Monday, July 21, 2008


The potential for a flare-up among the hundreds of armed troops between Cambodia and Thailand might be unavoidable after both nations escalated their soldier build up yesterday at a disputed territory near a historic border temple.

Although both sides have given assurances that the long-standing conflict would be avoided and the atmosphere around the temple appeared relaxed, but the increment of troops and nationalist protesters there described that the war is increasingly happen.

In this situation, what I would like to comment is about our role as an ASEAN country. I believe if we suggest being a negotiator among them there is no objection as we has done it well before. If we still remember, we were appreciated by various quarters due to our effort and success to hold talks between Junta and Myanmar’s pro democracy leader, Aung San Suu Kyi. Moreover our success to conciliate between ruler and separatist insurgency in Philippine, Thailand and Indonesia is supposed to be precious evidences to convince both nations to appoint us as a middleman.

This is very important for ensuring the peace and prosperity in ASEAN region is constantly developed. The conflict over the territory actually was revived by Thai anti-government protestors in recent weeks, coming to a head after Cambodia’s application for World Heritage Site status for the temple was granted last week with the endorsement of Thailand’s government. The conflict became worse after the activists have risen up nationalist sentiments and fighting each other to defend their nation’s boldness. It is absolutely true that their obligation is to do so. However, they have to do something else which is pleasant and never put them the target of verbal and other abuse.

Let us be frank and ask ourselves who will be liable if the massive war is really happen. The answer is those fighters who want to take their personal benefits and advantages without seeing the bad effect forward.

Thus, as I mention earlier, this conflict should be solved with an appropriate way and not based upon an emotional decision. Also, Malaysia as one of the ASEAN member has to play his major role as a negotiator to ensure this conflict can be settled properly without hurting innocent people.