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Friday, February 25, 2005

What will Be the Future of Dissenting View in Cambodia Parliamentarian Government?

February 24, 2005

What will Be the Future of Dissenting View
in Cambodia Parliamentarian Government?
By Prak Hap-FLUS

The Assembly of real gentlemen and ladies of the laws had made move to infringe the rare voice of opposition on February 3, 2005. The vocal critics and truth seekers as it seemed have been ousted by hand raising votes in stacking number. According to article appeared on Kohsantepheap daily 12-03-2004, it pointed out Mr. Sam Rainsy legal filing suit to seek truth in regard to the 1997 incident-grenade tossing at the demonstrators was a political motivated plot backed by Mr. Hun Sen to eliminate the oppositions.

The legal process has taken place but yet incomplete. No one knows for sure who is the real culprit? The contentious dual turned out to be misfortune for Mr. Sam Rainsy. One thing is true that, most people do not like to loose and in this case Mr. Sam Rainsy bore the brunt alone.

In this battle who is the real loser?

My opinion the whole Parliamentarian system is a loser eventually. World democracy is watching and Cambodia citizen suffers the short change all the time. In truth, it is not necessary that the opposition lost but all the voters lost their rights to be heard and expressive. Mr. Sam Rainsy and his two other colleagues were no strangers to the rest of MPs. They are Khmers who tried to do the same things for their constituency but in the Constitution in Chapter VII Article 77: states” the deputies in the Assembly shall represent the entire Khmer people, not only Khmers from their constituencies. Any imperative mandate shall be nullified.”

Therefore, what Mr. Sam Rainsy and his group did was not supposedly to be just only for Khmers from their constituencies. So it led to another argument, what was the rest of Assembly did for? Their constituencies alone or what? How the justification worked for the majority but not Mr. Sam Rainsy and colleagues?

In a sane opinion, President R. Ridh or Prime Minister Hun Sen is not the entire Khmer population and they are not so innocent either. I don’t know these two gentlemen personally, according to press they are not that Koshered. One thing about press, they are bound by journalistic ethic. They supposed to report what they see and hear with both side verification. No put down here, I may have some reservations about some Cambodia reporters whose motifs are not journalistic truth but Mr. Benjamin Franklin bills. That is another problem. People eat food not news.

Other side of the coin, if Mr.Sam Rainsy is found malicious and groundless to accuse such god-like Hun Sen and Rannaridh but the court has not done its duty to prove otherwise yet. Who says the two are crook and hellishly dishonest? Why people say that? People let’s not lose your sense because of pledge of allegiance to certain group. If you have some conscience left please use it. It is your duty to protect people. Look each of MP got $2,000 a month working in nice A/C and plush offices, let‘s not be complacent and insult voters because of affiliation with big wigs in Phnom Penh.

I like to say this un-religiously, according to natural or universe law, what goes up must come down or what goes around comes around, right? What happened to Mr. Sam Rainsy, Mr.Cheam Channy, and Mr. Chea Poch may be in violation of the constitution but I guess your guys don’t care as long as you don’t lose $2,000 per month.

The concern is why other parliamentarians are so wrapped in the partisanship not the voters’ interest. The question is the MPs for the people or each of their respective Party? If each of them allowed this to happen then the Constitution means nothing. They are next when the Party bosses do not like them.

Kohsantepheap Newspaper on 12-3-2004 said the PRK MP H.E Samrin Heng stated that such move to remove H.E Sam Rainsy from his mandated duty as people representative is in the hand of H.R.H Speaker R. Ridh. What are the unethical violations that MP Sam Rainsy committed against the parliament rules? Is it the truth that he opted to fully expose the leadership wrongdoings to the public? What are the rest of MPs from CPP /Funcipec doing? Buffing zones or rubber stamp may be both.

Let consider that each Party can voice its dissenting views but each should not disregard the Constitutional mandate and rights. Executive Branch is accountable to the Legislative Branches scrutiny. They are public servants. As private citizen, according to Article 38:”the accused shall be considered innocent until the court has judged finally on the case.” Then Article 39:” Khmer citizen shall have the right to denounce, make complaints or file claims against any breach of the law by State and social organs or by members of such organs committed during the course of their duties, The resettlements of complaints and claims shall reside under the competence of the courts.” That is one step up for such historical violent society, Cambodia.

It may be the case that MP Sam Rainsy filed suit against PM Hun Sen in the best interest of people. MP Sam Rainsy is entitled to do such as private citizen in the eyes of laws as well. But his action is on behalf of people. The leadership and the rest of MP headless body are concerned of the guilts of their beloved leaders. This reminded me a parallel in Khmer saying ”Gaur dombao khnang Khaek hour rom long romsai kontouy.”

Why the rest of MPs including the leadership did not see that? However, if the Legislative branches condone such move then the principles of true democracy is in serious jeopardy. The dilemma for Cambodia democracy and its citizen is at cross road. Are we still in tune with the stronger rules and live or let live mantra?

One citizen rights not respected is one too many.

SUBMITTED BY: Prak Hap Thursday, 24 Feb 2005

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