He has also a very strong respect for indigenous practices and local wisdom. He always believes that you could not survive in farming if you did not know what to do.
Not like some agriculture specialists nowadays who walk straight into a developing country and say ‘We can teach you what to do.’
Sombath never did that. He always tried to learn and listen first, and that has always been the way he works with other people. He’s a listener. He doesn’t talk very much. He listens first.
Ng Shui Meng, in remarks given at Castan Event: Enforced Disappearances in Asia: the case of Sombath Somphone, held at the Monash University, Melbourne, Australia on 06 March 2014.