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Opinion: What has Hun Sen gotten to lose?

Hun Sen bowed to his God King and father

At his Beijing residence Sihanouk dined with Sam Rainsy

By Kok Sap, 29 October 2012
What’s happening in Cambodia could be called Sihanouk children in rivalry. It is the historical irony of the dark side of Cambodia leadership in modern democracy.

People still remember on 30 October 1951 when young King Sihanouk let his future arch enemy ex-PM Son Ngoc Thanh returning home from house arrest in Poitiers, France. Thousands of people had lined up the streets to welcome the return of one of the enlightened political independence campaigners and foes of the totalitarian King Sihanoukvarman II.

The similar scenario is happening again in Cambodia. On 27 January 2010 the provincial Svay Rieng court convicted and sentenced Mr. Sam Rainsy, in absentia, and other two defendants for 2 year prison time with punitive fine $15,180 for the alleged crime with no substantiated proof of the malevolence against the state. This supposedly called crime was his act on behalf of Cambodian national interest and the constituency.

People has mixed feeling on how the court ruling against Sam Rainsy. Because of that he was unjustly stripped from his parliamentary duty without given due process in the rule of laws before the court. In fear of personal safety, Mr. Sam Rainsy was forced to return to his home in Paris, France where he continues campaigning for full democracy and respect of human rights in Cambodia.

Now many people wonder why Comrade Hun Sen is so fearful and threatened by Mr. Sam Rainsy, a non-violent person, especially in the event to mourn their beloved King?

In giving Mr. Sam Rainsy safe pass to pay last respect to the late King Sihanouk, will be politically correct and will gain more respect from Cambodia friendly nations in the UN for Comrade Hun Sen personal. It will set him apart from all of other politicians in his time and in the past.
No doubt, Hun Sen wanted to be a great statesman and strong political leader in ASEAN sphere and that should not stop him to be one. But in cliché, it does take one to be one. Thus he must show amiable restraint and compassion to his fellow political rival which it will empower Hun Sen in his political maturity and regional stature.

On 9 August 2012 before the Assembly, Hun Sen declared Cambodia lost no but will gain land from Khmer- Yuon border demarcation when it completed at the end of 2012. If his declaration is true then Sam Rainey’s criticism on matter shall shine more light in favor of Hun Sen’s patriotism. To let Sam Rainsy return home and to have his say before the court in due process with proper defense according to the constitutional provision will also help Hun Sen to stand taller in world political platform. But there was one thing to note, all of Mr. Sam Rainsy doings then were not on his own behalf but duty within the frame of his parliamentary mandate that guaranteed immunity protection.

In records Hun Sen has forgiven men included Prince Rannridh, Nhek Bunchhay, Ieng Sary, Ee Chhean, Ieng Vuth, and Meas Muth, who made a goal to cut Hun Sen up to pieces during the resistance war against Yuon occupation. Some of them become Hun Sen personal buddies and visionary advisors. Exceptionally for Ieng Sary, a known mass murderer on hybrid trial, Hun Sen pardoned and built him a nice villa for his family in 1996. Furthermore he appointed Pol Pot’s private servant Ee Chhean as Pailin governor with Ieng Sary’s son Ieng Vuth as deputy. Also Tep Khunnal, a long time Pol Pot confidant and personal aide until the last day of his life in April 1998, was made Malaii chief district until his recently retirement but to take up a higher profile job as his advisor on national security policies.

In comparison to all those men, the trained killers from Democratic Republic of Kampuchea or the like, Mr. Sam Rainsy is marginally dangerous to Comrade Hun Sen personal. In reverse it was Hun Sen who has been dangerous to Sam Rainsy personal since 1995. Although he knows his life has been endangered but yet Mr. Sam Rainsy maintains his respect and private cordiality toward fierce Comrade Hun Sen.

In one occasion before CPP wolf pack, Hun Sen berated and dressed down scolding Sam Rainsy when all were in a group bidding farewell and sending off their King to Beijing. To many surprises, in spite of Hun Sen’s incivility toward him, Sam Rainsy continued to show respect with smiles toward Comrade Hun Sen. By tradition, a man of younger age shall show respect to elder. In this case it was Hun Sen who was the younger. However; noticeably Mr. Sar Kheng, Heng Samrin and Chea Sim seemed embarrassed and unimpressed by Comrade Hun Sen’s misbehaviors.

From a man perception, I think Mr. Sam Rainsy is amiable and remarkably tolerant toward the person whose purpose in life is to destroy him. I believe he earned that much affection from the same late King as Hun Sen did. In political correctness, Hun Sen should set aside his personal grudge and let it not be the obstacle to show how compassionate a Cambodia leader he is.

In all consideration, there are more to gain in national spirit and political agendas for Hun Sen in allowing Mr. Sam Rainsy to enter the country to pay respect to the late Great Heroic King. This will inevitably set a record in recognizing Comrade Hun Sen human side in a time of mourning as a true loyal subject to his adopted father and a climbing statesman of the nation in which it needs moral aspiration and fraternal tolerance.

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