Kong Duong was appointed chief propagandist and, as the head of the Khmer Rouge radio station from 1979 to 1996, his sonorous timbre became well known among supporters of the genocidal regime. His was, in effect, the voice of Pol Pot during a tumultuous period.
After almost four years, during which about two million Cambodians died from starvation, execution and overwork, Vietnamese troops ousted the Khmer Rouge leadership from Phnom Penh on January 7, 1979. The party’s supporters fled west to Cambodia’s border with Thailand, where they continued to engage the Vietnamese in guerilla conflict. Kong Duong played his part by waging a verbal war of propaganda over the radio waves.
Today, he has a very different master: the Lord. Having settled in Pailin province, Kong Duong now professes to be a Christian, and hosts a radio programme, New Signs, that broadcasts Christian commentary across Cambodia. And judging by the listeners who call in, his audience remains much the same.
“Most of the callers are former Khmer Rouge cadres,” he confirms, speaking in the car park of his impressive Pailin mansion (Kong Duong is also a government official).
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