Connecting the Dots has for a long time coined the phrase ‘Dance with the devil’ when we make reference to people interacting with Thaksin Shinawatra. So far we have never seen an instance where the person dancing with the devil was undamaged. With that observation we are already seeing damage to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, and the dance is just starting. The one thing that differs with this dance is when Hun Sen dances with the devil, so does all of Cambodia.
Forget if you are Cambodian or Thai, in this case it is what the third party sees that counts in the long run. For a long time Thailand and Cambodia have been in competition for money from abroad be it tourism or industry investments from the west. For that to happen the countries that are considered must be appealing by western standards and not necessarily Asian standards. A significant return with minimal hassles otherwise known as bullshit are a must.
But between the two countries each has it’s own strengths and weaknesses. The strengths for Cambodia are they do not have the same ‘Don’t worry about it’ attitude as the Thais do. That attitude will ultimately lead to expensive disasters as presently being seen in Rayong. The strengths for Thailand lie in Prime Minister Abhisit’s western education and understanding of how the west thinks. Also the straight forward and very visual attack on corruption makes Thailand more appealing to western businesses.
So now add to the mix the very outspoken attacks by Hun Sen on The Thai government, and suddenly Cambodia looks much less appealing to western investors. Western investors can connect with Abhisit and his style of governing as it resembles western governments. So to openly attack that western style of governing simply says Cambodia is bad news and perhaps best to stay away.
In this case what will be seen in Cambodia will resemble turning the Titanic. The negative results will be noticed in the near future. As the global economic recovery continues there will be western investment in the region. US President Obama has already made that abundantly clear, and billions of US dollars are at stake. But with Hun Sen dancing with Thaksin and being his puppet, there is the possibility of a second hidden Thaksin motive.
If Thaksin can get Hun Sen to make Cambodia less attractive to the west (as he is already doing), that means simply Thailand will become more attractive. And with Thaksin clearly looking to return to power in Thailand, it simply means the potential of more money in his wallet in the long run.
So apparently the present dance lesson for Hun Sen is how to shoot yourself and not know it. There seems to be no short or long term gain for Hun Sen, but for Thaksin there are significant returns should he ever realize his goals and become the dictator of Thailand. Western investments and commitments will have already been made riding in on Abhisit’s coattails, and Thaksin will simply move in and take over.
So in short Thaksin is taking and making Hun Sen a fool, and the damage to Cambodia may already be past the tipping point based on recent outbursts from Hun Sen. Welcome to the dance.