Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen at the Gathering of Workers/Employees in the Commune of Put Sar, Bati District, Takeo Province [Unofficial Translation]


A Big Meeting

Thank you all. How are you? Let me see your hands up how many of you would be getting married? Today is the last day of the Assoj month and tomorrow will be the first moon day of the Kadek month. The good best man would choose the married month in Kadek – the weather is cool, and the married day either on Saturday or Sunday, so there would be many guests to come. In our country, soon there will be traditional wedding music all over. That is life. I am so pleased to return to the province of Takeo again. Months ago I came to the district of Daun Keo. Today, we are in the district of Bati to meet with 24,366 workers/employees from 20 factories. It is one of the biggest meeting we ever had. We also have 1,041 women in pregnancy […]

Speeding Up the National Road 2 Renovation

Having come to this area, please allow me to say a few things relating historically to the district of Bati […] some of you may or may not be able to understand. Before I am talking about some reform efforts to achieve socioeconomic development, firstly, I wanted to talk to the Ministry of Public Works and Transports, represented here by a Secretary of State, and the Ministry of Economy and Finance about speeding up negotiation with the Korean side on reconstruction of the National Road 2 […] the negotiation seems to have gone on very late. I came on this road before and I come again now, I see it condition unchanged. The negotiation has gone on for five or six years already. Please speed it up […] as far as this road renovation is concerned, I am not happy with such slow working pace to get this road section from Prek Ho to the National Road 22 done […]

The Road 129B – Trang to Borei Julsa – Built in Concrete

Since we are talking about rebuilding the national road 2, today, Oknha Leang Khun and Chumteav Pheap Heak, will contribute to reconstruction of the 18-km 129B road running from the national road 2 at Trang district to the port of Kompong Ampil, Borei Julsa district. The groundbreaking ceremony will be launching on 26 November 2018 under the presiding presence of Deputy Prime Minister HE Bin Chhin. It will be in concrete and its width will be widen from 7 meters, reported to me earlier to eight meters, with 1.5 meter laterite covered feeders on each side. It will be an eleven-meter road after all […]

Pursuing Market Economy, State Abandoned Water Canals

Let me return to what had happened here. I am asking singers (and the music band) who are here today to get ready to sing a song “Prey Sva is lucky, Put Sar is fortunate.” HE Chan Sarun may have remembered this story since he was at the Ministry of Agriculture too in those days. The event had brought about this idea to create the Ministry of Water Resource and Meteorology […] under the State of Cambodia, we had made great efforts to build water canals and to put into functions so many water pumps. We have a Hanuman water canal here. However, at the implementation of the Paris Peace Agreement, or in pursuing market economy, the state abandoned its tradition intervention role on water canals, more importantly mother canals […]

It was on a water festival occasion, and people from Put Sar in Bati came to my house at Vimean Ekreach requesting to see me […] I had to skip my schedule to accompany HM the King (Preah Norodom Sihanouk) on the last day of the festival in 1994 to meet with our people in Put Sar […] it was a drought year […] it was lucky that we still had some former-Soviet made pumps and machines and we had to bring them over from Kompong Som […] we fixed those machines and pumping started. We then discovered that our people had transplanted rice in the mother canals (which blocked the water current). This was what I called state’s abandonment of its traditional role of assisting farmers […]

Harvesting Rice under Water Better Than Having None

… I then declared that the state must take interventions in rebuilding, building, and maintaining every mother canals. Free market economy should not (force the state to) abandon its role of assisting farmers. It was then that I came up with this slogan “it is better to harvest rice under water than to have nothing to harvest.” Our farmers in those days liked to cultivate long-term rice and water was their big problem. When they grow short-term rice, they might have to harvest them while the rice field could be under water. I told them to have rice to harvest in water is better than to have nothing. The song I recommended just now is relating to this event […]

… The whole thing about how to provide help for farmers stayed in Hun Sen’s heart and mind. I finally talked to Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranaridh about creating this Council for Agricultural and Rural Development. He was President of the Cambodia Development Council in charge of investment. I took up responsibility to see matters in agricultural and rural development. Until, 1998, when the Cambodian People’s Party won the elections, I decided to created two more ministries – Water Resource and Meteorology, and Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction. It will be their 20th anniversary this year […]

Cambodia Reprinted Currency in March 1980

This should reflect to you workers/employees how hard we the former generation had made our efforts to bring our country to this stage of development. No other country in this world, I think, was suffering the same ill fate as Cambodia did. In the world, countries changed leaders by coup or military means but they all keep currency in circulation from regime they brought down. Gradually, they would print new currency to replace them. For instance, when Lon Nol overthrew Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk to make Cambodia a republic, he allowed currency printed under the time of Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk to circulate for a while and replace them at a later stage. They also practiced this in Vietnam, Laos, etc. […] Cambodia (under Pol Pot) was different. They uprooted everything. We started by people bartering what they had – fish for scarf, for instance. It was until March 1980 that we reprinted money and put them into circulation […] everything must restart afresh. Pol Pot confiscated lands, homes, animals, and even kitchen utensils and made them collective property. After we liberated the country, we could not get them back. We must restart afresh […]

Staying Attached to People for Independence, Sovereignty, National Development

I thank factories for allowing workers/employees to have a meeting with me. You also have this afternoon off […] this morning a niece asked me for a free hug […] I am so glad with your words and gestures. This has reflected not only relations with me as your leader but as your father, grandfather, uncle, and/or granduncle. It is a big encouragement. I have always known that I have attached my destiny and life to those of our people from the beginning. We will keep this knot for at least another ten years. I will accompany workers/employees in particular, the Cambodian people as a whole, to go forward in the framework of independence, sovereignty, and national development. In just two days we will celebrate the 65th anniversary of our independence day at the Independence Monument and in front of the Royal Palace. We are grateful to the King-Father for his efforts to fight for national independence of Cambodia […]

Twenty Years of Complete Peace

We have attained independence but by 1970 it was destroyed again after a period of peaceful development under Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk. War lit the country with genocide to follow. After that, we had continued war that tore our countries apart. However, we (have achieved peace that this year and we) are going to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the win-win policy that completely ended the war. In our history, one war ended and led to another to come. In 1975, we ended war with the Lon Nol regime supported by the Americans but we slipped into the genocide. We ended the genocide, but war continued. We had to seek for this Paris Peace Agreement with helps from international stakeholders. At the withdrawal of the United Nations, Cambodia continued to have war from 1993 through to 1998 – another five years. We have ended this war and it has been twenty years now that we enjoy full peace.

There Will Be No Pardon on 29 December 2018

It was with this peace that Cambodia scores development. I have used terms like golden and/or diamond opportunity for Cambodia to rebuild the country (for the first time in its hundreds years of history) of no unity. Cambodia was divided and controlled by many armed groups in different locations. However, at end of 1998, Cambodia became a country with only one Constitution, under HM the King, one government, and armed forces […] it was hard and almost impossible to make peace for our country’s development. We must keep this peace under whatever costs it may take.

Let me reaffirm here […] since someone has posted in Facebook […] I received a forwarded message at 11:38pm saying that on 29 December 2018, there will be a pardon […] he or they may wait to see […] that some is Sam Rainsy as I have no better way to address him. He posted in his account that on 29 December 2018, Hun Sen, at the international pressure, will release Kem Sokha on the 20th anniversary of his win-win policy. He may wait and see. His supporters may wait and see. The person has not yet been tried. He does not have a verdict for me to request a pardon […] I may send a short message “let wait till a horse has its horn.” He could have been in a stressful state of heart and mind and he kept thinking of doing things that are culpable […] now I am saying that I will not set him free, now what are you going to do with me? Cambodia is an independent country […]

Have Workers/Employees Lost Their Works and/or Incomes?

… Nothing is strange about the fact that they have asked foreigners to cease foreign aid, to stop investing in, and to stop buying from Cambodia. Our workers/employees could have seen already by now have you lost your works and/or incomes? We are working on moving your minimum salary from 170 USD to 182 USD next year. HE Kong Korm the other day also said the other day that (their actions) were intimidations. Trade is not a simple matter. They lied all around. It has been over one year now that they said Hun Sen would be so and so. In fact, Hun Sen is still standing here […] everything we realized comes from our efforts. We made and secure peace for development […]

Direct and Indirect Benefactors from Investment and Localization of Factories

… We started from a salary of 40 USD and we will be implementing the 182 USD next year. This salary has increased four times. This will improve income of over 840,000 workers. This must be seen partly as the fruit of our policy to attract investment and localize factories closer in provinces. We will have one more round of meeting with 17,000 workers/employees in Takeo at Tram Kak’s district. To count them all, in Takeo, we have about 60,000 workers/employees. They all benefit directly from this development. We also have traders who would indirectly benefit from it. We also have families who also share their benefits. This has clearly been a combination between what you earn in factories with what you traditionally do in agriculture in your families […]

Following Midterm Elections in the US

… I have brought with me internet tool here. We are following news on the midterm elections in the US […] one person in the US said that if Donald Trump wins (since the presidential elections) it would be the rise of the uneducated. That Trump had won the elections, I just could not imagine he could go on lining in the US […] you may ask if anything important that I keep my ears on the ground. We have the need to know any change of leadership in any countries in the world, especially those in big countries as they will impact situation in the world. We would not intervene in any way for them but we need to keep abreast of it […]

Expedite Legal Case on Trade Unions

I am calling on factories to resolve their problems by dialogues. I am asking the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training to work on this matter that news came to me that some trade unions’ leaders are fighting legal case in courts. They said they seemed to have worked under legal pressure. If that was true, we should think of way to coordinate it. If the courts were to take cases to trial, they may do so to finish them. If they were to not do so, they may shelf them as no actions taken. I am asking HE Ith Sam Heng (Minister of Labor) and HE Ang Vong Vaddhana (Minister of Justice) to inform the courts to proceed on this matter […] trade unions now are able to work and manage themselves. They work in solidarity with workers and conduct negotiations with factories management and owners. Working with each other amicably is important. One thing to avoid is to commit mistake and offenses thinking oneself working in non-governmental organization and resorting to blaming (authority’s actions as) pressure on trade unions or NGOs […]

Visiting Nepal, Laos, Vietnam, and China after ASEAN Summit in Singapore

We will have so many ceremonies to observe. You will have more holidays from the 9 November Independence Day to the water festival, and through to the end of the year. I will have more trips to do to foreign countries. I will head next week for the ASEAN Summit in Singapore, I will conduct a visit to Nepal, to follow by official visit to Laos, Vietnam, and towards 23 and 24 December, an official visit to China […]./.