Minister of Interior Sar Kheng said citizens are highly conscious and merely want peace and happiness, and that certain politicians failed to grasp this concept.
Speaking at a “Ceremony of Thanks” held on Saturday in Prey Veng province, Sar Kheng expressed his thanks to the working groups who organised the Sangkran events in the provinces of Prey Veng, Battambang and Banteay Meanchey this year.
He expressed his admiration for all authorities and parties who organised the events, as well as the residents who did not cause problems during the Khmer New Year holidays. He said problems were avoided thanks to peace and stability.
“It is because of this that we can also understand that our people want to have peace, stability, development and happiness. They do not want to see any bitterness – as in times past. That is how we can see that certain politicians may not understand the citizens’ mentality."
“If they are invited to ceremonies, to pagodas, to go on holiday or participate in some sort of event with a festive mood, it may be easy. However, if invited to a scuffle, perhaps they won’t go. This is why we regard our citizens as being so highly conscious."
“This we consider to be analytical thought ingrained in our citizens’ minds due to the considerable hardships we have gone through in the 70s . . . It is an episode we all know,” Sar Kheng said.
Sar Kheng, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, said following the “bitter” experiences the Kingdom had gone through, it took a very long time and a lot of resources, flesh and blood to obtain what the Kingdom has today.
“Thus citizens understand the problem. This is why we respect and praise their mindset and critical thinking for being so proper.”
Kin Phea, the director-general of the International Relations Institute at the Royal Academy of Cambodia, said Sar Kheng appeared to be aiming at politicians of the former Cambodia National Rescue Party when he said: “certain politicians may not understand the citizens’ mentality”.
“There is still a tendency for some politicians to attempt to persuade citizens to choose a path towards some form of change, which may carry a high risk in the service of politics in Cambodia."
“We can judge our citizens’ decisions as the deep thought of people who have gone through war and a bitter history – they retain the path of politics that provides political stability and peace,” he said.
Kin Phea said some politicians want to bring about positive and peaceful change, but that the methods they went about doing so were not peaceful.
He said Cambodian society still faced problems, some of which opposition politicians have used as instruments to attack the government, with citizens falling into their strategies.