Opinion: Defending Border Work, Government Spokesman Shows Real Racism

In “Once Again, Rainsy ‘Pokes The Waist’ of Government on Border” (April 14), Council of Ministers spokesman Phay Siphan tries to deflect my criticism of the government’s handling of the border issue with Vietnam. But he finds no better argument than pointing to my mother who, according to some allegations, was of Vietnamese descent.

—Opinion—

In response, I would like to say to all government propagandists and supporters that even if my mother were Vietnamese, there would be nothing wrong with it. Let’s be clear on this point: I am not against—and all Cambodians should not oppose—the Vietnamese just because they are Vietnamese. We should only oppose any expansionist policy conducted by any Vietnamese government (or any government of any country) at any point in time.

I have been sometimes falsely and unfairly accused of having a racist inclination towards the Vietnamese people only because of my firmly defending the legitimate interests of the Cambodian people against a neighboring country that does not respect them on many occasions.

But what Mr. Siphan says or implies in his comment, i.e. that having Vietnamese blood in one’s veins is a liability, shows a really racist mindset and attitude.

Sam Rainsy is president of the opposition CNRP.

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