วันพฤหัสบดีที่ 7 มกราคม พ.ศ. 2553

Is Hun Sen qualified for world worst dictator yet?: Opinion by Kok Sap

Hun Sen: "Me no Stooge but Master of Cambodia Profiteer Party" (Photo:Reuters)

7 January 2010
By Kok Sap
Originally posted at http://khamerlogue.wordpress.com/

From 2003 Parade magazine featured world worst dictators. Following years ASEAN plus 3 club seems steadying at the top places between N. Korea, China, and Myanmar. In 2007 alone, 4 out of 20 went to Myanmar-Than Swe (6) and Laos- Choummaly Sayasone (16), N. Korea-Little Kim Jong Il (2) and China- Hu Jintao (4). Hopefully 2009 Hun Sen will make the list before he will become ASEAN chairman in 2012.

Since UNTAC left in 1993, billions of dollar in donations poured into Cambodia for government and administrative expenses. Yet CIA world factbook indicates external debts are $4.127 billions in 2008 and $3.89 billions in 2007, roadways in total 38,093Km but only paved 2,977 Km; railways total 602 Km which partial is useable and the rest needs to rebuild; airports 17 but only 6 with paved runways; below standard ports 1 in Phnom Penh and another in Kg. Som; and military expenditures still 3% of GDP based on 2005 estimate. The rate of infrastructure rebuilding seems very slow i.e. it took 8 years to construct 142 Km road (6,5) from Siem Reap to O’Chrao (Siam Ploy Paet, French Poi Pet)).

In 20th century, Cambodia's Pol Pot killed millions and held a distinctive place to be equal to dictators like Hitler, Stalin, Mao Tse Dong and Ho Chi Minh. Hun Sen born in 1951, a former Pol Pot foot soldier with marginal education and unquestionable loyalty to Hanoi, made himself the world youngest Premier and wealthier than all at age 33. To be what and where he is today, he has toppled his first Premier Pen Sovann and then arranged to send the second Premier Chan Si to secret death in Moscow hospital. The tactics reminded us how Pol Pot had done similar to be top dog in his regime from 1975 to his death in 1998.

In July 1997 bloody coup, it ‘s made known there were 100 killed and several more fled the country. Since then Hun Sen seems following his former ex-leader Pol Pot footstep into the dawn of 21st century.

From watching him delivering his animating speech on state television, his facial expressions and body languages especially when he spoke of his political opponents remind people of Hitler addressing his SS/Nazi rally. From folly gestures to turning his back at audience while talking to the walls or chastising and insulting his subordinates for a laughter, surely Hun Sen seemed disturbed, may be, from mental disorder and post traumatic syndrome disorder. Too much anger in him, the profile can be an apparent sign of paranoia and psychotic delusion that Pol Pot had suffered.

The longer he stayed behind microphones, the more flaws and insolences of Libya dictator Muammar al Qadhafi type showed. He buries himself in speech as a theatrical stunt person but often unsure what’s he talking about. His speech filled with unnecessary stories away from real policy points. It’s clear, after having stayed at the helm for 31 years and no one told him his weaknesses, he almost believes everything he says is the truth. There were points he went into rage and believed all critics are out to destroy him. He is truly to believe he is irreplaceable and Cambodia is his property.

In ASEAN close circle, Hun Sen’s thuggish nature alienated people who knew him. One seasoned diplomat from Thailand has called Hun Sen, a thug and a bluff. In contrast to elite circle of Cambodia, he is the great and unmatched leader.

In 2006, Police General Heng Pov as his personal advisor had a fall out and turned on him and his henchman Hok Lundi. Unfortunately, Hok Lundi died from suspicious helicopter crash after he arrested and jailed Heng Pov for good. He was Hun Sen handy man during 1997 coup and the most corruptive police officer in the nation. Many knew Hok Lundi was too dangerous and a hefty liability for Hun Sen. So his cause of sudden death remains suspicious and mysterious to date.

In UN arena, Hun Sen is known Cambodia‘s Iron Fist and one of the worst human rights detractor and abuser. UN and Khmer Rouge victims had to wait 10 years to see the ECCC up and running. He has done anything to disrupt and ensure the UN initiated tribunal is a failure.

In looking back into 1993, under UNTAC nose, he personally ordered the protest and protesters to violently attack fellow SNC members, Khieu Samphan and peers. Since then every UN human rights commission special envoy has been a target for his verbal belligerences and threats. He mocked UN after fact that, if it wasn’t for UN concerted efforts, Hun Sen might never see the light of peace yet. Presently Cambodia faces increasing of censorship in media and free expression and denial of human rights protection. Many journalists and activists ended up dead, in jail and flee the country.

Under his successive government performances:

In financial and trade, Cambodia is known as one of the worst corruptive and poor fiscal responsible nations in records. It sells export rights to foreign countries to ship their products in lieu of Cambodia’s own for world markets. In shipping and fishing venues, it sells rights to foreign higher bidders in order for them to fly its flag to avoid tariffs and sail through international water.

Compare to other ASEAN members, Cambodia poverty rate is stagnant and the good governance and transparency is non-existed, education is below standard and Laos, unemployment and crime rate is going up daily, land title and distribution is ineffective. The eviction and land grab is uncontrollable plus recently World Bank assistance in land title issuance and distribution has been scrapped by Hun Sen. Overall, no economic safety net in place and US and Russia debts still unpaid.

In social culture, Cambodia is embracing revisionary culture of feudalistic class. Government can’t enforce laws and societal norms stink. Teachers stop teaching and educational system is also corrupted. Most military and law enforcement high ranking officers corrupt to afford outlandish lifestyle in opulent mansions. Each of them and Hun Sen, no exception, uses governmental office and privilege to front enterprises of foreign origins. Most senior ministers and high ranking officers hold titles and ownership of big investment firms and land holdings. Hun Sen and his wife or children share ownership of large monopoly companies in telecommunication, media, oil and energy, and mines. Worst his siblings with no education or capital back in Viet occupation era, now they are tycoons bearing feudal privileged status and unquestionable power of all sorts. Some of his relatives are deep in syndicated and organized crimes and smuggling ring in drug, timber and gambling. Thus social disorderly and moral degradation are owed to his clan and thug personae.

At the UN expenses, in 1993 Cambodia was given an opportunity for first time after Viet prolonged war since 1970 to be a self-controlled and respected sovereignty. But Hun Sen saw it otherwise. The corruptive mechanisms and systematic power abuse go on unchecked. Cambodia government is too corruptive and human rights protection is too pathetic. In economic and livelihood, 90% of population can barely afford $0.50 per day while the top tier children drive flashy cars worth up to $500,000 and countless worldly trips. In sum, all are made possible by dictator Hun Sen, his family and his senior governmental officials who are not only blocking the anti-graft and corruption laws from passing but also obstructing justice for the humanity and killing fields’ victims too.