Samdech Techo Hun Sen’s Trump Card

November 11, 2016

Samdech Techo Hun Sen’s Trump Card

by Mish Khan, Associate Editor

Cambodia reacts to Trump’s divisive success.

Image result for Hun Sen endorses Donald Trump

Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen has taken to Facebook to congratulate Donald Trump’s success in the United States presidential elections.

Donning a Trump-esque red cap and seated in a golf cart, Hun Sen wrote:

I would like to congratulate HE Donald Trump for achieving victory in [the] US presidential election.

Several days ago I have publicly support your candidature, till several individuals have come out to criticise me and referring to you, Mr Donald Trump, as a dictator to have endorsement coming from a leader like myself.

At this moment the American voters have shown their choice to elect your excellency the same way as my support for your candidacy is not wrong either.

Hun Sen, who has ruled Cambodia for three decades, was referring to backlash from headlines last week when he endorsed Trump for president. He stated on Thursday, “If Trump wins, the world might change and it might be better, because Trump is a businessman and a businessman does not want war.”

In contrast, the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party openly blasted both Trump and Hun Sen last week, with officially exiled leader Sam Rainsy criticising them as two of a kind.

“Birds of the same feather flock together. Trump seems to believe in the absolute power of money. Hun Sen seems to believe in the absolute power of the gun coupled with money… Trump and Hun Sen are definitely not democrats.”

Image result for Hun Sen endorses Donald Trump

Michelle Obama and Cambodia’s Buny Rany meet Cambodian students

Although many analysts claim a Trump administration will probably not represent a major shift in US policy towards Cambodia, which is not of great strategic importance to the United States, a win for Trump could still be a major win for Hun Sen.

For one, a Trump presidency would have much less to say about violations of democracy and human rights in a regime notorious for such abuses.

“For years, Hun Sen has been frustrated by the constant lectures by Western governments about how he runs his country, and the fact that Cambodia so often seems to be ‘singled out’ for criticism over human rights violations. Now there’s a president-elect who has shown little interest in delivering these kinds of lectures,” said Sebastian Strangio, the author of Hun Sen’s Cambodia.

This has been eerily confirmed by the ruling Cambodian People’s Party.

Spokesman Sok Eysan stated, “Trump’s vision would seem to be beneficial for Cambodia, as a small country, as he won’t be like the leaders of the big countries … They want to consider us as children, and evaluate us poorly without respecting sovereignty and independence.”

Furthermore, rebuking Trump may have lost Sam Rainsy a powerful ally in the US — which would be a major blow to his endeavours to oust Hun Sen’s rusted on regime in July 2018 elections.

“Sam Rainsy says Donald Trump is a dictator, and the opposition party used to rely on the US… How will they continue to rely on the US if Sam Rainsy has called the new president a dictator?” asked Eysan.

Mish Khan is Associate Editor at New Mandala and a fourth-year Asian Studies/law student at the Australian National University.


3 thoughts on “Samdech Techo Hun Sen’s Trump Card

  1. “Trump is a businessman and a businessman does not want war.” Really? For small business men, may be so. But for mega businesses like arms manufacturers and their sales agents there must constantly be smoke and fire. No war, no money – how to survive?

  2. Najib and Rosmah will definitely try and get close to Trump and there may be even initial success such as dropping of DOJ case. But a pro-Israel, anti-Saudi Trump is just to easy to ignite to blow up. When the first terrorist bomb blows up in KL, it’s on UMNO-PAS head.

  3. These mega businessmen , a billionaire like Trump, who is now the POTUS of a prestigious Nation , he might be financing Wars all over the Globe for all we know, like what Bush and Blair did in the middle east……? Hope not

    We live in a dangerous World… we progress to the new Century , all the weak nations have to be fully prepared for a possible onslaught …..countries with both power & money , tend to be Reckless….

    The twisted psychology by those bullied : No peace , there will be no end of wars by the weaker nations which refuse to be subdued and will reverse it and say : Unless you stop bullying , we will give you no peace ……

    Carry on , we will brand you ‘ Extremists ‘ – it goes cyclical…..

    Some religious texts do say this : ” Cursed is this world and cursed is all that is in this world , except the remembrance of God …..” ……. ( non compos mentis )

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