! Moreover, up to the immediate post-UNTAC time, they only had power to protect. After that period, the power has generated so much unethical wealth and fortune for themselves that power and wealth (or wealth and power) have become together, the 2 monuments that they have to protect at all costs. Communism creates dirty capitalists who use dirty communist tricks to protect filthy capitalism.
Kacvey, have you noticed that the climate of fear that they have created and instilled in the mind of Khmer people is nothing else than to hide the fear of losing power and wealth that they themselves have in their heart and mind? It’s the Ying and the Yang all over again. Therefore, 2 “fears” are in play simultaneously: the fear they impugn to Khmer people and the fear they involuntarily impose upon themselves, in other words, the unintended consequences. On the other hand, looking at a larger picture, it would not be impossible that the fear they feel inside themselves could be greater than the one they inflict on the population. If they lose the power, there would be no guarantee that they would be able to export their wealth to foreign countries. The example of the once-upon-a-time first family of the Philippines is still fresh in the memory of many foreign banks and litigation is still going on in many foreign courts. And don’t even talk about the pariah and the shame on the family’s name!
The 2 “fears” are in motion like the movement of positive and negative electric charges towards the meeting point which is a powder keg. And then … Kaboooooom!
The explosion will be explosive.