A man that is known far too much for his harsh words but very less on his dedication to peace. His harshness is otherwise a reflection of his unyielding dedication to peace that he did not enjoy during his youth. It was the lost three decades for Cambodian nation as a whole, not just for himself.
He has lived in a country that had never known a united rule and government, more often than not a country that was marred with civil strife with a very few occasion of known uninterrupted peace for less than ten or twenty years.
“Cham Srok San Tran”, or “to wait for a peaceful homeland” was the word that Cambodian seniors like to say so much but most of them already lost their lives before they saw this unachievable dream of Cambodian people realised.
“A small country like Cambodia which was broken into more than two ruling factions was a bitter experience. We had from the French colonial era many Cambodian factions colouring themselves blue, red, pink, white, etc. In between 1970 to 1975, Cambodia was under two factions and there was genocide between 1975 and 1979. From 1979 to 1993, Cambodia was under four ruling factions and again under two factions between 1993 and 1998.” (27 December 2006)
“As we now have peace that enables in infrastructural developments, we should not let it slip off our hands. Take for instance, these areas along the mountains of Kravanh and Aoral, previous administrations – including those of the French, the Japanese and then the French again – had so much difficulties to impose their administrative control upon. This area was also former Khmer Rouge commanding headquarters where former Khmer Rouge leaders like Khieu Samphan, Nuon Chea hid themselves. If you read the personal history of Khieu Samphan, you will learn that he fled to the forest that links Kompong Speu, Pursath and Koh Kong altogether….That is why I always remind everyone that in the Cambodian history, it was rare that Cambodia was one united country under one rule, one King, one Constitution, Royal Government and army. It has been one of the most difficult tasks to formulate and put into realistic practice of the win-win policy. Though we now have more than one political parties, we have only one King, Constitution, National Assembly, Royal Government, army and one united country.” (28 January 2013)