Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Malaysian MP calls on his government to take stand on Cambodian elections



Malaysian MP calls on his government to take stand on Cambodian elections

Malaysian MP calls on his government to take stand on Cambodian elections

A Malaysian parliamentarian raised concerns in his country on Wednesday about Cambodia’s July 29 national elections and urged his government to clarify its position on the subject, the Asean Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) said on Thursday.

Wong Chen, a member of the People’s Justice Party (PKR) which is part of Malaysia’s ruling coalition, said: “I urge the Malaysian government to take a more proactive stance on Cambodia in the same way we took a proactive stance against the Myanmar government on the Rohingya refugee issue under the Najib administration,” he said.

But the Cambodian Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan brushed off the comments, saying that as Malaysia is just a small country, it can’t wade into the internal affairs of Cambodia.

“I believe that we, as a new government, owe a duty not only to reform our own election laws to safeguard justice and uphold democracy but that we go further and promote and safeguard free and fair elections in the Asean region,” Chen, who is also a member of APHR, said.

Siphan countered, saying: “He is just a Malaysian parliamentarian. Malaysia is a full-rights member of Asean, which will not interfere in the internal affairs of another member state.”

Adding that Chen is of no interest to the Royal Government of Cambodia, Siphan said he is just a representative of a small country, not Asean. “[Malaysia] is not America or France, it is just a small country,” he stressed.

In the lead-up to this month’s elections, the international community has expressed concern about Cambodia’s democratic development.

And while China and Japan continue to help fund the National Election Committee (NEC), the US and the European Union (EU) have withdrawn funds.

Political analyst Lao Mong Hay said Chen’s letter will have little impact because Asean governments are bound by the bloc’s policy of non-interference in each other’s internal affairs.

“As it has done before, the Cambodian government would use this principle to ward off what it would call interference in the current election, which is very much the country’s internal affair,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Ministry mulls ASEAN+3 travel bubble

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a travel bubble allowing transit between Cambodia and 12 other regional countries in a bid to resuscitate the tourism sector amid crushing impact of the ongoing spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • PM asks India for vaccine help

    Prime Minister Hun Sen is seeking assistance from India for the provision of Covid-19 vaccines as the country has produced its own vaccine which is scheduled to be rolled out to more than 300 million Indians this year. The request was made during his meeting with

  • One million Chinese Covid-19 jabs to start rolling in from February

    The government has confirmed that Covid-19 vaccines from China are set to begin arriving in Cambodia by February. This came as the Ministry of Health recorded two imported cases of Covid-19 on January 18. While calling on people to remain vigilant against the pandemic, ministry spokeswoman