Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen at the Inauguration of the Jamia Masjid Kompong Cham

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[Unofficial Translation]

CNV: 

… I have a great pleasure today to participate in this auspicious occasion to put into official use the Jamia Masjid, which is not far from the city of Kompong Cham. Scoring success one after the other makes me so proud. According to its history, the Jamia Masjid was once inaugurated by Samdech Heng Samrin. It was in the time that our country was so poor and the construction based on what we could find and do. In this new situation, this Masjid also has to be built anew. I wish to share with all of you too that you are sitting on an area where we will lay down the corners for the construction of a school building that I am providing for the community. The military engineering team will take charge of the construction.

I am so happy for the presences of Excellencies, Ladies, and Gentlemen from many countries, including that of (the Malaysian) Ambassador to Cambodia. This has illustrated that attention and solidarity among the Muslim community, not only in Cambodia but also in one common movement. Today, that leaders of Muslim brothers have come here for this celebration has indicated that you all have accepted this new achievement as a sanctuary in devotion to Islam […]

Policy for Harmonization of Races and Religions

The Royal Government of Cambodia has fulfilled so much since when the Cambodian People’s Party started its leadership 39 years ago. Harmonization of races and religions/faiths has been going well. Our country has no religious conflict. I have said it many times and again that we would not let different faiths and races to be obstacles to our efforts to build up the country. It is true that Buddhism is a state religion but we never overlook other religions. Islamism is in fact the second biggest religion after Buddhism in our country and we have Christianity too.

In this world, in some places, there occurs infringement from those who follow one religion on another, from one race on another, in other regions. It is the pride of the Kingdom of Cambodia that we have evaded those hostilities. In Buddhism, there happens to be two sects – Dhammayuttika Nikaya and Maha Nikaya. I reckon that there are also many sects in Islamism. The same is true for Christianity. However, according to our policy, whatever a religion one may believe in is up to individual right. We have one common need and that is peace and development. I hope our people in the whole country would understand and continue to maintain this policy of harmonization of races and religions.

Islamism Contributes to and Benefits from RGC’s Development Policy and Achievements

I am so proud to be born on this land though we had gone through insurmountable sufferings under the regime of Pol Pot. However, with other leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party, I proudly share leadership to liberate this country from empty city, no money, no market, etc. condition and to establish favorable conditions for our people up to the present. That would include also the Islamic community that has benefitted so much from the national development as a whole. They play their contributing roles in every field ranging from army, police, and civil servants to politicians.

I would like to take this opportune moment to express my sincere thanks for the Government of Malaysia for providing our Muslim people, who fled the Pol Pot’s regime and war, rights to stay and have jobs. I have advised them that they should abide by the Malaysian law. Should they have rights to vote, I advised them to choose the current ruling party because they have provided them with those rights. The Royal Government of Cambodia has done so many works with the Government of Malaysia for acceptance of those people into the Malay community […]

Muslim Women Can Wear Their Traditional Clothing

You may see that we have allowed respect for tradition. In many countries where they claimed to be free and respect of human rights, they do not allow female Muslim students to wear their traditional clothing. In Cambodia, we have observed every right. Female Muslim students can choose any clothing they like – according to school’s regulation or their own. In countries where they claimed themselves to be democratic and respect of human rights, they do not accept that. Even taking passport photos, we do not oblige them to show their ears […]

Islamic Teachers Recognized by State

… I have a great pleasure that Oknha Sos Kimri and Oknha Osman Hassan and other leaders have worked out a solution to recognize some 1,500 Islamic teachers into the state payrolls. This has reduced burden of the Islamic community who would have to pay for them […] In the past two or three years, they have been in the payrolls for teachers […]

CPP Enjoys Majority Muslim’s Supports

I am taking this occasion on behalf of the Cambodian People’s Party and the Royal Government of Cambodia to express my sincere thanks for the Muslim people in the Kingdom of Cambodia for placing their trust in the leadership of the Cambodian People’s Party and the Royal Government, and for that instance in me. About 80% of their votes went to supporting the Cambodian People’s Party. In some villages, about 95% of their votes went for the Cambodian People’s Party. This has indicated a relative understanding between the ruling party and our Muslim people. They understand about what the ruling party has done and reciprocated back in kindness. I have firm belief in the Allah’s teaching that those who commit good deed will receive good merits in return.

… I would not know or be sure if other political parties would pay similar attention to the Cambodian Muslim community. As for the Cambodian People’s Party leadership, you have already seen what it has done. They were not empty policies or promises. We have done real works. The whole country started a revival from 100% poverty rate, and in 2014, we have reduced it to within 13%. We had transformed our country from the least developed country to one of lower middle-income countries. We are embracing ambition to make our country one of the higher middle-income countries by 2030.

Allow No One to Destroy Peace

It would require us to do many works together. We must continue our march forward with peace that we have secured in hands. We should not allow anyone group to destroy (Cambodia) by way of making themselves puppets of foreign countries … that we have just discovered recently. We have arrested the person who committed this acts of treason. Let us leave it to the court to decide their fates. We just convey our messages to those who made declarations in defense of the culprit that their efforts were only to protect their puppets and to go free of charges. Please respect the Cambodian sovereignty. They should not resort to using color revolution means to topple (the legitimate Royal Government).

I have no way of knowing if you all know about what happened in the Middle East. Whether you know Saddam Hussein of Iraq, Gaddafi of Libya, Assad of Syria, etc. or not, you may ask from where tragedies in those Arab countries were from? I have yet to bring up the past in Cambodia. Look at what happened in Egypt, where we even had to evacuate our students from there. They have accused and sent troops in Iraq to kill Saddam Hussein because they did not like him. That they did so, has Iraq now had peace and democracy?

After killing Gaddafi, has Libya enjoyed peace? Syria is in ruin and divided in three – one under the Government, one under the opposition supported by the US and one is under ISIS. War continues to ravage the country. We suffered in 1970s together. We should see this and advance together forward. What we need, first of all, is peace and at whatever price we will not allow foreigners to use Cambodians to continue to kill other Cambodians. We have identified who have given lessons and instruction to implement strategy to destroy our country.

Deaths in late 2013 and early 2014 were consequences of pre-planned event according to what we have just discovered. They will not stop. “If they have planned that much but they would not succeed, they would not know what to do,” the statement goes. This suggested that they would continue. We must continue to take measures to eliminate those whose actions would destroy our nation and people’s peace. We would not harm anyone. Person who commits guilt will have to take his/her responsibility. We would harm no one’s peace but we would not allow anyone to harm our people’s peace too.

… Swearing oath in the Royal Palace before the throne, HM the King, the Samdech Sangha Raja, they have declared that they would not allow foreigners to order on own policy – domestic and external. What has made them become puppets of foreign countries since 1993, and to the present? That the country suffered previous instabilities was their collusion to destroy our nation. We are sending a message to the said foreign country, using such a man, to stop their action. We would investigate in court to find out who had involved in the previous events. What said in the statement about those coming from the US and Canada, we would have to find out who could they be. This is just a political message. As for the court, they will make their own decisions.

Should Remove Islam from Radicalism

Relating to religion, I think the world should change the way they say. I had difficulty in various meetings abroad. Whatever happened they would say something about radical Islam. I would insist they do not mention Islam in there. Radicals would exist not only in Islam but also in any religions or races. In Cambodia, we also have radicals. They would by in any races or nations […] When Cambodia was chairing ASEAN summit in 2012, we had adopted a policy framework on centrism proposed by Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia. We have followed it up with this International Conference of Asian Political Parties or ICAPP. I believe in our people’s unity and we will make sure progress will return its fruits for the sake of reducing poverty and hardships of our people.

To Have Fast Breaking Dinner with Jamia Masjid

I am sure perhaps some of you had joined the Royal Government hosted fast breaking dinner of Ramadan last year and the year before last. I went to have my fast breaking dinner at Takhmao and this year I had it in Kilometer 9 with our Muslim people […] I am so happy today that we have the presence of leaders of 161 masjids. I surely hope we will meet again. As I am not sure if I will have the time to put into official operations the schools to be built today, I would ask you if I should come for a meal with you here? Previously I had such dinner in Phnom Penh and Kandal. Maybe after the dinner to be thrown by the Royal Government in Phnom Penh, I should come to Jamia Masjid for a fast breaking meal. Let us make a promise on that […]./.

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