" Killing fields of Cambodia, not the only injustice for Cambodian victims only; but, it's for the whole humanity." A survivor

OPINION:The Impulsive Mrs. Mua Sochua Can Be Perceived to Be Rude To the US President

Cambodian politicians who wish to communicate and to deal with the US government must understand the US politics and the US Foreign policies to a certain degree.

First, sending a “personal” letter to the US President just five weeks before the “always tough presidential election” in the US is wrong timing. The Cambodian parliamentary election is ten months away, on July 28 2013. What’s a rush to cause the Cambodian?

Opposition politician to disturb the US President who is on the last leg of his campaign for re-election. It is a totally abominable miscalculation when Mrs. Mua Sochu intended to use the Cambodian-American citizens to put pressure on President Obama who needs all the votes he can get from all American registered voters.

Second, Mrs. Mua Sochu didn’t make her homework properly. She should know that the majority of Cambodian- Americans in the US are registered and hard core republican voters.

Why? Because one of the Democratic Party’s policies is to create jobs and make the people living “on welfare” going to work and earn the living. Many first-generation of Cambodian- Americans do not like that. For many valid reasons, they wanted to stay on welfare. This is absolutely not the case of the second-generation Cambodian-Americans. However the Republican Party uses the welfare-program to attack the democrats, saying that it is a “democrat program” to make the people lazy and do not want to go to work. That is just a small “corner” of the US politics.

Third, what Mrs. Mua Sochu has done was to rouse Cambodian-Americans to utilize the “power” of the vote to pressure President Obama, on the basis of the report of Mr. Surya Sabedi who, despite his praise of the National Election Committee (NEC) and the Provincial Election Committee (PEC) for good jobs done during the June 2012 Commune Election (ref. paragraph 44 of his report presented in July, as also referred to by Mrs. Mua Sochu) and surprisingly following some kind of obscure logic, he ended up asking for reforms of NEC and PEC. In this matter, Mr. Surya Subedi is no different than a bad boy who wanted to destroy a good working toy and Mrs. Mua Sochua appreciates bad boy behavior.

Fourth, needless to speak on behalf of the US, but speculating on the reactions of the US falls within “the freedom of speech,” the American way, when talking about Mrs. Mua Sochu’s letter: “We call on you to cancel this trip unless you receive binding assurances of electoral reform in line with the U.N. recommendations,” the tone and the expression are a little bit rude and arrogant and will not be well received. Another point to be made is that the American people would not appreciate their government taking action that is being viewed as the initiative of the U.N.

Fifth, the relevancy of the “UN” in Cambodia, 20 years after UNTAC administration of Cambodia for a very limited time has been put into question by many. Why the U.N. is still treating Cambodia as a child? At least U.N. should speak with the International Republican Institute (IRI) and get current information about the political trends in Cambodia, as the IRI has conducted survey every year. There are still many ways that the U.N. could be helpful to Cambodia.


Prof. Pen Ngoeun

Advisor, University of Puthisastra, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

28 September 2012


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