Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen at the Cambodian University for Specialties (CUS) Graduation

[Unofficial Translation]


Fourth Industrial Revolution and Unemployment

[…] Everyone needs to keep abreast with fast-evolving development of science, technology, and/or political situation. Knowledge would not be able to go from one man to another by infusion as blood that one would do to save life. The only way to acquire knowledge is for a person to learn by him/herself with help of their teachers/professors. The process will continue and never end in life. Everything in this world is rapidly evolving, for instance the fourth industrial revolution issue that has been the attention of the world economic forum, including the one on ASEAN held in Phnom Penh last May. The focus has been on concern about the fact that robot may take over jobs normally performed by human. It is a progress made in technology but it will take away jobs from human. This has been a concern among developing countries, especially those poorer ones with an abundance of young labor […]

Cambodian Needs Human Resource to Become High Income Country

The world economy is slowly recovering but it is not yet certain as to what awaits. However, certain countries, Cambodia included, have reaped opportunity while regional and world economies are facing difficulties. Formerly a place of fighting and killing fields, Cambodia has now become a country of peace and development. Previously, its poverty rate was 100%. We made efforts altogether to bring that down to 13%. Previously was a low-income country, Cambodia has now become a lower middle-income country. Our ambition is to make this country a higher-middle income country by 2030. We also put out a roadmap to lead this country into a developed one in 2050. It is quite ambitious indeed.

To achieve these ends we need human resources who will then serve in every fields and sub-fields. I believe that thanks to our joint efforts we have ability to realize them. We may take one example about education that has impacts on every field in socio-economic development. On 5 October, we just celebrated the Day in Gratitude of Teachers. It should remind us of what we did in 1979. In those days, we applied this method of those who knew more would teach those who knew less, and those with less would teach those who did not know.

As of now, we have ascertained a new teachers training program, which was 12-year education plus two year of pedagogical training or plus one year for those with bachelor, where teachers with twelve-years secondary education will learn four years in regional pedagogical schools. It will be equivalent to achieving a bachelor degree and this will indeed qualify our education system.

Four Priorities to Be Relevant for 30 More Years

As you can see, we have transformed Cambodia entirely from backwardness in time of Pol Pot’s genocide that left us a small number of educated people working in state institutions. We have set right goals and priorities focusing on “water, roads, electricity, and human resource.” We are in the phase of implementing the rectangular strategy where human resource has become the first priority, followed by water or irrigation, roads and electricity. This year is in fact the 30th anniversary that we launched the four priorities policy for the country’s development. We put it out at the time that the country was still at war and was commencing peace negotiation, whose agreement we will celebrate on this coming 23 October. I chaired the Council of Ministers, which is the post of Prime Minister then.

As we can see that the four priorities policy is relevant for the past 30 years, I believe that it will continue to be for another 30 years. Should anyone leave or overlook them, they would see these achievements in peril […] On 5 October, let me remind you, I declared that we are taking back the forty years investment bridge and road at Prek Phnov that covers an area of over forty hectares of land. The company has just been in its seven years of project implementation. They still have right to operate the road and bridge for 33 more years. However, noticing the fact that our people are encountering difficulties in their journeys (after the closing for construction of one of Jroy Jangva Bridges), the state decided to buy the property back and starting from 00 hour of 15 October 2017, people will use them free of charge.

The closing for renovation of the old bridge of Jroy Jangva has cause so much traffic congestion. To overlook problem arisen from transport infrastructure would create obstacles for development. Neglecting development and stable supply of electricity, and prices, obstacles would be right at the door. The same is true if we were to limit number of graduates, like in some countries for Ph D, what would our country be facing […] Neglecting water and irrigation issue would cause not only difficulty for cultivation but also water supply for consumption […]It is important for the political party that rules the country to have a far-sighted vision. They should not do things in haste because of each electoral chapter.

Keeping Abreast with the World

In some countries, politicians have made promises and when they rule the countries, they can never do them. Some countries promise to end racial discrimination against ethnic minorities. However, racial discrimination is still a pestering issue […] I am so glad to see positive progress in the Kingdom of Cambodia in this era. We still have more obstacles to overcome but we are keeping our efforts to resolve them. No country in this world goes without problem […] I met the night before last night HE Duterte, President of the Philippines, and had a brief chat about what happened in Marawi, where the government troops fought ISIS. In Myanmar, they are having this problem of Rohingya or Bengali refugee issue. In Iraq, they have this problem of Kurd referendum to leave the union for independence. If they continue with what they started, Iraq who does not agree with the idea will have a hard time fighting not only ISIS but also internal division. The Spanish police also struggle to keep the Constitution intact in face of possible move to declare independence of Catalonia […]

We have this problem with missiles in Europe, and in Asia, North Korea. We must keep abreast with it. Terrorism takes place from place to another. They have yet to verify the gunning down of people in Las Vegas if it were ISIS or isolated act. Every country has its challenging issue. We also have ours and we had a unique detour from having nothing to stepping up in a gradual manner.

Social Protection Policy for Women in Pregnancy and Delivery

[…] Today, pleased allow me to declare from here some points relating to the launch of national policy for social protection. I have made it clear to Minister of Economy and Finance, who chairs the Economic Policy Committee to give priority to women in pregnancy. That was followed by my visits to workers and employees, where I made public national policy for social protection to provide financial support for women in delivery […] There have been questions from our civil servants about this issue vis-à-vis female civil servant and those who serve in the armed forces. I must remind you that we have a decision number 52 SSR signed by me on 2 December 2005 and implemented on 1 January 2006 […] offering allowance of 600,000 Riel for civil servant women in delivery and postpartum. We have reviewed this issue and discovered that we also have to extend coverage to women in armed forces.

I am taking this chance to declare that starting from January 2018, women served as civil servants and in armed forces will receive 800,000 Riel for one-baby delivery, 1.6 million Riel in twin delivery, and 2.4 million Riel in triplet delivery […] we have more women served in education and health. They have received increased salary […] I hope that Ministers of Economy and Finance and of Public Function work together on a new decision relating to allowance by social protection for women served as civil servants and in the armed forces. We also should look into matter of those who die of illness, on mission, etc. However, I have picked up here only issues relating to women […]./.