Op-Ed by Heng Heng
I could not help, but to poke a little fun at the way our incompetent government behaves when it comes to dealing with outside independent news. In this case, KI-Media created by a group of individual volunteer of whom most of us, if not all, have no clue to who they really are. If you ask me, I have no idea, even if I've ever bumped into one of them. Honestly, that is the case, so don't ask who is Heng Soy or who is Khmer Young. However, one thing for sure, we can correctly assume that these people are the rare products of our true Khmer nationalists. They are well educated group of individuals, came together for one common purpose that is to serve and defend the interests of Khmer people and the nation they truly care. What a find job they have done in providing an alternative news and analysis to the Cambodian publics. They have true conviction to Cambodian cause.
The last few decades our Cambodian government has been able to effectively control broadcasting media and major printed newspapers in the country. It has done through all sorts of legal schemes, licensing, lawsuits, political intimidation, imprisonment, even implicated in political assassinations, i.e. grenade attack 97, killing journalists, union leader, singers, you name it. In the name of peace and fearful of a return to a Khmer rouge's bitter past as often reminded as a single effective argument of the regime, the Cambodian majority have been quite willing to live under such fear while their country is being misdirected to that unwanted past, a new revolution of the mistreated mass because of the government officials' greeds extended all they way down to their relatives, 7th class - 7 SANDANE.
It has failed to intimidate or bring KI-Media on board since the way this news organization has been operated out of the ordinary. KI-Media has hit a central nerve system of the government on a hot boiling issue related to Cambodia's territorial integrity and the fundamental of human freedom. KI-Media allows Khmer publics, especially the new generation, ambitious and educated somewhat, a forum to discuss and debate issues concerning the health and well-being of their beloved Cambodia. Many have seen the government's view line, while others disagree otherwise, including myself who has chosen to support the opposing voice. It is all democratic and healthy at best. If the government punished Khmers, farmers, elected opposition leader in order to appease foreign aggressor, I said as such and KI-Media is a perfect forum for me to address my concern, hoping that the government will change its behaviour or policy.
The government has plenty of big guns, mouth pieces, so-called A Quick Reaction Unit or whatever, but they are not as effective as KI-Media. So, the government has elected to violate once again the spirit and the principles of democracy, human rights and freedom - banning KI-Media. Will it work? Not in this modern day, I doubt it very much.
This clumsy reaction by the government of Cambodia to ban KI-Media in Cambodia will only enhance the curiosity and popularity to this already the most sought after news by Cambodians world wide. Actually, by doing so, it hurts the government's image and its own reputation more than anything else. For KI-Media it has a lot to thanks the government of Cambodia for giving them the courage and determination to continue feeding the news. I am all for it, whether, I agree with KI or not, or even when I find some of the most outrageous comments out there, life goes on. You just have to learn to ignore it. The government of Cambodia should not be worried about KI, what it printed or otherwise. It should focus on making a more sound social and economic policies to ease the pain of the mass, stop confiscating lands, open up to oppositions for bi-partisanship, creating a more tolerating environment instead of threatening violence, intimidation and power abuse as we have witnessed up until now. Maybe the government is really feeling the heat at this moment, so any more negativity from outside or inside can no longer be tolerated. At least, KI-Media knows it has done its job and I am sure it would give people behind that blog more energy and creativity to be all over this extremely pro-Vietnam government.
I would suggest KI-Media print and sell its T-Shirt to sell to the public, I love KI-Media, and I'll be buying one or a few. Until then, I say VIVA KI-Media and thank you for bringing the issue to the front.