I see that the Strongman went on relevance safari again during an Education address last week. In a manner typical of him he requested, nay demanded, a new policy initiate for Fisheries randomly during this Education address. He called for the ‘authorities’ to protect rare irrawaddy dolphins within the Mekong River conservation area by banning; fishing nets, batteries for electro-fishing, explosives and bamboo rafts.
Sounds nice and warm and fuzzy, does it not. Makes sense we say. What a good egg he is we think.
Oh, well, hang on just one second.
Firstly, let us deal with ‘authorities’ as far as I (and several million voting Cambodians) were aware, the guy making the announcement is the head honcho so why is it that whenever he does one of these surprise policy announcements does he always takes on the verbal manner of a challenging crusader? Having only the other day proved that regardless of policy, process or procedure his word is law, oh yeah I am talking about him ordering the rearrest and detainment of the alleged criminals, in his version of judicial review.
Remarkably, the lentil polishing, yoghurt weaving, Toyota 4×4 Landcruiser driving classes have not uttered a single word about civil rights?
Secondly, electro fishing and fishing with explosives are already illegal, the Irrawaddy dolphin that was killed at the beginning of this year was killed by a poacher using an antitank mine who was later apprehended by Fisheries officials.
[and yes, its carcase is still slowly decomposing in my car-park]
So what on earth was The Big Man with the iron fist babbling on about?
Could it possibly have had anything to do with a meeting that he had had earlier that day ?
A meeting between him, the Minister of Fish, several flunkies and representatives of a certain large international bank providing millions of dollars in loans to the Natural Resources Sector here in Cambodia ???
A meeting at which the Men from the Bank said that they were unhappy about the lack of progress in moving various projects forward?
So a slap on the wrist and a quick chorus of ‘buck your ideas up me laddo’ gets the issue raised in public again, the Men from the Bank trot off back to Manila feeling good about themselves and you know who goes back to counting his cash – well counting it is a very slow process, I understand depth perception is somewhat an issue for the more monocular amongst us.
He does do a jolly good jig to their tune when they are here, of course, once out of the spotlight it is just back to business as normal.
The views in this column are entirely those of Lord Playboy (of Phnom Penh, Sonteipheap and that muddy patch of ground next to the school;) they are in no way are representative of Khmer440, its editors or staff, of any Ministry of the Royal Government of Cambodia who employs Lord Playboy, of people who wear plaid, of those employees of the Green Vespa who are broken hearted, those westerners who think that it is cool to own a Daelim, or that bald-weird-beard-freak who slept on my bike on St Paddy?s Day. Damn, things will be different when I am running the Country.