As a member of Funcinpec Steering Committee and present at the committee meeting
on August 24, 2002, I wish to set the records straight with the Phnom Penh Post which
so wrongly reported on the discussions and contents of the meeting, in the article
"Funcinpec members fear meltdown" (August 30-September 12).
The Steering Committee meets on a regular basis and is chaired by the president
of the party or the dean, as stated in the party By-Laws. Contrary to your article,
I can assure you that I was not "ordered" to attend that meeting or any
meeting. I see my attendance as my duty and obligation. I can also assure you that
members of the Steering Committee speak freely at each meeting, and not a single
member has ever been interrupted or expelled for expressing his or her opinion.
At the August 24th meeting, H.E. Kol Pheng was proposed by the party secretary-general
as a spokesperson, and the proposition was unanimously supported by the Steering
Committee. It is not unusual for a political party to have a spokesperson. H.E. Kol
Pheng was nominated as spokesperson for his wisdom and his sense of responsibility.
We trust him to be fair and to speak with a high sense of ethics.
At that meeting, the president did not order anyone to stop speaking to the press.
To the contrary, the president reminded us of the freedom of expression, a fundamental
principle of democracy.
I wish to sincerely remind the Phnom Penh Post reporters or any reporter to seek
out people who wish to speak and dare to reveal their identity to make your articles
more credible. A credible article is based on facts that come out of research and
different opinions on the same issue.