On the Cambodia Daily & Phnom Penh Post (May/June)

1. Live From Facebook, It’s Prime Minister Hun Sen (The Cambodia Daily, June 21, 2016)

Kounila Keo, a media consultant with a master’s degree from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore, agreed.

“To me, this page is apparently being made into ‘a one stop shop for all things Cambodia,’” Ms. Keo wrote in an email on Monday. By experimenting with different types of content and engagement, Mr. Hun Sen “can test or find out whether social media such as Facebook can really sway public opinion towards him.”

However, social media strategy alone could only take the prime minister so far, she said. “What Cambodians…want to see are not just ‘nice regular or sophisticated posts’ but action [and] better policies towards business and trades, law enforcement, reduction in poverty and corruption.”

Here is the article.

2. Cambodian satire in the age of Facebook and ‘trolls’ (Phnom Penh Post, May 20/2016) 

Kounila Keo, a blogger and social-media expert, pointed out that this sort of satire “snuck in” after the 2013 election. She thinks its brand of humour is ripe for shares – but maybe not for change. “This sort of thing goes viral really fast because it’s funny, and treats serious issues in a light-hearted way,” she said via email this week. “It doesn’t really call for action.”

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But for now, observers like Kounila see little risk. “Cambodian citizens should have the right to make fun of the stuff they live through every day,” she said.

3. CPP Absent as People Demand Sensible Government (The Cambodia Daily, May 17/2016) 

It has led to a growing sense of despondency among a young population that now expects more, said Kounila Keo, a 28-year-old who just finished her master’s degree at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy of the National University of Singapore.

“Unfortunately, a lot of, if not all, the leaders Cambodia has are ruthless and have been unwilling to learn from the past. They are ruthless and are only interested in running the country for personal gain at the expense of others,” Ms. Keo said on Monday.

“Whereas we have some good policies, there are so many venues for corruption, and so many vested interests that nothing ever gets done,” she added, saying the government still could not run basic services.

“You wanna buy something abroad and send it to Cambodia? The Post Office is a dud. Want to export things abroad? Pay a hefty tax to the Custom Officers or else go through a lengthy procedure because you don’t pay a bribe,” Ms. Keo said. “That’s the Cambodia we know and breathe.”

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