After Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan, the two most senior surviving leaders of the Khmer Rouge regime, were convicted of crimes against humanity last month, largely for their roles in forced evacuations, attention turned to the next phase of their trial, which will deal with a more representative selection of crimes.
I recently visited Phnom Penh from my home in Tokyo and found that things are getting better and better in Cambodia.
Cambodia is basically an agricultural country, and in the past produced very few industrial products, but now I notice that Cambodia produces even silverware, motorcycles and also chocolate, and there is substantial foreign investment here.
It may seem strange that I would like to credit Prime Minister Hun Sen for creating the climate that has developed Cambodia to be a developing country and that there is a middle class here now, which earns reasonable wages and can afford to purchase substantial consumer products.
Hun Sen is a strongman much like Lee Kuan Yew, the former prime minister of Singapore, who developed Singapore as a state of the art country with his personal style of being strict with the population.
I therefore feel, despite Hun Sen’s autocratic style, that he has done much to develop Cambodia to follow in Singapore’s steps.
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