About a week or so ago the King appointed 21 advisers to Khem Sokha, the new Vice President of the Cambodian Assembly. If it were the governing CPP this would not have been a surprise because they hand out these positions as a reward to the party faithful who toe the line. Khem Sokha,however, is the vice president of the CNRP.
I faintly remember that the CNRP wanted to reform the system. But I must have misread. Why would he need all these advisers? It is not that they make a whole lot of money but the image and status that goes with such a position will be turned into monetary advantages in many respects. Some of them will get the rank of state secretary and some that of a minister. Not too shabby. This is also why there are so many of them; they just bought that position. I know someone who is a nightclub owner and also an adviser to Heng Samrin for legal matters. This gentleman is not an attorney; he does not have a law degree whatsoever. This whole thing is one more example how corrupt everybody in politics in Cambodia is – the CNRP is no exception. It is outright outrageous and flies in the face of their voters. The believed they voted for people of integrity.
On another note, speaking of the Assembly. Heng Samrin, the president of the Assembly, issued a rule for the Assembly under which the committees cannot invite people or civil society organizations to testify before them. Their attendance must be approved by Heng Samrin first. This again is an aberration of the democratic process – or in other words, politics Cambodian style. But then, Communist-style dictates are hard to erase from their heads.