In the days before outspoken government critic Kem Ley was gunned down in what many have deemed a politically motivated act, he posted a number of satirical vignettes to his Facebook page.
The short stories, labeled “jokes”, are highly allegorical, in the tone of George Orwell’s dystopian Animal Farm.
They make reference to corruption and restriction of freedoms, as well as Global Witness’ damning report Hostile Takeover, which investigated the business empire of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s family members and was released the week before Ley’s death.
Monkey Kres told Monkey Khol: “Every time I meet my boss and see they are committing corruption, I pretend to not see it, because I am afraid of not being promoted or not getting a fortune from the boss.”
Monkey Khol boasted to [the third monkey] Khor: “I heard my boss sold a building and obtained a large fortune, but I closed my eyes, pretending not to hear because he gave us $500 dollars each to buy bananas to eat. [In Khmer, the saying goes: You cannot speak out with a banana in your mouth].
Translated by Bun Sengkong