Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen at the Graduation and Diploma Presenting Ceremony for Senior and Middle-Level Civil Servants in 2017, and Welcoming the New Batch for 2018 [Unofficial Translation]

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Major Achievement in State Reform

Today I am so happy to take part in this graduation and diploma presenting ceremony for our civil servants taking up long and short-term courses (in the Royal School of Administration – RSA). HE Pich Bun Thin, Minister of Public Functions reported progress scored in this line of works and I wish to take this opportune moment to say publicly that I had had a painful experience in state reform. However, I also can say with pride that I finally had taken up the work seriously myself and though we have not achieved a full success yet, we have scored major achievements in the state reforms front, especially in public functions […]

Some may ask why Prime Minister Hun Sen brings this issue up. Well, it is toward the end of the fifth legislative term of the National Assembly Royal Government and I should reveal issues stuck in the past ten years. We started with dismantling the state reform commission in which there were three major components – public administration, judicial and armed forces reforms. We dismantled the commission and promote the Secretariat of Public Functions to a Ministry level to oversee issues relating to public administration reforms, to return judicial reform to the Ministry of Justice, and to let the Ministries of National Defense and Interior to deal with reforms in the armed forces […]

Public Functions the Front Wheels, Economy and Finance the Back Wheels

… In reality, for one (of the three) classifications of civil servants, there was up to 30 grades and each grade would take two years to move up to another. In this instance to complete every grade, our civil servants have to take 60 years to do so. If one started at 25 years of age, to get to the top level of all 30 grades, s/he would need to be at 85 years of age. I could not let it go on. I dismantled the state reform commission and promote public functions state secretariat to a ministry level, for which it will serve as the front wheels of public function reform, and the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the back wheels […]

50% of Current Expenditures on Civil Servants

We have implemented strictly norms relating to macro-economic management. We used to spend only 40% of current expenditure on salary for staff or 4% of GDP. As of now, we dare to increase spending to 50% of current expenditures. We have lessened certain investment fund but we have been able to respond to our civil servants’ requirement, in which for the last term, we drove the minimum salary of civil servants and armed forces to no less than one million Riel […]

I am so happy that in the time past relating to management of our civil servants, we have put in place use of information technology […] this allowed us to discover a chance to improve public functions and also financial managements. We unveil for instance reductions of tens of thousands of “ghost employees” – (those with names but without real persons in list). That had saved a lot of national budget. For some, one name appeared in three different places and earns three salaries. We discovered that, brought those involved to punishments, and made them return the money […]

We now also have used information technology to combat corruption, for example those relating to taxation […] it is in this development that we continue to drive reform forwards and cope up with new situations. It has become a precondition now that anyone without knowledge/skills of information technology, will not stand a chance for appointment […]

Secretary of States Appointed by Royal Decree

We have noticed the necessity for amendment of the Constitution relating to the Royal Government’s locomotive. We have just adopted law on organization and procession of the Cabinet. We have to reorganize this law because there have been noticeable shortcomings […] relating to the 1993 Constitution, whereby every state secretary personnel are members of the Royal Government, while they do not answer to the National Assembly […] It was because of this issue that each time there seemed to be a big Cabinet because there were hundreds of state secretary. We have to readjust this shortcoming to keep only Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Senior Minister, and Ministers as members of the Royal Government as these portfolios require adoption by the National Assembly. For positions from state secretary and below, they will be appointed by royal decrees at the request of Prime Minister […]

The revised law on organization and procedure of the Cabinet will go into force in the sixth legislative term of the National Assembly Royal Government, the new royal government […] well this is some clues to give you about what have been happening in the front of public functions reform […] it is a lesson no one has taught you and it should be a topic for school like this to share with you […]

Give Them Positions, Evaluations Come Later

… in relation to promotions, there were times when Public Functions Minister called me up and shared his opinion about so and so whom he thought would be up to the position and tasks. He hesitated to promote so and so because he thought so and so was not able to make tough decisions […] I said to him how could you know s/he could not fulfil their roles when you have not appointed them yet? Let her/him be in the position and we will see whether s/he is up to it or not. It is not too late to change. For instance, the person has been in second position for a long time and in absence of the number one, we overlooked him. It is true in second position s/he could not make any decisions above her/his roles and responsibilities […] let her/him be and we will decide later […]

Prime Minister Till Cambodia Achieves High-Middle Income Status in 2028

… This is my tenth time here for the graduation and diploma presenting ceremony and I would continue to do so for another ten years. I will not stay on beyond that. Some said I would be frail by 2023. In fact, judging by my exercise performance, I am still fit […] I have seen now that my friend, former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad of Malaysia has now become Prime Minister again, after a break […] my plan is to continue to be Prime Minister at least till 2028 because I wish to join you all in our journey to turning our country from lower-middle income to higher-middle income country. I could at least make sure that our country develop closer to our goal of sustainable development […] I will let no one destroy this country again. Initially I thought I withdrew shortly from work but because of treacherous acts of color revolution orchestrated by some, I decided to stay on for at least ten more years. I must make sure they will not succeed […]

Détente in Korean Peninsula, Three Big Scandals Arise

As the world hails detent in the Korean peninsula and dialogues between North and South Koreas, and waits for negotiation between the US president and the North Korean Leader Kim Jung-un on 12 June, there arise three major scandals. Firstly, the US withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal, prompting the European countries hastily seek rapprochement with Russia to save the deal […] Secondly, the US recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moved its embassy there. Violence erupted and many thousands Palestinians died and injured. Threats of attack on each other between Israel and Iran cause concerns of war breakout, which would engrave existing tensions in Syria, Lebanon, and terrorist activities in the region […] and thirdly, the trade wars now which involved initially the US and China has grown almost into a world trade dilemma. Role of the World Trade Organization is in jeopardy […]

Trade Imbalances, Restitution A Way

… As far as trade goes, that is how it is. Some countries exported more to our country that we do to theirs. Some blamed us for trade imbalances. Well, for those imbalances, we also seek to have restitutions. Take for instance, with China, our trade has not been balanced but as a restitution we have 1.2 million Chinese tourists coming to our country. In one of my negotiations with former South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun, in which I raised this issue of trade imbalances, he pointed to me a fact that many Korean tourists coming to Cambodia is a restitution. I bring this issue up so that you look into surroundings and each and everyone’s position to come up with a better plan […]

Policy of Cash Assistance for Women in Certified Poor Families

Yesterday, I declared a program to provide cash assistance to women in certified poor families in which for each case of woman in pregnancy, delivery and post-delivery care until the child gets to his two years of age a total sum of 760,000 Riel. Prior to launching this program, we have observed status of our national income. The whole process also takes into consideration requirement for nutrition, whereby in pregnancy period, a woman would receive each time 40,000 Riel for four times, in delivery she would receive a sum of 200,000 Riel, and in post-delivery period, spreading equally over ten times, each time she would receive 40,000 Riel […] in total, we provide cash assistance from pregnancy through to delivery and to post-delivery until her child gets to his two years of age […]./.