Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Word to the Wise

I have been writing this blog for some time now. Some of it is political, some of it is economic, and some of it is personal experience. However, whenever it gets political it seems as though only clear proponents and supporters of the opposition in Cambodia raise their heads, some with comments in its basest form, some insulting, some don’t even care to read what actually was written. They just assume that someone who is critical of the opposition must be in cahoots with the governing party and the governement itself. Being a foreigner with a sizable business interest in the country, I must, of course, benefit from the present power structure – how else can I succeed? Since most of the people posting aren’t businesspeople I don’t hold that opinion against them. How would they know how to succeed without becoming enmeshed in party politics or in the power structure? They wouldn’t because they – with a few exceptions - don’t have the slightest clue how things work here. I would only caution them to use common sense and fairness when judging other people, especially ones they never met in person, they don’t really know anything about, and when in most cases they do not have any understanding of a lot of things going on in Cambodia, as their experience is limited to newspaper accounts, third party knowledge, or impressions gained on short visits to the country. I noticed my most vocal critics don’t live in Cambodia at all. So where does their knowledge come from? Quite a few of the comments are from foreigners themselves, whose knowledge is, to say the least, limited. If they live in Cambodia they move in the same foreigner circles most of the time – don’t count bargirls as the ones from whom you can see and understand the local ambience. Only very few move in native circles almost exclusively – I am among them. Foreigners tend to see the situation with Western eyes and their set of values. Those values, however, are quite different in Asia. Just ask a Singaporean, a Malay, a Filipino, or an Indonesian. What Westerners find condemnable and downright despicable often doesn’t even raise an eyebrow among those people, by which I am not saying we shouldn’t work hard to bring progress to the country.

They never noticed that apart from a few exceptions I refrain from making outright positive comments about the government or the CPP. What I do want to highlight, however, is the ineptitude of the opposition, first among them, of course, the SRP with its leader. I don’t want to get into another round of criticism here. I don’t need to criticize the government and the CPP. Many others do that already. Why should I add my voice? My aim is to illustrate to interested people reading my blog that there might be other avenues for an opposition other than obstinacy that might lead to a better cooperation with the government, which in turn might lead to achieving some of the opposition’s goals altogether. I am not a professional politician, but from my longtime experience in other countries I know there are different ways, even in Asian countries. I also know many politicians are a rather sad lot to begin with and they make so many blunders one can only shake one’s head in wonderment. And that applies to all countries, I would think. There just isn’t a perfect democracy in the world. As we humans are so imperfect how can the systems we set up be perfect?

So in that sense, I will continue my blog in the same vein, and I reserve the right to moderate comments, some of which clearly come from immature, conceited, self-righteous know-it-alls. If you can make a constructive contribution to a discussion, you are more than welcome. But lay off commenting off-topic and clearly nonsensical remarks.

P. S. Hardly was this post online did I promptly get a comment insulting me. Some people just don't have the stature and brains to participate in an exchange in a civilized manner.

1 comment:

berthelot said...

Thanks for your time and your writing.

Au plaisir de vous lire.