In response to the article titled “In Phnom Penh, Cham Quietly Drift Away from Ruling Party,” (March 22), I believe that this article is misleading. According to my own survey, I do not believe that Cham people living in Phnom Penh—about 25,000, according to a scholar from the Documentation Center of Cambodia—have altered their support for the CPP, especially when they still clearly remember that it was the CPP that rescued them from the clutches of the Khmer Rouge genocide.
Populist ideology by the CNRP’s leaders does not offer any reason for the Chams to change their continued support for the CPP.
Will the Cham people ever trust the CNRP to implement the inclusive policy that the CPP has been maintaining consistently for the Chams since 1979?
I encourage Cham people to think about this as there are clear signs from CNRP leadership that they are particularly racist individuals, especially against the Vietnamese ethnic minority.
This shows CNRP leaders are obviously chauvinistic individuals, who know no boundary for their racial hatred.
I remember that from 1970 to 1973, the Khmer Rouge promised the Cham people that after joining them, the Chams would be allowed religious freedom, equal treatment under a future Democratic Kampuchea and racial respect. But they were betrayed by the Khmer Rouge and this betrayal had not appeared without warnings.
There were, indeed, signs that the Khmer Rouge, following their radical communist policies, would not tolerate religious and racial differences and that, despite fighting for them, the Cham people would not be exempted.
I believe that the same signs are being shown by the CNRP’s leaders, and therefore Cham people should consider current inclusiveness under the CPP as the most blessed period of their existence in Cambodia since 1642 when Cambodia had a Khmer Muslim king.
Any desire for a government change would put their community in extreme uncertainty and grave danger.