Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sar Kheng: ‘Dissent normal, opposing views not enemy’



Sar Kheng: ‘Dissent normal, opposing views not enemy’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Sar Kheng said dissenting voices are a normal part of politics, and that Cambodia would not stray from the path of multi-party liberal democracy. Sar kheng’s facebook page

Sar Kheng: ‘Dissent normal, opposing views not enemy’

Minister of Interior Sar Kheng said dissenting voices are a normal part of politics, and that Cambodia could not stray from the path of multi-party liberal democracy as the power to lead the Kingdom was born from elections.

Speaking on Saturday at the inauguration of the Satharam Pagoda in Prey Veng province’s Kanh Chriech district, Sar Kheng said: “We want to highlight that Cambodia today is a multi-party liberal democracy. Democracy consists of ruling and opposition parties.

“The opposition criticises the government if it does something wrong. But those who express differing views are not considered to be the enemy. Their views are that of the opposition,” Sar Kheng said.

The Cambodian Constitution stipulates that Cambodia is a multi-party liberal democracy, he said, with power coming from the people and no one is able to decide on the affairs of the country on their own.

“The majority of dissenting voices mean well, such as if they see the police violating people’s rights, or if the courts punish them unfairly. Then what we consider to be dissenting voices are correct. People can speak out in a democracy,” Sar Kheng said.

However, the freedom to speak out must be used constructively and not merely to attack the government, he stressed.

Kin Phea, the director-general of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, agreed with Sar Kheng that the Kingdom was a democratic society. This meant it valued a culture of pluralism and conflicting ideas.

“All dissenting voices and differing views should be considered attentively. But are they reasonable or correct? They must reflect what is happening in society so that the authorities and those involved can carry out their duties better,” Phea said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital

  • Phnom Penh underpass opens to ease traffic

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced a temporary opening of the 488m underpass at the Chaom Chao roundabout in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district, which was recently completed to connect traffic from National Road 4 to Russian Federation Blvd. The move is to reduce

  • Banteay Meanchey floods kill one more as death toll reaches 15

    As floodwaters start to recede in Pursat, Battambang and Pailin provinces and Phnom Penh, Banteay Meanchey continues to bear the brunt as one more person was killed on Monday, bringing the total number of flood-related deaths to 15 in the province this month. Banteay Meanchey provincial

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from