I have coined a new concept called “Everything But Politics” (EBP) which could be of great values for Cambodia. EBP is a scheme where preferential treatment for a country like Cambodia does not include politics in any consideration.
It would help relieve poverty. It is successful when the recipient country moves forwards in leaps and bounds with economic growth.
It is considered unsuccessful and requires reevaluation when the economy stagnates for some reasons. Domestic politics does not appeal to its removal.
We might agree on everything. When it comes to politics, we tend to disagree.
That’s why we called it EBP or Everything But Politics. Give peace a chance in Cambodia, would you? Everything But Arms is good but oftentimes it is used as a political tool at the costs of the livelihood of those living off it. Cambodia deserves a better version of EBA, which is the EBP, considering the backgrounds.
We express our sincere thanks and gratitude to many friendly countries around the world who gave Cambodia justice and remain supportive to the good causes and the efforts of the Royal Government of Cambodia to move this country from war to peace, from confrontation to dialogue, from devastation to sustainable development adhering to the multiparty liberal democratic system and respecting the rule of laws, despite many challenges.
In the last 25 years, short timescale of democratisation process, in Cambodia the democratic tree had been planted and is growing, rooting and consolidating. The courts still function, the opposition still speaks, the media still do their jobs, and above all, the Cambodia people have a strong and enormously influential voice.
What Cambodia needs now is cooperation and collaborations and efforts to move this country forward to achieve sustainable development goals. We have the aspiration to become the high middle income country by 2030.
The only mission of the defunct opposition party, in all these years of their creation, is one and only to remove Samdech Hun Sen from power and nothing else. No political program for the development of the country, nor their long term vision for Cambodia.
They are fully aware that they cannot succeed in democratic elections and that is why they are in collusion to use ways to topple this government non-democratically. But the law of karma applies.
They did not and will not succeed. The former leaders of defunct opposition parties and allies are desperate, weak and irrelevant. They are affected by “diaspora’s decease” but they are still capable to manage using some foreign diplomats to act as their agents and as spokesman on their behalf.
They represent them well, regardless of all facts and explanations being provided. Every word they speak is very much the statement of the outlawed in exile under the name of upholding democracy and human rights. As such these foreign diplomats are not helping to consolidate democracy in Cambodia, instead they are joining hands to pull apart the fabric of democratic principles and the rules of laws in this poor country, which we have spent so much resource to invest.
Cambodia is not a country without problems, but yes, something positive is happening here. Cambodia’s achievements in socio-economic transformation are remarkable, but success also brings us new challenges.
It is not easy to build a poor and under-developed country into a prosperous one, if on top of that, the country is emerging from war. This is a clear case for Everything But Politics to be applied to Cambodia.
However, with strong commitment and determination from the Royal Government of Cambodia to overcome obstacles and challenges, and with the continuing support from our development partners, Cambodia will be graduating overtime. Cambodia is moving up the value chain, and we have the aspiration to become a high-income country by 2030 and by then we would not need EBP and EBP, which should be given to another country.
The most striking difference between the development of democracy in the old democracies and the new or emerging ones is that of timescale, pre-conditions and legacies.
In most of the old democracies, the evolution towards their current arrangements was a gradual one, spanning two centuries or more, and including some quite dramatic reverses.
Whereas the new and emerging nations, which have only 20 to 30 years to do so, success is sporadic. In the old democracies, nations were able to strengthen their economies, with strong and active trade, established a strong base for efficient public institutions and maintaining effective rules of laws well ahead of democratic election.
Even in the elections, they initially even started only with limited and selected eligible citizens to vote, long before they started with universal suffrage.
For the new and emerging democracies, nations started with universal suffrage right from the beginning while the economy and public institutions are still in transition at the early stage of structural adjustment. It is like building the track while the train is coming at full speed.
Our 60 years of historical experiences taught us very dearly lessons that only through peace and stable environment and adhering to the democratic principle and the rules of laws that the country can fully develop and prosper with dignity and pride, and with good intention from humanitarian countries around the world.
EBP is a true sustainable humanitarian program where “a country is not given fish to eat but taught to fish.”