Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen at the Gathering of Workers/Employees at Bavet City, Svay Rieng (Day 2) [Unofficial Translation]


I am so glad to have such hospitality from all of you. I feel that you have consider me not only a leader but also your father, uncle, and/or grandfather, even. This has been a source of encouragement for me to go on. After our gathering yesterday of nearly 30,000 workers from the Manhattan special economic zone (SEZ), today we are gathering workers and employees from three other SEZs – Tai Seng, Dragon King, and Shandong Sunshell […], which have 32 factories combined. Before leaving Svay Rieng for Phnom Penh, I would save some time to see the assembly line of the Daehan Auto Cambodia […]

A Special Bank Needed for Vehicle Production, Loan for Vehicles

… I wish to recommend that there should be a bank, which will formulate loan policy for those who wish to purchase locally assembled vehicles (Daehan Auto Cambodia), for instance. Those who seek loans to purchase such vehicles for transportation of workers may earn low interest rates. I think it is a good thing. I have had news and am in shocks now and then about vehicles loaded with workers crashing and colliding. It is quite fortunate that there is this Korean company – Daehan Auto Cambodia that assembles such vehicles for multipurpose use such as transporting passengers. They gave me twelve of them and I found out they are well built and safe. We have the commitment and technology, what we needed here is capital or funding. It will be for whole country […] my recommendation is that the Governor of the National Bank, Chea Chanto, and Secretary General of the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC), HE Sok Chenda, should work together to achieve this goal of setting up a bank for producing this vehicle. People may sell their old ones and borrow more money from the bank to purchase new vehicles […] they would be able to pay a monthly installment because they have workers as their regular clients to use their transportation service. Well, that is a political framework for you to go on with actual implementation […]

At 200 USD/Person, with 50,000 Workers, A Hundred Million USD Comes Into This Area

We may note that some countries in Africa and Asia are still in war.  Some may have come out of war but are still in least developing and low-income situation. With efforts that we have made so far, we have extracted our country from the low-income status to a lower-middle income one. We hope that by 2030, we will be able to ensure a higher-middle income status, and by 2050, we would as well be able to place our country in a high-income countries group. Roughly figuring out yesterday, for about 50,000 workers/employees here, at 200 USD per person (per month), we would have a hundred million USD coming into this part of the country.

Cambodian Workers Earn Past UN-Defined Poverty Line

Let me share with you figures defined by the United Nations as to who would be living below the poverty line. Initially, they defined that anyone earned 1 USD per day would be out of poverty or above the poverty line […] now, they increased the line to 1.24 USD. Anyone beats that figure is above the poverty line. Now, let us look at your income. If you earned, according to previous UN figure, 30 USD/month, you were out of poverty. With new figures, with 40 USD earned per month, you are above the poverty line. As for you, we can see that your earning has reached over 200 USD per month. That was way from above the poverty line. It is not sufficient though. We are not cozy with this. We have issued further principles … to ensure annual increment to (minimum) wages of our workers/employees […]

Considering Paternity Leave with Pay to Fathers/Husbands

… In general, female workers/employees with pregnancy are now leaving jobs fifteen minutes before the end of shift time. I am in the process of thinking this point brought to me by Senior Minister Cham Prasidh, Minister of Industry and Handicraft. I think I will forward this idea to Minister of Labor and Vocational Training, HE Ith Sam Heng, for discussion with owners of factories. When women are in delivery, they are entitled to three months maternity leave with 120% of their salaries. The idea here is what would be husbands’ roles here? Men would have to be attending to wives and newly born babies. They will not leave wives and babies without their helps. The thing is what policy should we formulate for those men? Would they earn a three-day or a one-week paternity leave with pay? Let us think and work on that […] this would require discussion in the tripartite mechanism – Royal Government, workers/trade unions, and factories’ owners.

Extending Maternity Leave and Benefits to Women in the Whole Country

From the beginning, we have oriented this social protection policy, namely maternity leave and benefits, for female workers with pregnancy. As of now, we have allocated ten million USD for that purpose. In the last four months, we have recorded less than 20,000 pregnant female workers to claim benefits. On this note, I presumed that we would not spend all the money we allocated. I am thinking of extending this maternity leave and benefits to women in the whole country. The point is how we go about setting criteria and benefits. We already set rules for female civil servants, members of the armed forces, registered and non-registered workers/employees. What are we going to do for female population at large […]

Opposition Would Do Anything for Power

This is what we have been trying to achieve for our people. That was not something we had achieved because of the opposition. All the opposition did was (1) to instigate workers to rebel demanding in an unmethodical manner, and (2) to seek foreign countries to keep investments away and to purchase no goods from Cambodia. They declare it their victory should foreign countries cease to purchase goods from Cambodia. What would happen if factories close down in Cambodia? Would they have virtue of being leaders? […] It’s our people who would be losing jobs and incomes including those who voted in their supports […]

Their treacherous acts included lately their signatures (on agreement) to give the four provinces of Kratie, Stoeng Treng, Ratanakiri, and Mondulkiri, to an ethnic minority in Vietnam. They have done so even when they are not yet in power. What else would they do should they have power? I have no interest to exchange words with them but I wish to explain this point that when the opposition appeals to foreign countries to stop providing assistances to Cambodia, to stop purchasing goods from Cambodia, it is an act of killing own people. To seek for power they even called on the army to turn their guns against the Royal Government. They called on people not to go to vote […]

Battlefields/Borders Become Areas of Markets, Development, Cooperation

…  Look, in fact this area was rural and prone to fighting because of its close location to the border. It has now become a real marketplace. It has become a real development place. That is the success in the framework of strategic policy implementation to transform former battlefields into marketplace and development areas, and to transform borders areas with neighboring countries into peace, friendship, cooperation, and development […] based on figures provided by customs and the Ministry of Trade, trade volume between Cambodia and Vietnam has reached roughly 4,000 million USD. The Prime Minister of Vietnam and I have come to an understanding that that was not a good figure yet. People of Cambodia and Vietnam living along the border are trading with each other even without registration by custom officers. With Thailand, we have a trade volume of 6,000 million USD. In fact, this figure could have not included people-to-people cross-border trading […]

Workers Send Incomes Home, Parents Use in Agricultural Works

You may want to loom back into your situation. How much have you earned in the last year. You may also add up your incomes with those earned by your parents, who mostly work in agriculture. You may have found that your families’ incomes would have increased three or four folds […] your families are short of labors because you are working in factories and not with your families anymore. However, your parents could continue to work in agriculture. Why? It was because you provided cash to your parents. They use the money you provided to hire agricultural machineries to help with cultivations. You may note that agricultural machineries did 94% of the job of preparing land and cultivation in the rainy season, while in dry season they did up to 98%. Your parents could do that because of your incomes. This has certified that your actions and incomes are connecting closely with your parents and their actions in agricultural activities […]

There Would Be 13 to 14 Political Parties to Contest in General Elections

…  Last night, my son met with a politician and that person had raised this issue of a possible rebellion. Let me assure you that (the Cambodian) people are currently thinking about their jobs, incomes, agricultural productions, etc. They would not be interested in taking a rebellion with them. As of this moment, I have information that twelve political parties have placed their deposits in the treasury already. In the forthcoming elections, there could be 13 to 14 political parties to contest […] anyone obstructs people from going to vote is committing wrongdoing. It would be his/her guilt […] on 29 July, you and (eligible members of) your families already registered should go to vote […] I hope that you will vote for the Cambodian People’s Party with this logo of a deity spreading flowers […]

Power by Elections, Not at Gun Point

I will continue my round trip to meet our workers and employees for another ten years. The post of Prime Minister and my future lie in your hands. Our country, coming to power must be by election, not at gunpoint. Should you wish to keep peace and development, you should vote for the Cambodian People’s Party. I hope that you and eligible members of your families continue to vote for CPP on 29 July 2018 […]./.