The Theater of Public Contrition in Cambodian Politics

As July’s election approaches, a growing number of opposition officials are following the well-worn path into Prime Minister Hun Sen’s CPP.

In late March, I wrote about the case of Yim Sinorn and Hun Kosal, two critics of Cambodia’s government who were arrested after they posted comments on Facebook that were deemed critical of King Norodom Sihamoni. The posts in question highlighted the diminished position of the king under the all-encompassing rule of Prime Minister Hun Sen, and alleged that the Cambodian leader had effectively usurped the role for himself.

Their fortunes have since undergone a rapid reversal – one that speaks to the methods that Hun Sen has used to maintain his hold on power over the years. Yim Sinorn, a former youth leader for the now-banned Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), has taken up a post as a secretary of state for the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training. Hun Kosal has also entered government, as undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Land Management and Urban Planning.

The key to these sudden shifts, of course, is not hard to discern. Both came after these individuals issued groveling apologies to Prime Minister Hun Sen, in which they denounced their past allegiances and activities, and pledged to support the ruling dispensation.

In full:

Related Stories

Latest News