Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Now is not the time for change



Now is not the time for change

Now is not the time for change

Dear Editor,

Although one may sympathise with the views expressed by Mr Hilleary in Wednesday’s edition of The Phnom Penh Post, I think particular care needs to be taken by those within the international community truly committed to the development of democracy in Cambodia.

Withdrawal of aid at this moment could send quite the opposite message to that intended, and any shortfall in promised financial support could almost certainly be made up by a state with a different view of the way Cambodia should be governed.

It is very doubtful if the result of the election will be overturned, and maybe more reports will be issued asserting that the whole electoral process was generally free and fair.

Such dubious blessings are nothing new. Indeed, one was recently given by the head of the Southern African Development Community observer mission after the recent election in Zimbabwe.

I know many in Harare do not share his opinion, but there is little they can do except look to the next election. It may be a long haul, but perhaps, despite the frustration, this is the way that Cambodia will need to go forward too.

It should not be forgotten that, to some extent, Cambodia was in a similar position 20 years ago. There can be no suggestion today of having two prime ministers, but there are real opportunities for the kind of power sharing which leads to the appointment of ministers from each of the main parties.

The situation is delicate, but maybe the best stance real friends of the Cambodian people can take at this time is to make no changes, or threats of changes, to the aid programs already in being.

Michael Hansen
Phnom Penh

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia on the verge of national tragedy, WHO warns

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia warned that the country had reached another critical point amid a sudden, huge surge in community transmission cases and deaths. “We stand on the brink of a national tragedy because of Covid-19. Despite our best efforts, we are

  • Phnom Penh curfew starts today

    A two-week curfew from 8pm to 5am starts today in Phnom Penh, a day after a sub-decree detailing administrative measures to contain Covid-19 was issued by Prime Minister Hun Sen. “Travelling in Phnom Penh is temporally banned between 8pm and 5am,” said Phnom Penh governor

  • Vaccination open to foreigners in Cambodia

    The Ministry of Health on April 8 issued an announcement on Covid-19 vaccination for foreigners residing and working in Cambodia, directing the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training and local authorities to register them. Health minister Mam Bun Heng, who is also head of the inter-ministerial

  • Cambodia gears up for muted New Year festival

    The recent curfew and restrictions imposed in the capital and other Covid-19 hotspots were intended to break the chain of transmission, Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said as municipal and provincial authorities issued new directives banning certain activities during the upcoming Khmer New Year

  • Culture ministry: Take Tuol Sleng photos down, or else

    The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts has told Irish photographer Matt Loughrey to take down the photos of Khmer Rouge victims at Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum which he allegedly colourised and altered to show them smiling. The ministry said Loughrey's work is unacceptable, affecting

  • Covid-19 vaccination now obligatory

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on April 11 issued a sub-decree making Covid-19 vaccination compulsory for individuals unless they have a medical certificate proving they have pre-existing health conditions that prevent them from doing so. «This applies to all members of the armed forces and civil servants