Philip Ruddock, who served as Australia’s immigration minister between 1996 and 2003 and now serves as the government’s chief parliamentary whip, has described Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government as a “one-party state,” and said that Australia is concerned about the shooting deaths of five strike protesters in January.
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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