Response to "No crocodile tears for Scott" (Letters, PPP, Oct 20).
Dear Mr/Ms Anonymous,
As one of the "racists" you refer to in your assault on people concerned
with legal due process in Cambodia, I feel I must respond to your astounding declaration.
Need it be pointed out to any thinking person that the (English-language) Phnom Penh
Post inherently emphasizes stories concerning Westerners living in Cambodia, who
constitute the bulk of its readership? Are newspapers in Nigeria "racist"
when they give more coverage to the Nigerians arrested here than to Dr Scott?
While you are quite right that Dr Scott has been treated "in the same shoddy
manner as every Cambodian who is arrested" and that "the system absolutely
has to be improved for everyone", just how is that supposed to happen? By remaining
silent while obvious violations of a defendant's rights are happening before our
very eyes? Or by weakly hiding behind anonymous op-ed letters, criticizing people
for engaging in healthy, serious and open debate? By labeling us racists for doing
what few Cambodian citizens feel they are in a realistic position to do for themselves,
namely to speak out publicly and call a spade a spade? If the ex-pat community, being
in the privileged position of being able to publicly debate these crucial issues,
fails to stand up and speak out, who will? How then will there be the slighest hope
Do you really need it explained to you why foreigners don't "raise a hue and
cry" about every Cambodian drug smuggling and street crime that happens? Because
it doesn't immediately affect their lives or interests, just like in the West where
ex-pats there don't care about it either, unless they become a victim of it, that's
why. And quite frankly, it is Western foreigners doing most of the "crying",
not to mention financing, for the anti-drug operations in this country. Might I remind
you of our good friends, the DEA and Interpol, both active here and paid for entirely
by our "racist" foreign tax dollars? Without the presence of these organizations
in Cambodia, there would be near zero drug intervention currently happening.
And might you also suggest to me how publicly asking simple, pointed questions about
this case and the way it was handled is a "morally indefensible position"?
Or how I, or anyone else in the public, could have possibly come upon this information
you seem to possess regarding the suffering of the victims, when not even the totality
of their identities, let alone comprehensive information about the facts in the case,
were revealed to the defence, press or otherwise for months, if at all, following
Dr Scott's arrest?
What is your point, Sir/Madam? And for that matter, what is your name? Speaking for
myself, and I'm sure a large part of the ex-pat communty, I must say I am deeply
offended by your publicly labeling us racists. However, I shall not give you the
satisfaction of subsequently labeling you an ignorant, cowardly slanderer. It hardly
- Phillip Sykes, Phnom Penh.