Hey, everyone! I know I seemed super-confident that the CPP would win this election, but, to be honest, I had my doubts. That “clean finger” campaign the traitors from the CNRP ran was a really good angle. No matter how powerful I get, there’s always a bit of doubt at the back of my mind whether Cambodians really understand how much I’ve done for them by monetising their natural resources, profiting from their back-breaking labour and making their lives just good enough so they don’t die of despair. But the election results were spectacular — voter turnout was above 80 per cent, and my CPP has won all 125 seats in the Cambodian National Assembly!
Some people, though, always focus on the one dark cloud on an otherwise sunny day. I reached out to Phil Robertson, Human Rights Watch’s deputy Asia director and all-around gloomsayer, to see if he was as excited about the results. I figured that even he would have to recognise our supreme democratic success in an election that was far from certain, even though we outlawed the dominant opposition party; arrested politicians, protesters, journalists and Australians; and shuttered and blocked access to critical news outlets in the lead-up to the vote. His response was disappointing, to say the least.
“This is the worst, least democratic election in Cambodia’s modern, post-UNTAC history,” Robertson said. “The human rights situation is the worst that it’s been since the 1997 Hun Sen coup.”
What a downer! Lest the rest of you fall prey to this dangerous, undemocratic and possibly traitorous pessimism, I’m here to pre-emptively turn your frowns upside down. Cambodia’s better off than it’s ever been! Here’s why.
The overwhelming mandate delivered by the vote means that everyone approves of the direction we’ve been headed: skyscrapers, deforestation, sand dredging, et cetera. So we’re going to ramp it up. You’re going to get more shopping malls to look at things you can’t possibly afford; more, faster roads on which to crash; and maybe even a McDonald’s!
I dream of a future in which the unrealised glory of the Khmer empire is finally fulfilled. Five years from now, when you’re sitting in a boat on the once bountiful Tonle Sap and trying to catch at least one fish to feed your malnourished family, I want you to be able to look at Phnom Penh’s perfectly developed riverfront with pride.
“I’m so heartened by my country’s development that it almost offsets the gnawing hunger in my belly!” you’ll say. “I’m sure glad that we got rid of our vibrant riverfront and replaced it with condos, casinos and other fronts for Chinese money laundering!”
Traffic jams begone
Everyone without a helicopter tells me that the traffic in Phnom Penh is horrible. You know why? Protests. Wrong thinking and freedom of expression cause 98 per cent of traffic jams in our Kingdom, and the CPP’s innovative urban-planning policies will do more than ever to ease that burden. Our new “traffic control” cameras will use facial-recognition technology to identify suspected threats to the stability of our streets, dispatching traffic commandos who will ease your commute by gently cattle-prodding them into happy submission.
Bright horizons in the countryside
Outside the cities, Cambodians face a different set of problems. I hear you, Samnang Subsistence Farmer. You’re bored with growing the same crop year after year. You feel chained to the land your family has lived on for generations. Your close-knit kin get on your nerves by always helping with farm chores or childcare. Thanks to this election, the CPP is in the perfect position to solve all these problems and more!
Sick of agricultural monotony? The growth of our palm-oil and rubber industries means you don’t have to worry about that same-same paddy-field grind; instead you can work on scenic plantations, earning cash money that more than makes up for the sting of any whipping. If you’re itching to ditch that stilt house for brighter vistas, we’re going to give you the freedom to relocate wherever we tell you to — kiss the pain of landownership goodbye! Best of all, your annoying nieces won’t be bugging you to play “throw the flip-flop”; they’ll be happily at work sewing the details on some sweet new Nike trainers and fainting en masse at a happy factory in the city!
A focus on mental health
Over the past year, I’ve seen a worrying trend among Cambodians from all walks of life: unrealistic ambitions. Lots of Cambodians have got it into their heads that the international community, the International Criminal Court, the CNRP or some other uninterested party is going to swoop in and create a magical Cambodia where education, or health care, or opportunity, or justice is somehow better than it is today, and they get super-depressed when the CPP wins again, and again, and again. These pernicious ideas of “hope” and “change” are stressful, draining and, most of all, unrealistic.
With this watershed election, we can alleviate that anxiety. It’s my solemn vow that the CPP will keep these hopes at a bare minimum. Sure, I might throw you the odd bone (like a Water Festival, or a random corruption conviction if a CPP guy falls out of favour), but I want to let you know that these are one-time deals, not harbingers of progress. Remember: you might be eating shit sandwiches for the rest of your lives, but those sandwiches will taste a lot nicer if you know there’s nothing better on tomorrow’s menu. Stay appropriately positive!
Genocide: Still at bay
This is a biggie, but it’s pretty self-explanatory. By electing me to run the Kingdom with impunity for at least the next five years, voters have pretty much guaranteed that the Khmer Rouge won’t come back during that time. Obviously it’s still a threat as long as necromancers are around to resurrect those motherfuckers; but I beat them single-handedly once, and I could totally do it again, unless you overthrow me. Sounds like a good deal!