The Year of the Rat

My dear Kacvey,

As we are saying good bye to the Year of the Pig, the Year of the Rat is knocking at the door. What would the Pig have had written in the handover parchment: achievements and still outstanding matters?

You can argue upfront why burdening the mythological and symbolic Pig with the troubles that MEN created? Well, if this is your thinking, why did people refer to angels and goddesses Pig on Chaul Chnam Kor, and now angels and goddesses Rat on Chaul Chnam Jhoot?

Well, whatever we argue, the truth is, after these 3 days, NOBODY will talk or think about angels and goddesses Rat anymore … until next April 2021 when the subject of angels and goddesses Cow will come up again.

Be it as it may, how in good human conscience can we formulate or mutually wish each other a “Happy Chaul Chnam” when all of us are living in a state of stay-in-place, confinement, lock-down, WFH, ghost towns, closed frontiers, airports and harbors, closed schools, universities and libraries, closed shops and stores, empty stadiums and sports arena, closed museums, movie houses, theaters and TV studios etc…, as consequences of the pandemic of a virus that originated in Wuhan?

How can we even think about a “Joyful Chaul Chnam” when millions women and men are infected with that virus, epicenters sprouted in every continent, death overflow hospitals and morgues, relatives and friends can’t even attend funerals of their loved ones?

How can we possibly do the “Roam Vong” when millions are out of jobs, factories are closed, sellers sitting behind their merchandises without buyers, parents have to social-distance with their children, grand-parents with their grand-children etc …?

How can we gaily beat the traditional drum (tèass skôr) when pagodas, churches, temples and mosques are no longer places of worship where worshipers can pray without being afraid of contamination?

How can you and your students enjoy the game of “ang kougn” or “bôss chhoung,” when the weak strongman imposed the state of emergency with pretense to fight against the invisible Wuhan virus whereas its ex-KR autocratic regime is at the end of the rope? It has no plan not only on how to fight the virus but also on how to address the current social-economic crisis and the post-lockdown period. Its coffer is empty although it continues to promise financial relief to garment workers.

When the whole world fights the Wuhan virus with more doctors, nurses and medical equipment, strengthening of health and hygiene methods and facilities, doubling or even quadrupling budgets for medicine and pharmaceutical researches, formulating stimulus and relief economic plan to help the population, the weak strongman of Cambodia, fearing its own imminent collapse, doubles down on oppression and dictatorship to hide its inability to steer the ship out of the Wuhan virus storm aftermath. Bankruptcy is written on the wall, and history has repeated again and again that autocracy, no matter how long and strong it is  and given that no domestic force can topple it, will always end up in implosion or suicide.

On the day known as the 1st day of the Khmer New Year, we wish you and your students the happy coziness within the respective stay-in-place quarters, the continuing patience and courage to challenge the boredom, and the determination to stay safe and healthy and to look forward to the deconfinement when life will resume its normalcy. On va s’en sortir sans sortir!

“Body beyond the Body”

My dear Kacvey,

Here is a teeny piece of food for thought and online (ZOOM or otherwise!) discussions with your students in this period of lockdown, confinement, stay-at-home and social distancing due to the consequences of the Wuhan virus pandemic.

This is the tidbit: The way the Wuhan virus has spread pandemicly reminds of anecdotes buried in the “Journey to the West” (西游记), one of the four great classical novels of Chinese literature. One of the character in that novel, is Sun Wukong (孙悟空), also known as the Monkey King (Please do not confuse with Hanuman of the Ramayana!)

The novel told of how Monkey King wrecked havoc heaven palace or temple by using a supernatural method of self-reproduction called “Body beyond the Body” (身外身法) by plucking a hair or handful of hairs from its own body and throwing them into its mouth; it chewed them to tiny pieces then spat them into the air by shouting “Change!”. Suddenly those pieces of hair changed at once into either imitation monkey or multiple little monkeys encircling the enemy combatants on all sides or do whatever Monkey King ordered them to do.

You can argue that this is a weird, eerie or creepy way of seeing thing, but please bear in mind that this Wuhan virus or corona virus or Covid-19, or whatever you like to call it, is so new to our humanity and its knowledge, scientific or otherwise.

But the way the virus has been spreading pandemicly seems to look like [Repeat: seems to look like] the way Monkey King used its divine power to reproduce its imitation(s) … supernaturally, and as the tales go!

When “rats leave a sinking ship”

My dear Kacvey,

Here is a short extract from William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” (Act 1, Scene II) where Prospero spoke to his daughter, Miranda, who asked why Alonso did not destroy her father. Prospero responded:
Well demanded, wench:
My tale provokes that question. Dear, they durst not,
So dear the love my people bore me, nor set
A mark so bloody on the business, but
With colours fairer painted their foul ends.
In few, they hurried us aboard a bark,
Bore us some leagues to sea; where they prepared
A rotten carcass of a boat, not rigg’d,
Nor tackle, sail, nor mast; the very rats
Instinctively had quit it: there they hoist us,
To cry to the sea that roar’d to us, to sigh
To the winds whose pity, sighing back again,
Did us but loving wrong.

You are absolutely right if you sighed “What the heck is this and what does Prosepro have anything to do with us?”

Well, pull out The Tempest from the shelf, and read it! Meantime, have you noticed this phrase: “the very rats instinctively had quit it“? This phrase seems to be source of the commonly used expression: “Rats leave a sinking ship.”

In the Chinese language, an idiom goes: “树倒猢狲散” (shu dao hu sun san) which literally means: “When the tree topples the monkeys scatter.”

With the above exposed ingredients, here is the plat de resistance to be prepared and served. In the very current political situation in the City of Tonlé Buon Mouk that is living under the sunless and extremely dark cloud of the virus from Wuhan with daily increasing number of people tested positive, the confinement of citizens to heir home, the every-now-and-then electricity black out and shortage of water, the closing of many garment plants and the subsequent massive workers layoff, the closing of borders with neighboring countries, import-export and tourism at standstill either in Kg Som, Pochentong or Siem Reap, future trade with the European Union consequencing the autocratic politics of the weak strongman, the bogus and senseless trial of the opposition No. 1, the intestinal feud within the corrupt people party, the lack of transparency in governance, the hardening of the police apparatus… The entire leadership of the country has disappeared from the public scene with the exception of officials from the ministry of health that updates on the numbers of people infected without telling what they are actually doing in the face the pandemic. The apparent vacuum or nothingness in leadership looks like a headless chicken running around before collapsing.

The question of the moment is: What would be Cambodia if it happened that the weak strongman is no longer able to steer his ship out of this never-known-before hurricane, and the ship sinks? After 35 years of post-KR rule by an ex-KR, the sugarcane (ampeuv) that the weak strongman used to suck to get the juice to oppress the Khmer people and to corrupt the system to enrich himself and members and sycophants of his tribe has no more juice to rely on. Sugarcane dregs (kaag ampeuv) are now dry and good only for their return to nature. On top of all that, the weak strongman dual allegiance to both the Inner River and the Northern Capital is falling victim of his own game: the weak strongman first vassalized itself in 1977 to the Inner River for the return to power on 7 January 1979, and re-vassalized itself anew to the Northern Capital around 2010, to become like Carlo Goldoni’s “The Servant of Two Masters”. And now, both masters have their own problem of Covid 19, and when masters have problems, the valet is neither in their agenda nor their concern. Period.

The weak strongman has been ruling with all the sugarcane juice from the two masters. When the juice stops flowing to his cup, how could he sustain himself and his corrupt autocracy? And what if the corona virus is located in the neighborhood of Takhmao?

Whether it’s “Rats leave a sinking ship” or “When the tree topples the monkeys scatter”, it figuratively means that an opportunist always abandons an unfavorable cause, or when a person falls from power, his hangers-on disperse, or when a leader loses power, his/her followers become disorganized.

Kacvey, it’s now your turn to find out: if the ship sinks, who are the rats that will leave ship? Or if the tree falls, where will the monkeys scatter to?

Please report soonest. Thanks.

“No People, Invisible, Silent”

My dear Kacvey,

Just wish you and your students a lot of mental courage and clarity during the fight against the current trying time caused by the corona virus that originated in Wuhan (武汉病毒) in December 2019. The virus is now scientifically labeled as Corona Virus Disease-19 (Covid-19) (冠状病毒疾病2019) and the pandemic has spread almost throughout the world, with numerous countries and cities being either on lock down or confinement or shelter-in-place. Furthermore, Covid-19 cannot be written with Chinese characters, as the language is pictographic; there are no Chinese characters to write the equivalent of the 5 letters of the alphabet “C-O-V-I-D”. The Chinese can pronounce “Covid-19” but use “冠状病毒疾病2019” (guān zhuàng bìng dú jí bìng) in writing.

While politicians, scientists, and historians are working to find cause of the disease and solutions to cure the affected or contaminated people and society, we all feel that this looks like humanity is fighting a “no people, invisible, silent” war (无人无形无声的战). We must also ponder on one fundamental question that will certainly be raised generations after generations and throughout future history: Why the Wuhan virus succeeds to break the back of the entire world without a war “with soldiers, visible and noisy?”

Wash your hands.
Avoid crowds.
Social distancing, and
Pull out the books from the shelves while the music is on!
Double or triple contacts with family and friends,
And be ready for the CHANGE that will ineluctably occur in Cambodia, a CHANGE that will be revolutionized by the unexpected and unintended convergence of many international and national consequences from Covid-19.

The weak strongman is getting weaker by the day, his 2 foreign backers to whom he alienated the entire Cambodia run out of safety floats to be thrown to him. He should know, being a chess player.

Be well and take good care of yourself.

Intestinal Color Revolution?

My dear Kacvey,

The article published by could not be hidden from your students’ mind and intellect, nor ignored. As a saying goes: “Where there is smoke, there is fire”, and if the statement is made in plain public eyes and ears without fear of retribution, the author of the statement must be privy to “something”, he who is nothing less than the first deputy prime minister and the minister of interior affairs.

Thank you, for your reporting.

For our library, this is the article in Khmer: សម្តេច ស ខេង៖ ពេល​ខ្លះ បដិវត្តន៍​ពណ៌​កើត​ចេញ​ពី​ផ្ទៃក្នុង​យើង

“សម្តេច​ឧបនាយករដ្ឋមន្ត្រី ស ខេង បាន​មាន​ប្រសាសន៍​នៅ​ថ្ងៃ​ពុធ ទី១១ ខែមីនា នេះ​ថា បដិវត្តន៍​ពណ៌ វា​អាច​កើត​ចេញ​ពី​ផ្ទៃក្នុង​របស់​គណបក្ស​កាន់​អំណាច​ដោយ​មិន​ដឹង​ខ្លួន ឬ​ដោយ​អចេតនា តាមរយៈ​ការ​មិន​យក​ចិត្ត​ទុក​ដាក់​នូវ​សំណូមពរ​និង​កង្វល់​របស់​ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋ ហើយ​បង្កើត​ឡើង​នូវ​ភាព​អសកម្ម​នានា​នៅ​តាម​មូលដ្ឋាន​ ហើយ​ប៉ះពាល់​ដល់​សិទ្ធិ​និង​ផល​ប្រយោជន៍​របស់​ប្រជា​ពលរដ្ឋ។

ថ្លែង​ក្នុង​ពិធី​អបអរសាទរ​ទិវា​អន្តរជាតិ​នារី សម្តេច ស ខេង បាន​ថ្លែង​ដូច្នេះ​ថា ”ចំណុច​នេះ ខ្ញុំ​ធ្លាប់​បាន​បញ្ជាក់​ច្រើន​ហើយ ថា​ បដិវត្តន៍​ពណ៌ វា​មាន​អ្នក​ដែល​ប៉ុនប៉ង​ដើម្បី​នឹង​ធ្វើ​ការងារ​នេះ ហើយ​ក៏​បាន​ជួប​ប្រទះ​​រួច​មក​ហើយ ក្រោយ​​បោះឆ្នោត​ឆ្នាំ​២០១៣ ប៉ុន្តែ ជួន​ពេល​ខ្លះ បដិវត្តន៍​ពណ៌​នេះ​ វា​កើត​ចេញ​ពី​ផ្ទៃ​ក្នុង​យើង ជួរ​យើង ដោយ​មិន​ដឹង​ខ្លួន ឬ​ដោយ​អចេតនា​តាមរយៈ​ការ​មិន​យក​ចិត្តទុកដាក់ អើ​ពើ នូវ​សំណូម​ពរ សំណើ និង​កង្វល់​របស់​ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋ ហើយ​បង្កើត​ឡើង​នូវ​ភាព​អសកម្ម​នានា នៅតាម​មូលដ្ឋាន ហើយ​ប៉ះពាល់​ដល់​សិទ្ធិ​និង​ផល​ប្រយោជន៍​របស់​ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋ។”

សម្ដេច​ឧបនាយករដ្ឋមន្ត្រី បាន​បន្ត​ដូច្នេះ​ថា “នោះ​ក៏​ជា​មូលហេតុ​នៃ​ការ​កកើត​នៃ​ចលនា​បដិវត្តន៍​ពណ៌​នោះ​ដែរ ដូច្នេះ​ការ​ដែល​យើង​យក​ចិត្ត​ទុកដាក់​ដើម្បី​ដោះស្រាយ​បញ្ហា​នានា​ទាក់ទងនឹង​សិទ្ធិ​ផល​ប្រយោជន៍​របស់​ប្រជាពលរដ្ឋ គឺ​ជា​កត្តា​គន្លឹះ​ដ៏​សំខាន់​មួយ​ក្នុង​ការ​រារាំង​ បង្ការ ទប់ស្កាត់ នូវ​ចលនា​បដិវត្តន៍​ពណ៌​នោះ​ឯង។”

នៅក្នុង​ពិធី​នោះ​ដែរ សម្តេច ស ខេង ក៏​បាន​អំពាវនាវ​ដល់​អាជ្ញាធរ​ត្រូវ​គ្រប់គ្រង​ដោះស្រាយ​ជម្លោះ និង​ការទាមទារ​តវ៉ា​នានា ដោយ​សន្តិ​វិធី ឈរ​លើ​គោលការណ៍​ច្បាប់ និង​ត្រូវ​ជៀសវាង​ដាច់​ខាត​នូវ​អំពើ​ហិង្សា​គ្រប់​រូបភាព៕

As the Russian revolutionary, Vladimir Lenin, once, said: “It is impossible to predict the time and progress of revolution. It is governed by its own more or less mysterious laws.”

Meanwhile, an article signed by Luke Hunt and published by UCA News under the title: “Coronavirus an excuse for Cambodia’s poverty plight” should not be disregarded either; it looks like an inventory of disastrous failures that the weak strongman has recently encountered, and if such failings and missteps occurred in another country, be it socialist, communist or liberal democracy, that type of weak strongman must have already been ushered out of the door of power, by vote or by force.

He who thinks that he owns the country is he who has blind ambition and greed and is is ignorant of the natural fact that he doesn’t own the heart and mind of the people who are not his sycophants or kangaroos. Everything on earth has a time limit.

“Another Wuhan could emerge as the coronavirus travels the world. Are politicians, including Trump, prepared?”

My dear Kacvey,

Here is an opinion piece penned by Professor Tom Plate and published by the South China Morning Post dated 10 March 2020. We keep the article in our library for your students especially those who are keen in learning and thinking the impossible because “it requires to think outside the box” The tile of the article is: “Another Wuhan could emerge as the coronavirus travels the world. Are politicians, including Trump, prepared?

For easy reference the full text is re-produced herewith:

“How bad will the global coronavirus epidemic get? The clichéd answer is: only the future will tell. But the problem is that the future is not only with us now but – to scramble the possibilities – it actually influences the past.

“Astrophysicist and author John Gribbin, whose challenging new book Six Impossible Things helps mere mortals like me accept the crazed conceptualising of God-like physicists, makes just this point. The implications may be profound.

“Deep in the subatomic underworld of spectacularly tiny particles and waves is a measurable physical behaviour – especially wave behaviour – that, to me at least, is weird. It turns out that some waves carry their negative energy back into the past while some push it forward into the future.

“In effect, this happens with no intermediary blocking the way (such as what we call the “present”). Gribbin explains: “The idea is that part of the quantum wave really can travel backwards through time … in stark disagreement with our intuition that causes always precede the events that they cause.”

“But where does the wave “travelling in reverse” come from? There is only one answer: the future. If so, then the future continually influences the past in the minutest degree of reality.

“Think of time as a bustling two-way street. If the future influences the past, then we have been looking at the world upside down – or, rather, past to future. But reality is not this simple, which is why it is often nearly impossible to accept.

“So we note, as does Gribbin, this exchange from Alice’s immortal adventures in Wonderland: “Alice laughed. ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said. ‘One can’t believe impossible things.’ ‘I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the Queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast’.

“The great advantage of diving into neurotic but utterly science-based quantum physics is that it requires you to think outside the box. Physicists, notably in quantum theory, conceptualise aspects of the physical world, often with the help of thought experiments, that are hard to see or measure but are essential to understanding physical existence. The hitch is they often wind up taking us so far away from a comfortable “common sense” (or dogmatic) world view.

“In “real” life, for example, we think of time as moving in military formation, from past to present to future. But let us now assume there is no substantial now, because the very moment we observe or do something, it becomes the past; and, what’s more, that somehow or other the future affects the past in unexpected ways. Now let’s apply this idea to the coronavirus epidemic.

“You may have noticed that US President Donald Trump and our scientists sometimes seem not to agree on rather basic aspects of the coronavirus epidemic. As you know, Covid-19 simmers globally without the slightest humanitarian instinct and in a fiercely non-partisan way (there is no Republican, Democratic or Communist immunity from infection). And, for all anyone knows, the epidemic might not resolve itself quickly enough or, possibly, ever go away entirely. The future-soaked past is still revealing itself day by future day.

“For the relatively brief time that the US has existed as a nation, its pragmatic penchant for problem-solving has helped it survive and prosper. But as the philosophical pragmatist John Dewey once famously noted, “Acceptance of dogmatic rules as bases of conduct in education, morals and social matters, lessens the impetus to find out about the conditions which are involved in forming intelligent plans.”

“Basic science cannot be beaten for that purpose. In the case of the coronavirus, we should add impossible thinking, if in fact the future does “influence the past. Wuhan is an ongoing part of the past, but out there in the unseen future, feeding into new pasts, are very possibly other kinds of Wuhans.

“We don’t know where they are, but we had better find them quickly. If you believe that globalisation will remain a big factor, as it has been up to now, a measure of “Wuhanisation” in many other places has to be assumed.

“We cannot close down the world the way the Chinese creditably closed down the metropolis of Wuhan. We still have no idea how much more trouble is out there. You might suspect, as I do, that the epidemic is historic and the belief that everything will be OK and work itself out is beyond optimism – maybe really nuts.

“So this is the huge next new thing – but it is for the scientists, not the political leaders, to take over. The latter just don’t get it. It’s too hard for them. They will build their aircraft carriers and nuclear missiles, mindlessly, when it would be far smarter to pursue enhanced international security and peace.

“The future has just now told us what is in the future: specks of little things that are coming in from the future to change the past that we thought we had more or less tamed. Our best bet is to keep thinking impossible things and figure that the future may be trying to change very many things.”

Tom Plate is Loyola Marymount University’s Distinguished Scholar of Asian and Pacific Affairs and the Pacific Century Institute’s vice-president

“The Whole Earth Is Our Hospital”

My dear Kacvey,

Hope your students and you take all the “common sense” precautionary measures against the spreading of the Wuhan virus (武汉病毒) wherever and whenever all of you are, be it in the classroom, library, meetings, home, markets, social events etc … albeit the fact that the weak strongman has a different view on it. He may believe that Wuhan virus carries a passport when arriving in Cambodia, at any port of entry like Kg Som with regards to Westerdam, it has to be stamped by him personally. Let leave him alone to his crazy, irresponsible and half blind fantasy, but your students and you must go on and live your life outside the sphere of corruption and craziness of a quack doctor.

The propagation of Wuhan virus worldwide reminds us of a passage (Part IV) in “East Coker”, a poem by T.S. Elliot as follows:

“The wounded surgeon plies the peel
That questions the distempered part;
Beneath the bleeding hands we feel
The sharp compassion of the healer’s art
Resolving the enigma of the forever chart.

“Our only health is the disease
If we obey the dying nurse
Whose constant care is not to please
But to remind of our, and Adam’s curse,
And that, to be restored, our sickness must grow worse.

“The whole earth is our hospital
Endowed by the ruined millionaire,
Wherein, if we do well, we shall
Die of the absolute paternal care
That will not leave us, but prevents us everywhere.

“The chill ascends from feet to knees,
The fever sings in mental wires,
If to be warned, then I must freeze
And quake in frigid purgatorial fires
Of which the flame is rose, and the smoke is briars.

“The dripping blood our only drink,
The bloody flesh our only food:
In spite of which we like to think
That we are sound, substantial flesh and blood –
Again, in spite of that, we call this Friday good.”

Trial on 15 January 2020

My dear Kacvey,

You might recall our communication on 23 October 2017 titled “A Plausible Case – 莫须有冤狱

On the 1st month of the new decade, the ex-KR-turned-autocrat has decided to show the ECCC (that has been trying his comrades-in-arms of the Pol Pot era) that his own justice machinery also works for him. He then instructed his kangaroos to try Oppo Nr.1 on 15 January 2020 on charge of treason. But whereas the ECCC proceeded with massive evidence, the ex-KR-turned-autocrat’s kangaroos will try with trumped charges and fictitious evidence.

The scripted judicial farce has been subject to multiple projections, one of which is that the kangaroos will find Oppo Nr.1 guilty of whatever the prosecution said. Kangaroo court executes its master’s order and has no surprise.

But that will not stop your students from reflecting and pondering on future consequences of such a shameless theatrical show of Khmer politics. Autocracy is afraid of challenge against its intellectual power that has none and uses raw forces to oppress any idea and thinking that defy its cruelty, antipathy, callousness and inhumanness.

If your students wish to witness the trial of the decade with a sense of social and political justice and fairness, let them arm their knowledge and awareness with three academic spears: The story of Yue Fei, “J’accuse” and Franz Kafka’s “The Trial“.

Let hope the fire in Australia would scare the kangaroos to run away from their court  master.

What Would 2020 Bring?

My dear Kacvey,

The cosmic second has just passed, carrying all of us to 2020!
Happy New Year 2020 to you, your students and everybody inside and outside our Circle!
Happy New Year 2020 to all Khmer who are:
– free, not valet of foreigners,
– loving and working towards true democracy, and not past-KR affiliated,
– respecting human rights, not abusers, oppressors or authoritarians,
– serving the country and its people, not a party or a person,
– honest, not corrupt and hypocrite,
– working hard to earn a living with their own blood, sweat and tears, not bought out by the ugly color of unqualified money, and
– agents of CHANGE for a better future of the country and its people.

Honestly, will Cambodia be “Happy” as wishes for happiness would mean to be? As crystal ball is in short supply among people who think, the probability that the country under the direction of the ex-KR-turned-autocrat would worsen is rather high:
– How is it possible for the ex-KR-turned-autocrat return the country to the democratic arrangement before he dissolved the opposition party and subsequently organized a sham election?
– How is it possible for the ex-KR-turned-autocrat to get rid of the fear of being treated like Najib Razak of Malaysia, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan or Omar al-Bashir of Sudan?
– How much longer the ex-KR-turned-autocrat can walk the tight rope and balance himself between China and Vietnam to which he has ceded everything that is Khmer, just for the sake of him staying in absolute and uncontested power?
– How is it possible for the ex-KR-turned-autocrat to undo and to unshackle himself from the excessive and continuing plethora of Chinese, masters of the Dara Sakor project, the hundreds of casinos, condominiums, triads, dams …
– How is it possible for the Khmer to breath some air of freedom and liberty when the ex-KR-turned-autocrat used missiles, machine guns and thousands of policemen and soldiers to intimidate and threaten Khmer civilians walking with bare hands?
– Similarly, it will all come down to this: How is it possible for the ex-KR-turned-autocrat to recover his lost eyesight?

But nothing is seemingly and totally lost yet, as history tells us, again and again, that everything has an end, and contemporary history will also have an end: Colonialism, Francoism in Spain, Salazarism in Portugal, Apartheid in South Africa, the USSR, The Iron Curtain, the Berlin Wall, the Chinese Cultural Revolution, the Ho Chi Minh Trail, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Sihanouk, Lon Nol, Pol Pot …

For our part, let continue to do what we, you, your students and us, have been doing with more determination and better knowledge. An effective individual cell, no matter how small it is, can contribute to cure the Khmer body and kill the virus infected by the ex-KR-turned-autocrat.

Martin Luther King, Jr., once said: “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.”

Happy New Year 2020, and throughout!

What Had “CHANGED” in 2019?

My dear Kacvey,

Hope, during the last class before winter break, you had lengthily go over the main events that occurred during 2019 in the City of Tonlé Buon Mouk with your students and drawn important lessons for their future thinking.

There is only one spatial or cosmic second that separates the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020. Therefore, everything will continue as it has been continuing with or without changes. Autocracy by the ex-Khmer Rouge will also continue, but with or without changes. For our part, let have a look at what had CHANGED throughout 2019:

The Mekong
The level of water in the Mekong is the the lowest ever registered since the existence of time. The Khmer lifeline has CHANGED downwards to change the Khmer living downward.

The lands
The lands of Srok Khmer have CHANGED from being a fertile rice fields to become the lands of Chinese casinos, gambling dens and condominium, and possible military base for the Chinese to freely come and settle in Srok Khmer to CHANGE the landscape of Khmer culture and history.

The forests
The forests have CHANGED from being thick to become a horizon of treeless flatland or mountains, and the corrupt trees fellers have CHANGED their tactics to pretend to burn the motorcycles or trucks that illegally transported felled trees to foreign countries.

The people
The sycophantic people around the ex-KR-turned-autocrat CHANGED so much in displaying openly their corrupt wealth inside and outside the country. Before UNTAC, they were less than worms that now CHANGED to full-fledged acanthovalva inconspicuaria.
The Chinafication of Srok Khmer CHANGES the population landscape that had already CHANGED since the military Vietnamese intervention in January 1979 and its aftermath.

The institutions
The four institutional branches have CHANGED into the Vishnu-like four-arms of the ex-KR-turned-autocrat.

The police and military
The police and military have CHANGED from having nothing of their own to become 100% consumers of Chinese and Vietnamese war machines and apparatuses to oppress Khmer people.
They CHANGED from being unable to handle a dozen of Lao soldiers at the border to become ex-KR-turned-autocrat’s mercenaries to oppress opposition members.

The economy
The economy has CHANGED to become indebted to the Chinese of more than $7 billion that has also CHANGED into a death trap for Srok Khmer’s future.
The European Union had CHANGED their policies not only with regards to import of Khmer rice to European countries but also to warning of the future withdrawal of preferential tariffs if the ex-KR-turned-autocrat continued to abuse the human rights of the Khmer people.

The opposition
The status of the opposition has CHANGED from being dissolved by the ex-KR-turned-autocrat’s kangaroo court to still being recognized by the ex-KR-turned-autocrat as the sole party that permanently threatens him.
Oppo No.1 status has CHANGED from house arrest to partially free. Foreign ambassadors have CHANGED from being met at their embassy to paying personal visit to him at his residence.
Oppo No.2 status has CHANGED to become interim president who CHANGED his strategies to try to actually enter Cambodia directly from Thailand on 9 November.
Opposition supporters have CHANGED from being 2-clans to becoming conscientious that being 2-clanists would not advance the party cause.

The ex-KR-turned-autocrat
The ex-KR-turned-autocrat CHANGED to have “shoulder pain” that needed to be medevac to a hospital in Singapore for a 2.00 am treatment.
He has CHANGED from playing golf to lonely biking in his golden lair, from being among the people to becoming lethargic, fat face and a silly soliloquist behind a bunch of yellow flowers on Koh Pich.
He has CHANGED his walking pace to becoming slower, heavier and burdensome.
His popularity has CHANGED downwards as he CHANGED his walkabout habit to being in solitary manner in front of the screen of his facebook account.
He has CHANGED from talking incessantly about oppo No.2 to becoming quiet on the subject and letting hiss chained dogs barking instead.
He has CHANGED from eating នំបញ្ចុក at the table to devouring it standing up while in Europe.
Some of his relatives and sycophants have CHANGED their status from Cambodian to becoming European (wondering why not Chinese!), others to becoming “sanctioned” by the United States.
His party, driven by massive and unqualified money, Chinese or otherwise, seems to CHANGE its revolutionary ideology from communism to becoming corrupt people party.

So, Kacvey, your students know that CHANGE is a constant phenomenon that happens to everybody from Heraclitus who said: “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man” to President Barack Obama who stated: “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek”.

He who doesn’t realize that CHANGE happens in every second of his live and around his live is he who will be victim of his own silent self-CHANGE. Or as Confucius, once, said: “Only the wisest and stupidest of men never change.”