The true worth of a person does not depend on family origins; it does, however, depend
very much on one's elementary education.
Generally speaking, fathers are considered to be good role models in the family when
they exhibit good morality and self-discipline. Therefore, the father is the model
for his children, especially his sons. This modeling occurs through moral education
There are two kinds of education, within the home and outside (at school and through
social mixing). Home education is the duty of the parents, especially the father.
If the father is good but his son is not, what is the cause? It is because the father
is good but he does not teach his son well and the child receives outside education
which is not good. We acknowledge that in rare instances some bad fathers produce
good sons. This is because of good outside education which influences behavior also.
People who commit violence and who violate others (women and children) are people
of the sort who lack morality and discipline. Violence or rape will diminish only
when moral and disciplined people say the justice system and the court system must
consist of moral professionals who respect and implement the law thoroughly.
Cambodian citizens still fear and detest the Khmer Rouge regime which did not respect
the law. These days there is no one who wants this regime to return. Youth who were
born after the KR regime do not know about its cruelty. Therefore, the bad behavior
of youth gangs also finds its source in poor education and fathers who do not act
as good role models for their children.
If a country has law and practices the law, the rape of a person is cause for concern
because it says that if today someone has raped a woman and the court does not impose
a proper punishment according to that law, later those men will dare to rape other
women. And other men will model themselves on those men. Therefore, law enforcement
is a key factor for eliminating negative social factors. Whatever youth have been
influenced by, if there is good law enforcement and justice, immoral activities of
youth will be suppressed.
Last Wednesday (23 April), the mayor of Phnom Penh ordered the municipal police to
stamp out gangs in the city. He said, however, that we would be able to eliminate
gangs completely from the city only when we had the cooperation of parents, schools
and local officials.
The prime minister has said that many youth gang members come from elite families
and are protected by power and wealth. Last year, he said there are more than 300,000
civil servants who can teach their children not to use force against those who are
Therefore, only education, good role modeling by fathers and proper law enforcement
can prevent violence committed by our youth or men generally.
- Huot Sokhsan - Communicator Cambodian Men's Network.