The qualities of leadership will be explored in a 12-part television series that hopes to encourage Cambodians to take the lead in all walks of life.
The programs will be hosted by the Khmer Institute of Democracy and each will ask a prominent Cambodian to outline his or her life experiences.
The aim is to give insight into the personalities behind great public leaders and to inspire young people to speak out and express their views, according to Lao Mong Hay, the institute’s executive director. Interviewees will be chosen from all fields, from business to public administration, with one exception—the world of politics.
“We want to look outside politics for fresh ideas,” said Lao Mong Hay, who will be interviewing the guests on each show. “Sometimes what politicians say is not matched by their deeds or experience. They try to show off for themselves.”
Lao Mong Hay hosted a public affairs program on state-run television until he was pulled off the air last October for making comments detrimental to the government. His latest venture, however, has been sanctioned by the Ministry of Information, according to Lao Mong Hay.
The Khmer Institute of Democracy still has to complete negotiations with TV5 before the programs can be aired.
In the quest for genuine leadership qualities, Lao Mong Hay hopes to showcase the owner of a large restaurant, someone from the world of farming, and perhaps the leader of a trade union.
One person who has already agreed to take part is Chea Cham Reun, president of the Khmer Youth Development Organization and well-known as a youth leader. Last December, Chea Cham Reun was elected as the NGO member on the National Election Committee, amid allegations of vote-buying. Lao Mong Hay came in second in the vote.
Another candidate currently being approached is union leader Ou Mary.