After failing to gain a seat for the second straight election, flamboyant Cambodian-American businessman Ted Ngoy is clearly disappointed.
His back is sore, his hand-phone was stolen by a campaign worker the day after the election, and his Free Development Republican Party, like 35 others, has been locked out of the National Assembly again.
“Of course I’m disappointed,” he said at his party headquarters Monday. “After six months of campaigning in Kompong Speu… I wonder why I didn’t get a seat.”
Ngoy refused to comment further on the election process or the results. For now, he said he just wants to concentrate on being a “simple businessman.”
Ngoy said he spent $250,000 of his personal money on the campaign, concentrating on Kompong Speu province where he promised residents prosperity through investment with an industrial zone along Route 4.
Ngoy gained only 1,604 votes of the approximately 240,000 cast in Kompong Speu, according to National Election Committee results posted Monday.
According to the NEC, Kompong Speu voted overwhelmingly for the CPP. Four of the six seats went to the ruling party, and two to Funcinpec.
Ngoy said his three children, who have inherited his doughnut business in California, have encouraged him to return to the US. For the time being, he plans on staying in Cambodia.
Despite his loss, Ngoy refused to rule out a run in the next elections, scheduled for 2003.
Meanwhile, he would accept any task assigned to him by the future government that would help bring investment to Cambodia.
Ngoy was part of a 1996 delegation that helped negotiate Most Favored Nation trade status from the US.
“I just want the country to move forward,” he said. “I would be more than happy to accept any assignment given to me.”
That includes assignments from former political opponents Prince Norodom Ranariddh or Sam Rainsy, he said.
Now that the campaign season is over, Ngoy urged the leaders of the three parties to work together and put national interests above everything else.