Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Emphasise justice instead of public displays of destruction

Emphasise justice instead of public displays of destruction

Emphasise justice instead of public displays of destruction

Dear Editor,
On 20 January 2010, a local newspaper reported the crushing of 1,357 chainsaws that had been used for illegal logging and seized in Kratie. This is not the first time implements seized after a crime were destroyed in publicised events. There have been many instances whereby tools used for criminal activities, including fishing gear (ie, nets, wood, bamboo, batteries) and machinery have been crushed or burned. I cannot comprehend why it is necessary to destroy these items, which are harmless in and of themselves and hold commercial resale value. It is their incorrect usage that is harmful and must be controlled.

In my view, instead of destroying such implements, we can exploit them for legal and productive purposes so long as proper “control systems” are in place. Destroying harmless and useful items is not constructive. First, we destroy instruments that could be utilised lawfully and productively, or could be sold and the revenues used to support the poorly paid law enforcement officers involved. Second, it costs money to destroy them irrespective of the damage done to the environment as a result of their destruction.

What is the rationale behind such destruction? Does it serve as a warning that those items are illegal? If it is so, why does the government allow their importation in the first place? Is it to inform the public of the government’s performance and tough stance on crime? If so, a better way is to illustrate that perpetrators are brought to justice. Is it to prevent these tools from being used again for illegal gains? If so, it is not a proactive solution.

Chenda Keo
Australia National University

Send letters to: [email protected] or PO?Box 146, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The Post reserves the right to edit letters to a shorter length.
The views expressed above are solely the author’s and do not reflect any positions taken by The Phnom Penh Post.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all