Bangkok Post » Post Blogs
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
No Credit for Delivery Man
At this moment, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen might be sitting at his manor in the suburb of Phnom Penh laughing at the political mess of neighbouring Thailand.
The latest episode of the local wrangling is that Puea Thai member Chalerm Yubamrung has unveiled that he sent a tape of Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya's attack on the Cambodian strongman to Phnom Penh as part of his plan to do anything to discredit the Democrat Party-led government.
One sure thing is the outspoken opposition member would not be receiving any credit for the act from Mr Hun Sen. The Cambodian government never needs any help from Thailand as it can do the information gathering on its own. Officials have watched all debates on the controversial Preah Vihear issue in Thailand on Thai TV channels via direct satellite feed to the Cambodian capital. That included all attacks on the Cambodian government leader by Mr Kasit when he was at the People's Alliance for Democracy stage at Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Mr Hun Sen might be annoyed that he was dragged into the internal conflict in Thailand. But the truth is he has something to gain, too. The quarrel involving the temple at the border also bolsters his popularity. He uses nationalism to bolster his support from Cambodian compatriots to counter Thai nationalists still obsessed with a chance to get Preah Vihear back despite the country's losing the case in the world court in 1962.
The nationalist card worked when his Cambodian People's Party won a landslide election last year. And it still works today.