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Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen proved that politics and football do mix - Daffy123 (talk) photo

 

 

 

Thailand's 44-year-old Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra is also the first female to hold that office - Thailand government website http://www.thaigov.go.th photo

 

Kith Meng

 

 

 

 

Sports Notes - CAMBODIA'S POLITICAL FOOTBALL - Part 1

 

Richard Ricciardi - National Radio Text Service

 

This past weekend politicians from Thailand and Cambodia competed in a friendly game at Olympic stadium in Phnom Penh Saturday Sep. 24th. They were joined by members of the Cambodian business elite. In part the fixture was intended to ease the tension between the two nations that was eased somewhat after Thai elections changed leadership in electing former Prime Minister and fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra's young sister Yingluck

 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

LET'S GET IT ON!!!

FIFA has stated that football and politics don't mix. The contradiction being is how loyalty and history factor into how the FIFA buddy system evolves. To develop the game FIFA funds football federations intended for need and not favors. Cambodia has been receiving a million dollars over a four year period to build up their program. Thus far it has failed to do so as their record and reputation has deteriorated. They are ranked in the 170's just as they were a decade ago. The deterioration is the gambling and fixed game scandals that have evolved over the period.

With FIFA's financial contribution to Interpol it raises the question is this a pay off to look the other way and investigate others while at the same time to ignore the skeletons in FIFA's own dirty closet?

Recent developments surrounding the beautiful game have enhanced concerns of the integrity of FIFA and its leadership as their bribery scandal emerged in May 2011 prior to the elections for the FIFA presidency.

This past weekend politicians from Thailand and Cambodia competed in a friendly game at Olympic stadium in Phnom Penh Saturday Sep. 24th. They were joined by members of the Cambodian business elite. The match was intended to be a showing of solidarity between the two nations after conflicts on the boarder over the ownership of the Preah Vihear Temples which UNESCO says belongs to Cambodia.

It was also to ease the tension between the two nations that was eased somewhat after Thai elections changed leadership in electing former Prime Minister and fugitive Thaksin Shinawatra's young sister Yingluck Shinawatra.

The 44-year-old Yingluck is Thailand's first female prime minister. She visited Phnom Penh two weeks prior to the football match and had a meeting with Cambodia's boss Hun Sen. Her brother Thaksin also visited Cambodia a few days after Yingluck and also had a meeting with Cambodia's ruler.

The football friendly between the two nations was announced after their meetings. The fugitive Thaksin was a financial advisor to Cambodia against the wishes of the then Thai government who wanted him extradited for his crimes. Shinawatra eventually left the Cambodian position last year.

The political football friendly resulted in a 10-7 score favoring the red verses blue team that consisted of players from both countries mixing and playing on both sides. Hun Sen was credited with four of his sides 10 goals in playing the position of central striker. On one occasion the ball was within 10 feet of the goal and three of his teammates backed up and stood behind him to let him kick in his fourth goal while the keeper made a feeble attempt to defend it.

Hun Sen wore a red shirt in tribute towards Thaksin's red shirt supporters. It was reported that thousands of Thai red shirt followers attended the game which was open to the public free of charge.

In a training match prior to the event Hun Sen was allowed to score 13 goals prompting Kith Meng the reelected president of the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce and chairman of the Royal Group to comment in the Cambodia Daily's September 23rd edition (P-28) that "He was very good. When he was 28 he played. I think he's still in quite good shape."

The problem with that statement is Hun Sen has a 3rd grade education and Meng is almost 20 years his junior which begs the question how does he know the boss's history at such a young age? Hun Sen was born in August 5th 1952 and would have been 28 in 1980. During that time Meng was a child living in a refugee camp in Thailand. His background is sketchy but Wikipedia noted his location at the time with the following In 1980 Meng and Thieng (his older brother) were found by a fellow family member in a Thai refugee camp, and both brothers immigrated to Australia, where they worked and schooled in the nation's capital, Canberra.

Meng's integrity has been in question. Following his unopposed reelection as president of the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce the August 9th edition (Page 7) of the Phnom Penh Post noted that in July, 2011 that WikiLeaks revealed an American diplomatic cable that described Meng as a relatively young and ruthless gangster and referred to him as Mr. Rough Stuff. .

In researching the Internet for information on Meng an article written in 2007 noted that he was 37 at the time. Based on that logic has it that 1980 he was 10-years-old and living outside of Cambodia during a time that very little information got out of the country. What did emerge in the search was a blog written in 2007 titled The rise and rise of a Cambodian capitalist By Shawn W Crispin Asia Times Online's Southeast Asia Editor. In part Crispin wrote: In 1994 Sophan Kith died under mysterious circumstances and, peculiar to cultural norms of seniority as the youngest sibling, Kith Meng took control over the family business. He now serves as both the company's chairman and chief executive officer and his cut-throat approach to business expansion has rapidly transformed the Royal Group into Cambodia's leading service sector conglomerate.

Meng's Royal Group holdings include ownership or partnerships in the Camlot lottery company and a 45% stake in a commercial banking joint venture with Australia's ANZ, Mobitel Telecom, KFC, Infinity Insurance, the Cambodiana Hotel, and the CTN Television Network.

Crispin went on to add,: Some political analysts contend that Hun Sen has played an instrumental role in cultivating and mobilizing the young entrepreneur's modern business image in a vigorous public relations effort to shirk his and his government's notorious reputation as the "Mafia on the Mekong".

Crispin's piece in full is at the following link and is positioned half way down the page @:

http://groups.google.com/group/camdisc/browse_thread/thread/0f7006623080ebdc

On another blog in 2007 on KI Media an anonymous writer expressed his thoughts and said... This guy killed his big brother so that he can become rich and powerful. I wonder is bad karma will claim him soon.

The link to more Khmer points of view on the subject is @ KI Media:

http://ki-media.blogspot.com/2007/10/kith-meng-hun-sens-crony-elected-to.html

The bottom line is Kith Meng is an integral part of the Cambodian boss's political machine team.

The Cambodia Daily's reports regarding the political football friendly event is deemed in the journalism business as a PUFF PIECE whereas it is all positive and not balanced by not noting what goes on in Cambodia with land grabbing, questionable land concessions and police brutality and murders of the poor and their own police counterparts without prosecution. Many of those that participated in the game are in part responsible as they being in a position of power have failed to rectify the unjust actions of the rich verses the poor. It defies the Daily's front page statement that they publish "All the News Without Fear or Favor."


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