My dear Kacvey,

Have you seen any scam walking around in your neighborhood? Because 44 of them have been seen entering the national assembly to take over the seats anti-constitutionally to pretend to represent more than 3 millions people who never ever voted for them.

Merriam-Webster defines scum as a low, vile, or worthless person or group of people. Such a person is regarded as a despicable and shameless element of society.

So the banana state not only that it is run by an autocrat that concentrates all 3 powers in his hands (legislative, executive and judiciary) it now has scums as legislators who in cahoots with the autocrat will transform the state into an absolute despotism.

If your students wondered why politics in the City of Tonlé Buon Mouk has reached such a low-level of putridity and rottenness, please refer them to Noteworthy News page that extensively archives the flow of events and particularly this article by Geoffrey Cain in The Nation. However, it is hoped that none of your students has anything to do, be it family or friendship or business relationship, with these 44 scums because, if he/she had, what and how would she/he behave in front of millions of honest and law-abiding citizens who abhor such a public and anti-constitutional thievery? It is also hoped that history will put the names of these 44 scums on public display that never the country in future will put its trust in their morally filthy and besmirched hands.

A Phnom Penh Post’s article titled “Mixed feelings as unelected lawmakers are sworn in to National Assembly” should win the prize for the best title of the year! By the way – and just for fun! – which of the two: “The Forty Robbers” in The Arabian Nights’s Ali Baba or the The Forty Four Scums – all thievery being equal – has a better moral ground? You and your students are the judges!

Your students might also ask why replacing the democratically and officially elected lawmakers with those scums when the state institutions and laws are all there for the country to go forward following the spirit of the 1991 Paris Peace Accords and the ensuing May 1993 elections under the auspices of UNTAC? Well, we did in the past have had multiple conversations on those issues, for example: The Weak and Desperate Strongman, Generation “DEMOCRACY”, 2016: The Year of Mortal Repression, Will the one-man show go on forever, Can They Really Prevent “Color Revolution”, or If He Were Overthrown, What Does That Mean for the Country? If your students put them all together and see them as a forest not as individual trees, everything would come out clearly as to the motives of such “scummery”. To all that, your students could add (1) the paradigm of wealth that the autocracy has amassed through the destruction of the country natural resources, the sell out of those resources to private and external interests, the corruption and nepotism at every level of the administration, and (2) the undeniable image of the shift of the population mind and choice during the 2017 communal elections.

The equation that the autocracy has to solve is how to protect the mass of wealth that it has accumulated since the departure of UNTAC – remember, these guys had barely the minimum necessary to survive between 1979 and 1993 – and to stay in power at the same time. In other words, stay in power at all cost to protect the wealth, and use the wealth to corrupt the institutions in order to protect the power. Power is the drug, and wealth buys drug! Full circle!

Autocracy is fully aware of the popular and electoral hurdles it has to overcome, and the more it displays its bodyguards/police/military fire power to scare the public, the more the public becomes conscientious of its devilish scheme, the more it’s become harder for it to convince them. The audio tapes that were leaked, whether it was voluntary, incidental or accidental, does tell what has been going on inside the autocratic headquarters and what the tapes did not explicitly tell: dissension, unhappiness, lost of trust and lost of national perspectives.

The autocrat breeds the scums to reinforce its farm of absolute power as Mary Astell, an English writer, once said: “The scum of the People are most Tyrannical when they get the Power, and treat their Betters with the greatest Insolence.”

Meanwhile, history of Cambodia continues its course to show that all ingredients are in place for an unexpected turn of events as change of power was always through un-democratic means and force as:
– King Sihanouk and all popular movements fought in many years for the independence of the country in November 1953 from French colonialism;
– Lon Nol Ousted Prince Sihanouk in a coup d’état in 1970;
– Pol Pot ousted Lon Nol in April 1975 through long and bloody internal war;
– With military help from foreign country, the exiled ex-KR-now-autocrat ousted Pol Pot in December 1978;
– Next is your students’ guess!