Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen at the Meeting with Workers/Employees in Kombol Area

[Unofficial Translation]


Affection, Amicability, Welcome – Recognition of Achievements

Let me thank you all for such a warm welcome, especially from our over 15,000 workers who are present for this event today. I hope that you all are happy to be here. Just now, because of the rain, some of you and I had to walk across rainwater clogging area together. Two years or so ago, I saw news in some countries that a provincial governor went out to oversee the flood situation sitting on a litter so he avoided walking in water. As for us here, since we are from poor family background, nothing frightens us from walking in water clogging area. I was born in the year of Dragon and my house was along the Mekong River. It was a big flood year. My house was flooded […]

I am so proud and pleased that we can meet today. I always consider it a festive day to see you. My way of working has not been this happy. I always sit alone in my office with papers around. I will have another difficult evening work today because many papers are waiting for me when I get back. However, I am having a wonderful morning with all of you here. I had a twenty-minute walk over there before reaching this podium and many of you had a very good chance to show me your affection, and even taking selfies. This has proven a close relation between Prime Minister, leader of the executive power, and workers. This also stems from the fact that there has always been good cooperation and supports from your grandparents, and parents to me and towards the Cambodian People’s Party.

I have this feeling that such amicability, heartfelt affection and welcoming, would not come from misunderstanding and lack of understanding and knowledge of what Prime Minister Hun Sen did and has been doing now. I am sure your grandparents, parents have given me credits for what I have done always for our nation and people, and they have benefitted from them.

Liberating, Preventing from Pol Pot; Win-win Policy; National Reconciliation

The fact your grandparents and parents were liberated from the regime of genocide of Pol Pot, I have a share in doing so with other leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party. I was just one of many important actors who pooled their efforts to liberate our country from the regime of genocide. We had made further efforts thereafter to prevent the return of the Pol Pot regime and to search for peace through the Paris Peace Agreement. The 24th anniversary of the Paris Peace Agreement will come on 23 October. I then put out win-win policy and led the implementation of the policy with other colleagues in the Cambodian People’s Party to bring our nation together to unite and embark on peace everywhere. There are no more barriers as in the past when our country ruled by many armed factions. It is a hard-won peace and it has become our chance to bring about socio-economic development and poverty reduction.

Peace Makes Cambodia a Food Surplus for Export

When we liberated our country (from the genocidal regime of Pol Pot), there country population was only about five million. At present, our population is over 15 million. When we had a five-millions population, our country was food-insufficient and we depended on food assistance from outside. Now that we are over 15 million populations, our country has a surplus of over five million metric tons of rice for export. There were not many tourists visiting our country before. In 2016, though, we received roughly 5.5 million tourist arrivals. We hope this-year tourist arrivals will reach 5.7 or 5.8 million. As we are leaving rainy season, more tourists will come.

Peace has brought you young people jobs. If it were not because of the Cambodian People’s Party’s efforts, or Hun Sen’s, we would be sure of what had happened. When the country has no peace, who would want to bring their money and invest in factories, hotels, etc. in Cambodia? […] We have come this far and through so much of difficulties, we must not ignore how important peace has been as well as the chance it offers. We must keep the peace we are having now […]

Two Points about People’s Wills

As we have come to this point, I wish to respond to some of the analysis days now that any dissolution of an opposition party would be a violation of wills of voters. I wish they would just make comments and interpretation as they wish. I would suggest two points to think on this point. Firstly, would anyone have thought about any voters or people’s wills when they launched a coup against the head of state Preah Norodom Soihanouk? Was it not against the will of the people? Did they care about it? […] to serve their war interest in Vietnam, they needed to occupy Cambodia. As Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk refused to oblige their wish, they got him, who had his people’s support as a lifetime head of state, out of power.

Recently too, there was this chanting slogan of “Hun Sen! Step Down.” Have those people thought of wills of the people who had voted overwhelmingly for the Cambodian People’s Party and for Hun Sen to be Prime Minister? This is the point that everyone should think about. No one could deny such silly logic. Secondly, let us take a matter that happened in the land of the world human rights power. There was this Watergate scandal and there was this motion in the US congress to bring him down. Nobody talked about people’s will (that put him the presidential post in the first place) […]

I do not wish to engage in war of words with anyone but I have had to clarify this interpretation concerning trial of opposition leader and political party on charges of treason … When they brought Preah Norodom Sihanouk down and dissolve the constitutional monarchy in Cambodia, has anyone taken note of that? … I wish those made themselves analysts think about it thoroughly. In Thailand, a Prime Minister appeared on TV to fry rice for a company and he had to step down against the will of the people who voted for him. There were many cases there in Thailand […] In South Korea, Ms Park Geun-hye was made to step down from her Presidential position, also voted in by the people […] I seek understanding from our Thai and Korean friends for (drawing their countries’ issues) as examples.

A Coincidence between a Clip and Evidences

This morning I saw a clip calling armed forces to turn their guns back. The clip was made of a speech on 4 June 2011 in Lowell, Massachusetts, US. They said “ … the Hun Sen regime is about to fall down. The army must turn their guns and topple the regime of Hun Sen …” Then, what can we say about protests with – “Hun Sen.! Step down” and violent protests in Veng Sreng road that caused loss of lives? Were they acts of respecting people’s will or strikes to overthrow with foreign order that would again flame up war in Cambodia? They had done it. They had failed. They will never abandon their tricks, though […] Evidence we have collected conjuncts very much to what they said […] such conjunction would involve not only one person but also the whole party and it will be up to the court to decide […]

Let Us Defend Peace for Jobs

… You should remember that for the jobs that you all are having, yesterday, today and tomorrow, is because we have secured peace. No one would bring investment to our country should we be at war. Tourists would also steer away from us. A country with firm political stability can secure national progress. We may look at Singapore – a country that stability stays as backbone of the country’s development. China becomes the world number two economy and is on track to become the world biggest economy surpassing the US because of peace and political stability they have secured too.

You may find similar deal in Japan. It is in this understanding that you and our people must safeguard them. We have made great efforts for national economic development. We have lowered our country’s poverty rate from 100% to just 13%. Let me explain you a bit. To be above the poverty line as set by the United Nations, a person must earn at least one USD per day. As for you, with a salary of 153 USD, you earned roughly five USD (a day)[…]./.