Prime Minister Hun Sen on Saturday had harsh words for an unnamed political party leader’s agricultural policies, comparing them to the collectivized farming methods of the Pol Pot regime
In an apparent reference to Human Rights Party President Kem Sokha, though never mentioning him by name, Mr Hun Sen said the political party leader had suggested in a radio broadcast that if there were a million hectares of land devoted to rubber trees in Cambodia, and one family farmed a five hectare portion, each of those families could earn 100,000 riel per day, or around $25.
Such social engineering was akin to the Pol Pot regime, the prime minister said, adding that people should be able to choose the job they want whether it be a motorbike taxi driver or a farmer.
He added that the “fried egg party” wants to limit the rights of the people, an apparent reference to the HRP’s flag, which is a white circle on a green background.
“I think that [this idea] is really Pol Pot,” the prime minister said during a speech in Bakan district, Pursat province.
“Only Pol Pot could divide up the number of people and how many can farm, and how many can work in industry,” he said.
Mr Sokha, reached by phone yesterday, declined to comment specifically on the premier’s words. “It’s not of interest,” he said. “I don’t care about what he says.”
The HRP president instead emphasized his interest in building a strong party for the future and for the next elections.
“We care about development for the people and democracy,” he said, adding that it is normal for different parties to criticize each other.
Apparently in reference to his recent defamation lawsuit against another political party figure, Mu Sochua of the Sam Rainsy Party, the prime minister also said in his speech that he was ready to defend himself in court again for his latest comments.
“If that man sues me, I will replay by cassette player the voice [from the radio broadcast.] I am just following what that man said,” Mr Hun Sen said.