Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen at the Launching Ceremony of the National Policy on Elderly People for 2017-2030 [Unofficial Translation]


In addition to the prepared text, here followed is the selected impromptu comments at the launching ceremony of the National Policy of Elderly People for 2017-2030:

Tricycle Rickshaw Fund Launched

Last Saturday, we launched the tricycle rickshaw fund. It should be able to assist hundreds of tricycle rickshaw riders to secure their incomes and to preserve tricycle rickshaw tradition in the country.

Time to Pay Attention on People’s Wellbeing

The Royal Government pays attention and takes into consideration people’s interests, especially those who are poor and/or vulnerable by way of putting out and implementing policies and norms, as well as related mechanisms, to support social affairs. We have set up centers for care of old-aged people, for orphans, disables, for rehabilitation of human labors, for wellbeing of mothers and children, and free-of-charges assistances for the poor to take hospitalization and deliver their babies, etc. We have also put together national policy for elderly people for 2017-2030. It was further efforts to raise high quality of life of the ageing population, to guarantee elderly people’s wellbeing, and to ensure Cambodian society an inclusive one.

Though we have thought out policies and our mechanisms have successfully implemented, there are still challenges and shortcomings in the process of social affairs development. I think it is the most appropriate time for us, with the socio-economic progresses we have made, to start figuring our strategy to give care for our people’s wellbeing. It is the backbone to every aspect and sector in our society. Should we realize successes in resolving these issues, they will reflect clarity and prosperity of our nation, and will ensure national dignity, supremacy, and potential in elevating national development and in achieving further successes.

Fund for Kuntha Bopha Hospital

Just now, Minister of Social and Veteran Affairs, HE Vorng Soth, invited me to be honorary president of the Elderly People’s Fund. I will think about it. In recent time, I have thought of taking a proposition to be honorary president of the Kuntha Bopha Hospital Fund. We must find ways to make sure that we will be able to provide more capital for the hospital Kuntha Bopha. That does not mean we are going to eliminate the Kuntha Bopha Fund established by Dr. Beat Richner. It will be instead an additional contribution from the Cambodian side. I think it is one of the pressing issues to take care of to guarantee that the Kuntha Bopha hospital will continue to function without interruption. I will think about this. I will also examine income that we would receive for the Elderly People’s Fund […]

An Erratum of the Phnom Penh Post

… I have already posted on my Facebook page a while before coming here. Facebook users may have seen my posting already. There was a misinterpretation led to wrong analysis, especially those diplomats who are reading the Phnom Penh Post in English. They must run a correction. This morning, it has run an article titled “Hun Sen says elections will not take place amidst ‘chaos’.” Some, including from COMFREL, have come up with different analysis. They said “By law, [the prime minister] has the authority to cancel the election.” I just wish to assert to you that if you are not clear about it, you should have learnt more […]

Elections Will Happen Without Changes

… In Cambodia, there is a definitive assertion that the National Assembly has a legislative term of five years. It is not to be dissolved before end of its term, unless the Royal Government has been dissolved twice within a period of twelve months. It means that, unlike in other countries, neither Prime Minister, nor HM the King, nor the National Assembly has right to decide on the elections. I do not need to give a lengthy explanation because I made comments on that (on various occasions). For example, I always say that democracy, human rights, and development take place only in time of peace. They would not happen in time of war.

I would not have imagined lack of judgment of the writer whose article in the newspaper has created uncertain view. I have my own Facebook page and they may or may not run a correction, because it would take them at least week to run it […] I think online media has reproduced this information by now in English or even Chinese. I just wish to reaffirm what we have decided, and will not change it, that the Senate elections will take place on 25 February 2018 […] and the legislative or National Assembly members’ elections will take place on 29 July 2018. There will be no changes.

No matter what may happen, we will do everything we can to organize these elections. The elections in Cambodia require participations from the Cambodian people. It does not need recognition from any particular country’s president, and/or the Secretary General of the United Nations, or even by any multi-lateral mechanism. The most important issue here is the National Elections Committee to organize the elections. Should there be charges matters will be forwarding to the Constitutional Council. Decision by the Constitutional Council will allow the National Elections Committee to announce official electoral results.

The Constitution stipulates that within sixty days at the latest, HM the King will convene the National Assembly session. After that, a dignitary person from the party that wins the elections will be appointed as Prime Minister. He has the duty to put together a Royal Government, which will seek approval from the National Assembly. Finally, the Royal Government will take its oath to take the job. It is a normal process of a country upholding democracy […] in Cambodia, let me underline this, Prime Minister has no rights to cancel or postpone the elections, but we could propose to the National Assembly with a two-third majority decision, and to HM the King, to consider prolonging (the elections).  However, I believe that there is no need to prolong it.

I believe that our country’s situation is advancing forwards in a democratic and liberal pluralistic framework. We are determined to proceed and hope that the Phnom Penh Post, which has a rather long working time in Cambodia, get to the depth of these issues. I also suggest analysts to widen their scope of knowledge. To know about Hun Sen, they should read commentaries on various occasions and compare those statements he made. I already posted my reaction on my Facebook page but I have the need to share this with the Cambodian people.

The elections are going to take place without changes, no matter what may happen. At whatever price, we will have the elections organized. This is what I wish to clarify to our people so that certain radio and/or newspaper cannot twist and pollute our situation about changes and/or cancellation of the elections. This is nothing different to what happened in 1997-1998. We are determined to a regular democratic process as scheduled. Though the Prime Minister is the one to announce the elections dates, the Prime Minister must respect conditions stipulated in the Constitution. S/he has no right to organize elections prior to or later than schedules set out by the Constitution […]./.