In keeping up the momentum of goals and duty of The University of Cambodia, the Techo Sen School of Government and International Relations have organized its public lecture on “President Trump and Problem with Democracy,” lectured by Dr. Michael Minehan, Dean, School of Graduate Studies, the UC, on Sunday, 08 July 2018 from 9:00 to 11:00 am at the Cambodia Hall, 10th floor of The University of Cambodia. In this event, Dr. Din Merican, Associate Dean of TSS, was moderator of the lecture, and Mr. Keo Chhea, Dean of TSS, was a master of ceremony (MC) coordinated this public lecture. There were around 40 students, lecturers, and staff participating the lecture with frank friendly atmosphere.
The public lecture started with the observation of National Anthem, then an Open Remarks by Mr. Keo Chhea, Dean of Techo Sen School of Government and International Relations, The University of Cambodia.
To start the lecture, Dean Keo Chhea, on behalf of the H.E. Dr. Kao Kim Houn, President and Founder of the University of Cambodia, warmly welcomed Dr. Mike Minehan, Dean of school Graduate studies for his lecture for UC’s students and the public and gave a brief remarks of lecture series including the aim to expose our university students, particularly those in the fields of international relations and public administration to distinct views and perspectives of special speaker who is researcher in the file of Foreign Policy and Public Policy. Dean Keo Chhea briefly mentioned a current situation what is happening around the world, particularly what is happening in the US or President Donald Trump administration. Dean Keo Chhea raised his point of view to the participants that students can see the father of democracy is going away from democracy and human right while the behavior of the current president is unpredictable. He hopes the students can learn more from outside the classroom and new experience from different views of experts.
Dr. Mike started his lecture with in-dept presentations on the elements of the current US's Foreign Policy and the issues with the Trump Administration stressing that after US presidential election of 2016, the Republican Party leads by businessman Donald Trump defeated the Democratic party of the former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Trump took office as the 45th President on January 20, 2017. He is the first president without any prior experience in public service or the military. However, the United States government's intelligence agencies concluded that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 United States election campaigns, which assisted him to win the election. During his power, he doesn’t seem to be able to listen to, or accept advice from other. He is a liar and he is also abusive. The main problem is that the people he appoints around him are either members of his family or friends, who don’t seem to have experience or be property qualified in that position.
In addition, Dr. Mike mentioned the future problems in the US is that currently the republicans hold a majority in congress and both the president and congress are republicans. While the judges are also nominated by the president and confirmed by congress; therefor, the president nominates judges who will best reflect their own political point of views. Judges in the US Supreme Court are appointed for life. That is why they reflect the politics of the president who appoint them. He mentioned that the US Democratic System is weakened because of being exploited by the current president for his own interest and he is more interested in power and publicity than in leading the US. More interestingly, Trump’s trade protectionism is now threatening the international economic order and system. Trust in the US is now problematic because Trump administration will do what suits the best for him, not the best for the world order and system.
During the Q&A, there are students and lecturers raised the questions relating to President Trump and Problem with Democracy. A lecturer from TSS raised the question of how compulsory voting system affect human right principle. And one of the students also raised the question of how supreme court or democrats influent Trump administration and policies? Another question related to trade protection policies set by Trump administration and its influence on the world economy?
Dean. Keo Chhea, gave a brief wrap-up on the lecture and thanked Dr. Michael Minehan for spending his value time for sharing his knowledge. Dean Keo Chhea also mentioned about world politics that we should look at all angles, not rely on one system, one president, or one country. Finally, Dean. Keo Chhea expressed his deep gratitude for Dr. Michael Minehan for his excellent lecture.
The event was live broadcasting on the UC Facebook as well as the TSS face book. The program of activities and photos session of the special lecture was posted on UC and TSS face book for the public.
· Despite the fact that presentation was 10 minutes late due to the problem of connecting PC to LCD projector, the lecture ran smoothly and in a well prepare manner with kind cooperation and supports from IT staff and mutual understanding from all participants. It was a successful special lecture for the University that we can organize this event in order to share knowledge and experience with our students, researchers, and practitioners in the field of International Relations and Public Administration.
· Dr. Michael Minehan was very happy in sharing his lecture to Cambodian students and lecturers, and other participants to see the current situation in the world, particularly the US was known as a father of democratic country in the world.
· Students, lecturers, and other participants were happy to join the special lecture conducted by TSS.
The participants and organizers of the lecture on “President Trump and Problem with Democracy” expressed appreciation and gratitude to The University of Cambodia and the TSS for facilitating such workshop for benefit of the students and the public. The Organizers also expressed appreciation to the speaker, students, friends and faculty members for their active participation in the lecture.