The Very Best Wishes to Our Beloved Majesty the King Father!
“With his every achievement big or small, it is part of King Sihanouk’s endeavor for the sake of Cambodia.”
The following commentary was written by Penh Panha
I think we should remind ourselves of the good and bad legacy of our King. Sure, his policies led Khmer nation to both high and lows, and some will hate him while some will love him. Whatever it is, we recognize that the King is a very talented communicators, and a very smart politicians (sometimes too smart for his own good).
His good legacies include his achievement of independence from France, and the great advances of the Khmer nation during the Sangkum Reas Niyum era, when Phnom Penh was hailed as the pearl of the south east Asia. His bad legacies however include the rampant corruption during his reign as leader of Cambodia, and the fact that he aligned himself with the Viet Cong and broke his pledge to be neutral during the Vietnam war, which eventually engulf Cambodia in the Vietnamese war against American, in which Cambodia was only a sideshow, much oblivious in the international stage. And of course, the fact he supported Pol Pot was also hidden from the public, although it was undeniable that he was used by Pol Pot to further advances their causes, including the killing of more half the population at that time.
But he was a very talented politician. He had built very long lasting contact with leaders of nation whose power was of mammoth size compared to Cambodia, and whose power change the course of history. Mao Zedong gave the King unconditional support, Kim Jong-il gave the King all diplomatic access he needed during his nadir, and he is respected wherever he went. Those relationships are still strong today, even though the men that King used to liaise with personally has already passed on. No leader has achieved so much in his life like King Father Sihanouk. Let us remember him as a very smart, talented and popular King, albeit one with some serious flaws as well.
Long live King Father, and happy birthday!
Picture courtesy of Sopheak