To the Editor,
As an avid reader of newspapers, I always take notice of
each author's articles and opinions. They have their own different ideas of
writing. Most of them - the foreign journalists - give a balanced coverage of
what is going on in Cambodia.
Nate Thayer has been a very vociferous
writer on Cambodia. All he has written, from my observation, is the worst
I, along with other Cambodians, understand that constructive
criticism is vital for ruling government officials to reflect on their misdeeds
and wrongdoings. I have read a lot of Thayer's articles in the Phnom Penh Post
and the Far Eastern Economic Review, and I understand that some of his thoughts
are appreciated, but most parts are vitriolic. He tries as much as possible to
give savage remarks about Cambodia. I know that what he writes is, partially,
true. But why does he think that people perform rightfully at all times?
Everyone commits mistakes deliberately or unintentionally. What does he want
Cambodia to be?
He witnessed Cambodia's legitimate Royal government is
just making its way toward fully-fledged democracy and has only been in office
for two years. How can you eliminate all the negative aspects? Lets imagine you
were ruling the country. Will you be able to gain national reconciliation with
all parties including the outlawed Khmer Rouge in Pailin? Can you make enough
revenue by levying taxes and duties from the long-time, famine-stricken people
to pay for the military, police and civil servants and rehabilitate the
infrastructure of the country by not accepting international aid?
fully aware that you never like this country's ruling system because of some
elements from the former communist State of Cambodia regime. If you have such
ideas, please Mr Thayer, don't care about Cambodia. Just let it be isolated and
let its leaders rule with support from all the constructive critics to make
Cambodia more prosperous and do not always try your best to look into the "bad
image" of the government.
I'm not a government servant, only a Cambodian
citizen living here. I hate communism, authoritarianism, corruption, human
rights violations and the forbidding of free speech, but I appreciate the
present performance of the government. I spent almost half a century living in
Cambodia, I know what Cambodia has been through from 1970 up till the present
time. To restore the country from what was "nothing and oppression" to its
present status has been far from easy. You have been here a long time so you
should understand the actual situation in this pitiful country. If you cannot
help it then please do not try to block its development.
Our democracy is
very young and fragile, we need assistance from the world to stand on our own
two feet. I don't know if the United States - a powerful and rich country -
could have had a good democracy after only one or two years.
sure, even if you have a very experienced and powerful Prime Minister, you can't
turn an impoverished, war-torn country into what you dream is democracy in the
We would appreciate if your opposition opinion is helpful to our
social, economic and political development and not used to prevent the outside
world from aiding Cambodia. Do not look for the worst things in Cambodia to
write about, or say that Cambodia is a very bad country as you always have in
your coverage in many famous newspapers and magazines.
In the Review you
wrote: "... is it worthwhile to pour more money into a country of little
strategic and economic interest if its government is not interested in
democracy?" Do you mean by this to tell the international community to halt all
further progress in Cambodia?
Please Mr Thayer be kind enough to help
Cambodians reconstruct their beloved Cambodia and you would be a good friend to
all of us.
- Sao Volak, Phnom Penh