Malaysian MP calls on his government to take stand on Cambodian elections


July 23, 2018

COMMENT:

Image result for Din Merican

My advice to this Malaysian MP is that he should deal with the internal problems of his own party, Parti Keadilan Rakyat and sort out Malaysia’s mess before interfering in Cambodia’s internal affairs. So far our relations with the Kingdom have been close and fraternal, despite the fact our previous Ambassador Hassan Malek was a bit of an embarrassment, to put it mildly.

Respect Cambodia’s sovereignty and let the Cambodian people choose the government they want. MP Wong should learn more about the politics of Cambodia, its history and culture, and its progress since 1998. To its credit, the Cambodian Government did not comment on Malaysia’s GE-14, but it did congratulate Dr. Mahathir Mohamad when new Malaysia Government took over Putrajaya on May 9, 2018.

MP Wong Chen, come to Phnom Penh and I will be happy to educate you. For starters, you should know that Cambodia is an open country. Unlike Malaysia, it does not discriminate its citizens on the basis of colour, creed, race or religion. How about fixing that in stead of being bloody minded.–Din Merican

Another comment from Murray Hunter in Bangkok, Thailand: “Maybe Mr Wong is better served getting a foreign affairs parliamentary committee working for issues intra-ASEAN and international. Shooting from the hip outside the Foreign Minister of his Government within the ASEAN understanding may not be the most wise thing to do. Anyway knowing the political climate in Kuala Lumpur at the moment, it is a story that will be forgotten tomorrow.”

Malaysian MP calls on his government to take stand on Cambodian elections

A Malaysian parliamentarian raised concerns in his country on Wednesday about Cambodia’s July 29 national elections and urged his government to clarify its position on the subject, the Asean Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) said on Thursday.

Image result for PKR's Wong Chen

Wong Chen (pic above), a member of the People’s Justice Party (PKR) which is part of Malaysia’s ruling coalition, said: “I urge the Malaysian government to take a more proactive stance on Cambodia in the same way we took a proactive stance against the Myanmar government on the Rohingya refugee issue under the Najib administration,” he said.

But the Cambodian Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan brushed off the comments, saying that as Malaysia is just a small country, it can’t wade into the internal affairs of Cambodia.

“I believe that we, as a new government, owe a duty not only to reform our own election laws to safeguard justice and uphold democracy but that we go further and promote and safeguard free and fair elections in the Asean region,” Chen, who is also a member of APHR, said.

Siphan countered, saying: “He is just a Malaysian parliamentarian. Malaysia is a full-rights member of ASEAN which will not interfere in the internal affairs of another member state.”

Adding that Chen is of no interest to the Royal Government of Cambodia, Siphan said he is just a representative of a small country, not ASEAN. “[Malaysia] is not America or France, it is just a small country,” he stressed.

In the lead-up to this month’s elections, the international community has expressed concern about Cambodia’s democratic development.

And while China and Japan continue to help fund the National Election Committee (NEC), the US and the European Union (EU) have withdrawn funds.

Political analyst Lao Mong Hay said Chen’s letter will have little impact because ASEAN governments are bound by the bloc’s policy of non-interference in each other’s internal affairs.

“As it has done before, the Cambodian government would use this principle to ward off what it would call interference in the current election, which is very much the country’s internal affair,” he said.

8 thoughts on “Malaysian MP calls on his government to take stand on Cambodian elections

  1. A greenhorn > busybody who is trying to get the attention by opening his big mouth. His own party, PKR is in shackle and not being able to put the party in its right perspective till today with all kinds of squabbles within.

    We should respect Cambodia for its progress after guerilla warfare for nearly 2 decades which had torn the country apart, worst than Malaysia during the japanese invasion and thereafter the communist infiltration. Today the sovereignty of Cambodia is well respected although it lagged behind Malaysia at one time but its development today is far better in its growth.

    YB Wong Chen, were you born then? If not please read the history of the South East Asian countries to have better picture of the foreign invasions and the suffering of people of this region during those years of terror before your open your mouth.

  2. “the suffering of people of this region during those years of terror before your open your mouth.”

    Yes. Confucius, and much later Abraham Lincoln, advised that one should be careful about opening one’s mouth (talk) so that others would be unsure that one’s really an idiot.

  3. He may be intelligent, but he is either naive or seeking publicity. How can he just listen to the CNRP representative and then react the way he did. Pandering to one side without understanding Cambodian politics is also a sign of political immaturity.–Din Merican

    • A comparatively young grouping of nations with different historical backgrounds, ASEAN exists on the basis of commonalities within rich diversities. If any nation or nations begin to adopt a holier than thou attitude, it won’t be long before the organization breaks up. Just imagine telling the Vietnamese that a single party government is not democratic and they should adopt a Westminister type of parliamentary democracy. Or object to Thailand replacing its elected government with military rule, or to Myanmar’s mix of military and elected representatives.

      Given time, ASEAN will evolve into a grouping with a more consistent governing system. When that would occur no one knows, but it must be realized with the consent of each member state, without coercion from any state or individual within or outside the organisation.

  4. Fortunately, he didn’t get a ministerial or deputy ministerial position as otherwise, Malaysia will become a butt of jokes. This is not his first misstep as earlier he faulted PM TDM for naming the DPM and 4 ministers where none of the 4 ministers is from PKR. I hope his mentor YB Hannah Yeoh can teach him the ropes.

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