Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen at the Gathering of Cambodians Living in Australia and New Zealand [Unofficial Translation]


More Come Out to Welcome

… We are meeting a bit late at night today. I told my son since before I left Phnom Penh that if one the first day I could not meet every one of you, who come out to welcome the Cambodian delegation, I will have a second meeting, no matter at what time it may be. You have come out to offer hospitable welcome to the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, who represent a nation, your nation, since we are of similar race. You are not here to welcome Hun Sen in a private course. As you can see that Hun Sen rode in a car with a (Cambodian) flag. So, welcoming Hun Sen is indeed welcoming your own nation. Albeit, those who protest against this presence is protecting against their own nation […] Roughly about ten percent of people coming out to see me is for protesting purpose. While more of you come out to welcome me […] they should take it as a lesson that not only people inside the country that they cannot mobilize them to vote in their favor, even in Australia, from where they raised their money, they could not even mobilize large number of people to go against Hun Sen […]

… They have threatened and insulted people for selling their heads at 600 dollars per piece […] it has made me sick for such insult on all of you. They may do so to me as a public person, but that they brought their insults on you, it is so irrational. To go further, having done all that, where would be the democracy and rights they talked about? When they scolded everyone who come out to receive a country leader as puppets? Where is the freedom of expression? Access to information, etc. […]

Demand and Protect Current Border

Let me first talk a bit about our sovereignty. Our people may have learnt about our country’s ancient border. In generations later, especially in the time of French colonial period, our country has shrunk small. What the current Royal Government, as well as the ones after 1979, tries to do is to defend the border inherited from Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk. We would not have to resort to force, especially in this era, to sort out border differences either with Thailand, Vietnam, or Laos. We must take legal and negotiating means […] I could not fathom that some our people resorted to coloring so and so on such matter. Why did they not try to help each other? I have made every effort to demand and protect the current border left by Preah Norordom Sihanouk and deposited at the United Nations – land and maritime borders. Our Constitution also allows use of 1/100,000 scale printed by the Indochina Geographic Group in between 1933 and 1954 […]

On this issue of border, they keep scolding me. I brought this matter up with 800 people yesterday. They said I had sold Koh Trol to Vietnam. People who are in their 60s would know. Looking at the Cambodian history, the French Governor General of Indochina (Jules) Brevier drew a line in the maritime. It was said that the Cambodian governor of Kompot, because of, his inability to cope with seasickness on the way to collect taxes, abandoned his duty. The French Governor General then drew a line and issued a decision. The reference did not call it Koh Tral but Phu Quoc. It was since 1931. In 1949 the French National Assembly met to resolve the Cochin-China issue, including Koh Tral and the Khmer Kraom. I was born in 1952 […] we Cambodians should in fact have tried to make efforts to defend the land that we are left by our ancestors […] but some kept us scolded for working out with concerned party to mount border posts […]

Two Objectives in Industrialization

We have issued a policy on industrialization until 2025. Our export capability in the industrial sector has reached a sphere of over seven billion USD last year. That was from our labor intensive industry – in garment and apparels […] however, we are figuring out two more objectives regarding industrialization. Firstly, we are looking to achieve industry that creates added value. We are attracting investments that will use local material to create final products for exports. We also wish to have investment in setting up industrial parks for industry that creates added values too. We have rubber and we do not wish to export just raw rubber but car tires, etc. We have cassava, and we are looking for means achieve final products to export, for instance we have “Mi Yoeung,” Cambodian brand and product, in markets in Australia […] secondly, we wish to attract world-class high-tech industry. We have some now in the free economic zone at Koh Kong where they produce parts of commands for vehicles […]

Australian Scholarships for ASEAN

… Education is still Cambodia’s pursued objective. We have sent our students for training everywhere inside the country and abroad. Australia has just announced how much it would give scholarships to ASEAN. Cambodia will get a share of it though. Some Cambodians have come to Australia for education on scholarships and some came with own financial supports. Cambodia has opened its sky for people to seek education. In case some have to return home like those jailed and expelled by the US, we would have to welcome them still. The Americans would send back Cambodians who went and resided in the US after 1994. We would have to accept their return or the Americans would send them to so and so places/islands. Learning of such possibilities, we have had to take them back, though they may have been ones who insulted and scolded me. Your political tendency is one matter but you are sharing the Cambodian flesh and blood […]

No Talk to Effigy Burners and Prisoners

… Yesterday I sent a message to Ms Bou Rachana (Kem Lei’s widow) that she was wrong. Whether she believes it or not would be up to her. They wished to find a chance to talk to me but they instead burn out effigy of Hun Sen. In this case, which country would dare come to talk to me about negotiation?  I would just reason why should I talk to anyone that burned my effigy? More so, you are not fit for such a talk with me because you are a prisoner. That is a legal matter. As for other political parties, I am open for negotiation with all who are working to contest in the upcoming elections. We can talk and come up with political agreement. Should any party wish to negotiate for a political agreement for the electoral campaign, results, process, […]

Those who burned out effigy of Hun Sen have in fact committed (a political) suicide. They know well that Hun Sen hold every key, still they burned effigy of me. It is not Hun Sen’s trick but you should have learnt by now that you were in wrong track all along. They could have tried to seek my sympathy. Instead, they went great length on improper actions. Cambodians would be unhappy (if someone burned up his/her effigy). That they were so naïve to do so, I told them that my soul rests in every Naga statue in every pagoda because I was born in the year of Dragon. They may want to deal with that in over 40,000 pagodas […]

Take Benefit of Education in Foreign Country

… Allow me to address this point of human resource among the four priorities (human resource, water, electricity, roads) that I mentioned earlier […] though I had not raised it yesterday, I wish to share with you my thought today. That you have had a chance to reside in Australia and/or New Zealand, I advise you to allow chances of education for your children. We have up to 100 universities back in Cambodia. Though we still have issue of quality to tackle but many of our people have graduated from university. That we are here in Australia, we should learn more than speaking English […] in Cambodia these days, to be a district heads, it is required that you at least have a bachelor degree […] in the course of meeting with workers in factories, let me tell you, most foremen have bachelor degrees and earned a monthly wage up to 450 USD […]

English Vs French Language

In my house there are only three people who speak Khmer – me, my wife and a grandchild number 17. That does not mean he does not speak English but does not speak yet […] it seemed that more and more people are picking up English than French. I think the French seemed to have overlooked its importance. In 1982, when I was Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, I had a chance to go to France. I told French official my opinion and asked them to set up a French Cultural Centre or Alliance Francaise in Cambodia. A French representative then said to me (how can we do that when) France does not recognize your government. I reiterate to him that it was not in my interest because firstly Cambodia has Khmer as its own language, and secondly, we have other language choice– Russian in those days, and English […] they now are falling behind […]

The Senate Elections Done, General Elections on 29 July 2018

The Senate election was done on 25 February, when non-universal electoral colleges from commune councils and members of the National Assembly elected 58 senators. HM the King already assigned two dignitaries to the Senate and we are waiting for two more to be elected by the National Assembly. When that is done, HM the King will convene the first Senate session […] the Khmer New Year is approaching and there will be Ramvong dances […] on 29 July 2018, the general elections will commence […] it will happen and happen in a just manner. I am ready to talk to political parties to contest in this elections to create a favorable atmosphere […] the Royal Government, represented by Minister of Interior, will see that your demands are taken care of […]

Cambodia, as well as Australia, would not need any country to approve our elections results. Look at the Constitution of Cambodia […] after the elections, the National Elections Committee will declare provisional electoral results. They then proceed to sort out charges relating to elections. They would past unresolved matters to the Constitutional Council […] after that the National Elections Committee will declare final results. Within 60 days, HM the King will appoint a dignitary from the winning party as Prime Minister and the person will organize a government […] once the National Assembly approves, HM the King signed the appointment of the Cabinet, whose members would swear an oath […] there is no need for any approval from the General Secretary of the United Nations to approve it […] please do not allow yourselves to be fooled […]

Montagnards Are Not Cambodian Ethnics

… There had been some times now a signing (by opposition leader) to give out four provinces […] they said it is right of ethnic people. However, if anyone of you come from that parts of our country, have you ever heard of Montagnard? We have Punong, Stieng, Jaray, Kajok, Kuoy, but we do not have Montagnard. This Montagnard people are in Vietnam, why could he give autonomy of Kratie, Stoeung Treng, Mondulkiri, Ratanakiri to them? It is enough to count in ethnic people who are in Cambodia. Why should we also count in those in other countries? Would this be considered an act of leader? How could he claim himself a patriotic? […]

Taking this opportune moment, please allow me to send through you my best wishes to those who could not come, your relatives and neighbors […] as Prime Minister, it is my right to send my wishes to every Cambodian, no matter where they maybe or what political tendency they belonged to […] I came to Sydney first in 1991 after the Paris Peace Agreement, secondly in 2006, and this is my third visit. I think I will have more visits and I have invited Prime Minister of Australia to visit Cambodia too […] With his appreciation and welcoming statement, Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull declared that the government of Australia will offer 87 million USD in assistance to Cambodia […]./.