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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Who do MPs work for?

Who do MPs work for?

The decision by the National Assembly in a closed session, by hand count,

February 3, 2005, to remove the immunities of Sam Rainsy, Chea Poch, and Cheam

Channy reflects once again Cambodia's recent history and continuing tradition of

our top leaders selfish misconduct.

But most importantly, I am

disappointed by the 98 of 103 members that hand voted to remove immunity from

their three colleagues. Once again, instead of standing up for their rights and

principles, they gave up their integrity to appease their mighty bosses. They

wanted to be safe. They didn't have the courage to represent the people. The

price they paid for being obedient will cost Cambodia again and again, because

of their inability to confront the issue of legislative responsibility.


true National Assembly member must believe in himself or herself to serve the

national interest, the people of Cambodia, not the personal interest of their

autocratic bosses. They must be the catalyst for any change they wish to see in

Cambodia. Their principles must be based on putting faith in:

* One vote

can change a nation.

* One voice can speak with wisdom.

* One

heart knows can know the real true.

* One life can make the


In Cambodia, once again, disobedience in the National

Assembly is not our real problem. Our real problem is blind obedience. Yes, it

is dangerous to be right when the top leaders are wrong. But it is up to all of

them to dare to make the difference and to have the courage to stand up against

their powerful bosses if they truly want to serve the people of Cambodia and the

national interest.

Sovachana Pou

Phnom Penh



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