Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen​ at the Meeting with Workers/Employees in the Preah Sihanoukville Special Economic Zones (Day 1) [Unofficial Translation]


A Gathering of More Than 20,000 Workers/Employees

I am so happy to return and meet you all once again after my visit in 2016 to celebrate the opening of the 100th factory in the Special Economic Zone of Preah Sihanoukville (SEZ-P). Let me remind you that we normally throw this kind of meeting in May, the International Labor Day. However, on second thought, May is going to be having lots of rain in the areas bordering the sea. We thought of doing it on last December 30 and 31, but such a gathering would involve so many bodyguards and civil servants, who would otherwise have the year-end holiday to share with families. We then moved the schedule to today. In previous meeting, I met between 15,000 and 17,000 workers/employees but today our meeting brings together more than 20,000 of them. Tomorrow, in this very same place, we will also have another meeting. I am so grateful that coming see you, I had a chance to learn to drive a water scooter yesterday […]

A New Economic Pole Is Coming

In the past twenty years, who would have thought that we were going to have a special economic zone, where more than 20,000 workers/employees are working in? […] China and South Korea, having not much investments in old ASEAN nations, who already have more investments from other sources, are turning to Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar […] and here we have this SEZ-P. We also will have another SEZ in Preah Sihanoukville, adjacent to the blue water port invested by Japan. In the province of Preah Sihanouk, as you can see, besides tourism, we also have industry that employs over 40,000 workers/employees […] Cambodia has pinpointed three economic poles – Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Preah Sihanouk. Soon there will be this fourth economic pole in the northeastern part of the countries covering Mondulkiri, Ratanakiri, Stoeung Treng, and Preah Vihear, because we will exploit mineral resources such as coal there along with agro-industrial potential of rubber, etc. […]

SEZ-P has one very special point and it is the agreement between Cambodia and China since the time of President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao to support it. In 2010, Cambodia and China declared their relations strategic and comprehensive, support of the SEZ-P was reaffirmed, and was later augmented by Premier Li Keqiang and President Xi Jinping. We have come to signing agreement to provide firm support for the SEZ-P. As you can see, we have seen investors coming not only from China but also from France, etc. […]

US Ambassador Should Clarify His Assistance Cessation Statement

There was one issue yesterday that I wish to say a few words. Received a call from Kong Vibol of Taxation Department that there was a diplomatic note to him on cessation of assistance which was cut since 2016. Assistance for capacity building support to the General Department of Taxation (GDT) ended since 2016, when Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth bestowed a medal on the (American) assistant. How come they make a statement on this issue in 2018? I am seeking clarification from HE Ambassador, what would be your true intention to declare it now? Was it a deception of public opinion? Since you have circulated it among the media, including the Voice of America, I have had to bring this matter up for my people’s understanding. Every Cambodian citizen must know that we had not received any American assistance in the field of taxation since it ended in 2016 […] what would be their real motive?

Was it your intention to defame Cambodia? Is that because of your dissatisfaction, as a donor country you cease it? The note emphasized GDT’s performance contributing to “backtracking” on democracy. (On this point) The Cambodia Daily and Free Asia do not pay the tax they owe. We do not close them. They run away. Just you give us a clear answer why assistance ended in 2016, and you declared cutting it in 2018? It was just a wind, a wind with political objective, truly […] President Donald Trump just gave his award to fake news media. I understand he was tired of fake news and lies. Now it is not only the fake news by media but the Ambassador who used fake news […] I wish to tell my people that you, representing a country, tell them a lie. Was it your intention to twist the truth and create a psychological impact for those who died to come back? […]

On another instance they declare cutting assistance for de-mining. I quickly inform our people that the Royal Government would fill in the blank space. Later, in my meeting with the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, he affirmed that China would expand its assistance into demining and removing UXOs. Suddenly, (the US) declares giving its assistance back. I wish to know what would be their real intention. I wish H.E. (William A.) Heidt clarify this […] I wish that he would not imitate former Ambassador’s William Todd’s behavior when HM the King was receiving guests […] it is my obligation to inform my people and to show them intention to destroy us. Otherwise they would be misled that the US had cut off its assistance. What could they cut when there was not a single coin on that? So, the main objective would be political […]

Meeting More Than a Thousand Cambodians in Australia

… Yesterday I have news and I will wait and see positions taken by other countries. For the ASEAN-Australian Summit in Australia, President Duterte of the Philippines will not attend because of busy scheuldes in the country. There have been news of demonstrations by four countries – the Philippines, Myanmar, Thailand, and Cambodia. If the four countries’ leaders do not go, (the summit would) be infertile. They may send junior level officials to the summit and it will not be a summit anymore. I am not sure how true that is but I got it from the Minister of Foreign Affairs. As for me, I will go to Australia to meet with more than one thousand people there. Since the place of meeting is small and can house only about 400 people, I would be happy to do two sessions. As of yesterday, there are allegedly more than a thousand of them waiting to see me. I would make my time to meet them even at 3am. This will prove that not only the opposition to organize demonstration but the ruling party also have its supporters to welcome us […]

Voting for the Cambodian People’s Party, Voting for Lasting Peace

Peace, security, and social order are important issues. I wish that you understand and prevent our factories from being harmed by gangsters and drugs problem. Keeping peace would be a simple thing to do. You must prevent war from happening. The best way is to vote for the Cambodian People’s Party to keep a lasting peace. I have determined to continue the post of Prime Minister no less than ten more years […]

Search for American Soldiers’ Remains Would Continue, If …

… I still nurture my intention to build up good relation between Cambodia and the United States of America. I am waiting for a reply in order to allow resumption of humanitarian mission in searching for remains of the American soldiers, 84 of whom died and 49 more are still unaccounted for. It is because of what you did to us; we have to put it on hold. Let me send a message to Ms. Ann Mills Griffiths who had been in Phnom Penh recently and sent me a letter. I continue to affirm that it is a matter of reciprocation. If you sort this issue out for me, I would review your request for the search of remains of the American soldiers, including the Cambodian Koh Tang too. I do not wish to be enemy to anyone but problem arises one after the other […] Cambodia is poor but it has its dignity and would not go easy with insult. As a country of peace and sovereignty, we must keep our honor and dignity of our race […]

Non-Registered Sector Workers to Register at Ministry of Labor

I have brought 20,000 Riel for each and everyone here – 21,191 workers/employees coming from 77 enterprises in the SEZ-P. It is a small amount of money compared to your salary. But it is a token of appreciation that you have come and we meet each other to learn about each other […] we are calling on workers in non-registered sectors to register at the Ministry of Labor to gain access to social protection benefits. Now that the water is clear, we can see the fish quite well. Some claimed themselves to represent workers in non-registered sectors, but when we ask them to send their members for registration, they did not have any. Workers come and claim for themselves […] I do not have to mention their names […]./.