Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen,​ Talk to Workers/Employees in Kandal Province [Unofficial Translation]


All Aspects of Internal and External Policies Concerned with Prime Minister

Let me begin by asking how many of you have received your payment on a bimonthly basis? Well, it seems that many of you have had your pay this way now […] well I just wanted to check against a report by the Ministry of Labor and Vocation Training that about 83% of factories have exercised bimonthly pay […] today’s visit is the end of my first round marathon meeting that started in 2017 and through 2018 to 2019. We will have a second round as I said […] you have been the last group of workers/employees I am meeting in Kandal province […] that you are the last to see, I hope you understand that my works are busy since every aspects of internal and external policies concern Prime Minister […]

Increase Salary, Maintain Macro-economic Stability and Purchasing Power

In the course of (the first round) meeting, I am very pleased to see progressive trend of workers’/employees’ monthly salary from 153 USD (2017) to 170 USD in 2018, and 182 USD now […] what has made this possible? It is joint efforts by which we provide jobs for our people to receive regular incomes. The Royal Government focusses not only on improving salary for workers/employees but more importantly works to maintain macro-economic stability, to keep inflation in check and to maintain purchasing power for you – workers, civil servants, the armed forces […] efforts have been made to ensure that market prices are not going up higher than the salary we have increased. If the prices of goods go up along with the increase, our efforts to increase salary for workers/employees would be meaningless […]

20 Years of Localizing Factories to Provinces

Reviewing incomes in Kandal province, the figures have ensured us successes of this policy to localize factories to provinces and not to concentrate only in Phnom Penh. This year is the 20th anniversary of the policy to orientate investments projects to outside Phnom Penh. It was in this effort that we have put so much investments in infrastructural developments wherever we could to ensure connectivity to/between provinces. We have factories along the national roads 4, 3 and 2 […] and in many other provinces […] it has been a vision from 20 years ago. It was our policy to attract investors to Cambodia. We started with none investors to thousands companies now […] in 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, we built schools in rural areas to serve needs for education. You must have had your education of some kind in those schools […]

Rice Production, a Successful Story, Exporting It, Not Yet

At a later stage, to promote agricultural production, we issued a policy on rice production and export. Finally, among the two objectives – (1) production of rice and (2) export of rice, we are successful only on production side. We have transformed Cambodia from being a shortage of rice for consumption to become a country with surplus of rice for export. This year alone, we have a surplus of 5.5 million metric tons of rice for export […] however, because of the fact that rice market has many tough competitors, our export of rice has not yet reached our targets […]

Bring Down Price of Electricity, Reduce Cost of Production in Agriculture

RGC has had to set a guidance for the Electricté du Cambodge (EDC) to work on setting up lines to areas where there are water sources so that people are able to use electric power rather than fuel-energized water pump machines to pump water for their agricultural production. As you can see that there are Hun Sen branded water pump machines along the river of Prek Thnaot from Konpong Speu through to Kandal province. We are now transferring from fuel-energized water pump machines to using power of electricity which is only around 410 Riel (per KWH) at dawn […] this would allow us to minimize production cost and improve competition of agricultural produces. (We also carry out) researches to produce fertilizer in the country so that our people would pay less for it in their production. This would also help in our competition […] one very good point for Cambodia is we have a rice species – winning first class many years in a row – that is reputably recognized in markets.

Utilize Market Potential to Restore Rice Price

What are we doing now that the price of rice has gone down? Ministers of Agriculture and Trade must work harder to utilize potential of existing markets – 30,000 metric tons to Vietnam, 40,000 metric tons to China – both are 70,000 metric tons of rice or roughly over one million metric tons of paddy rice. We must look for and utilize existing market potentials to figure out ways to restore price of rice for our farmers. It would also be helpful if farmers could keep rice while price goes down […]

Attracting Local Material/Resources Processing Industry for Export Final Products

We may not be able to grow richer investing only in agriculture. We must make efforts in other sectors such as industry and services. In industry, we must work to attract industries that use local materials/resources in their productions […] those relating to drying, storing and exporting rice, for instance […] that we are exporting final product of rice would give us more benefits than exporting whole paddy rice […] we have also seen that our market potential for mango and banana is growing wider. There are demands abroad […] we have attracted some high-tech companies to Cambodia. The other day, I talked comparing Takeo as a “hidden flower” because there is this high-tech factory producing parts of smartphones there […] we also assemble trucks and manufacture wire-harness for automobiles for overseas market […]

Seasonal Market Demand Syndrome

I have presented to you an overall framework of an economy as a country that we cannot depend only on one field. We must be multi-sectoral. In agriculture, we are not working on just rice as they did under the Pol Pot’s time – “as long as there is rice there is going to be everything.” For what we do we are serving local needs and demands in markets. However, we must be cautious that when we are after the market demands too much there would be stumbling blocks as well. For instance, some grew rubber because the market in that particular moment demanded. Later, when price of rubber went down and price of cashew nut went up, some decided to get rid of rubber and grow cashew nut instead […] that is not productive. I ask the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to explain to our people so that they understand and would not overreact to market demands that are seasonal […] In Thailand, when rubber price went down, they just did not collect latex because they would not be able to cover operational costs. They did not resort to replacing them with other crops. When price of rubber goes up, they will collect latex […]

Open Up to Investors, No Local Partnership and/or Share Needed

We are up to light and heavy industries. We are working on handicrafts and manufacturing. We are luring investments from abroad, not any one particular country. We have in Cambodia – locals, Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, Americans, etc. Cambodia is open up for investments from everywhere, except terrorists. Yesterday I met with a US law firm that is interested in setting up a law firm in Cambodia. They are welcome […] investors may come to Cambodia to do businesses under the roof of peace and liberal pluralistic democracy. We do not discriminate who from who or locals from foreign. Foreign investors are entitles to 100% business undertaking without having to make partnership or going into shares with locals […] some countries make these conditions for investors. Cambodia does not. We do not limit investors’ transfer of profits abroad […] they are most welcome to reinvest to broaden their business in Cambodia […]

Morning Star or Hunsenomics

We have defined and compared our economic policies to a morning star that is never glimmering or setting. We have morning star every morning. It is Hunsenomics, if you like. Forty years have passed, especially the 34 years under this Prime Minister (from the time we had to survive and overcome the genocide, the embargo, and the war), your parents and grandparents could not even find shoes to match their feet, have taken a long and arduous journey with me (and with the Cambodian People’s Party). We all must be thankful of them. After the fall of the Pol Pot’s regime, you must have seen already pictures of our people walking without shoes returning to native places […] it was very heartbreaking to see them shouldering between a child in one basket and their basic utensils on another […]

Voting for Keeping Peace and Development

Please allow me to take this opportune moment to express my gratefulness to people in the whole country who voted for the Cambodian People’s Party through which I continue to be Prime Minister in the present […] as you can see clearly now that voting for the Cambodian People’s Party is in fact voting to keeping peace and development, and more so, voting for own self […] you have fulfilled two major tasks in July 2018 – firstly, taking parts in the elections that means you are fulfilling obligations to support process of liberal pluralistic democracy. Over 83% of registered voters put their ballots in boxes. This signifies that democracy is functioning and regular according to the Constitution. Secondly, you have voted for keeping peace and development […] let me have your attention here that no one miraculous person or dignitary politician to achieve successes without people’s participations. Lon Nol fell because he did not have people’s supports. Pol Pot because of his regime’s brutality fell in just three years eight months and twenty days (of being in power). People did not support them. The Cambodian People’s Party stays in power over the past 40 years clearly indicates overwhelming participations and supports of the people because the Cambodian People’s Party belongs to the people and serve the people.

Fall to No Violent Attempt

The Cambodian People’s Party never and will never ever abandon them. You may look into Hun Sen’s face and those of other leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party. These people will not abandon you. I hold no foreign nationality. I have no home abroad. My only option is to hold the ground with the Cambodian people. Everything I do is for progress of the Cambodian people. I escaped in the past (to another country) to form a resistant army to overthrow the regime of Pol Pot. I was offered options to go live in a third country […] I did not choose that option. I decided to return to the country to be with my people and family. I had to leave my family and the country when I was not even 25 years of age yet and my wife was in pregnancy. We started from five men and we have now over five million members of the Cambodian People’s Party. This is a value reflecting clearly that no malicious person can overthrow Hun Sen through violence […]

As Long As You Have Jobs and Get Paid

I wish that some people do not get confused here. From now on, as I said it days ago, as long as you have jobs and get paid, you should not bother to concern with what some people are bragging. People will go on working and making incomes. Those words are just distracting propaganda. While in fact, I am so encouraged and pleased to see that our people are not intimidated by this psychological warfare. You still have jobs at hands […] and it is almost payday again because we are implementing a bimonthly payday system […]

HIV/AIDS at 0.6%, Same Sex Love

[…] I am so happy to see that HIV/AIDS infection or carriers figure has lowered to only 0.6% and we are working to get to our target of 0% by 2025. However, we have new concern here. People who love same sex person […] please allow me to remind third sex people that I have no way of prohibiting you and I am calling on their parents to understand them. I am calling on society and community to avoid discrimination against third sex people […] it is an issue that is not well correctly and widely understood. When coupling with HIV/AIDS, matter will get worse. I am begging you from my affection and sympathy (to protect yourselves). This should be a political message to society, parents and to third sex and same sex love people themselves. We are not up to drafting any law on same sex marriage and many countries have been in deep disagreement on the issue […]

Attending to People’s Need for Water

In the time to come, I wish to place an appeal to provinces facing with shortage of water, I already brought this up once at the review meeting of the Ministry of Interior, to leave no people in water shortage difficulties without assisting them. Authorities at every level must seek every means to help them through. We must prepare trucks to carry water to them and look into possibility for more pond/well diggings. On 28 March, there will be this annual meeting between Prime Minister and members of the Royal Government of Cambodia with members of the Supreme Council of Consultations (SCC) coming from 16 political parties (that contested in the 2018 national elections). I told Deputy Prime Minister HE Bin Chhin to prepare a VDO conference so that provincial authorities, armed forces, etc. have chance to hear findings of SCC members and their suggested solutions […] we have decided already that decisions come out of such meeting is of equal value to those made in the Cabinet meeting […] inputs and solidarity spirit of political parties contested in the national elections but won no seat in the National Assembly can contribute also to national construction with the Royal Government on national needs […]

RGC-Private Sector Meeting on 29 March

You now have interests in hands. You must hold on to it. In 2008, there was a financial crisis and economic downturn. Garment factories suffered reduction of order from outside. A number of factories closed. We then had to take immediate measure to provide our people with vocational training and create fund accessibility scheme so that our workers can find a new jobs and/or do new businesses. Such difficulties is no stranger to us in between 2008 and 2009 […] come what may, we are to keep factories going. We must work together to prepare for such endeavor and on 29 March, the RGC and private sector will go into further discussions […]

Annual Meeting with Tricycles Drivers; Law Firms for Poor Women

Well, it is about time to have annual meeting with tricycles drivers association. Let us have a meal together. The Tricycles Drivers Fund offers each driver 7,000 Riel (less than 2 USD) a day – 2,000 Riel for renting the tricycle rickshaw and 5,000 Riel for food. They also have two pairs of clothes […] let me also inform the Minister of Women’s Affairs that I have decided officially, as I have raised some 2,000 million Riel or about 500,000 USD, to let the law firm commence its work. I asked HE Ky Tech, head of the RGC lawyers group, to help me go about doing it. The fund is not from the RGC’s pocket but a raising one. Thirty member of this law firm would not be sufficient. I think there need to be at least two lawyers per province. We need fifty of them […] any woman needs legal assistance in cases they may look for the firm. I will see that it will come soon. I have a clear objective – to provide legal assistance and protection to vulnerable women, which could include female workers too […] losing or winning the case will depend on judges but the firm will provide lawyer for free […] we are in process of recruiting lawyers now […]

Suffering No Brain Disease

Some make judgments from what they see. Their political practice is to wish for other (opponents) to die. What an animal like they are. If they wait for Hun Sen to die to gather resistance to take power, they may have to wait next life. Hun Sen would not die easily. No one in Hun Sen’s family has brain disease […] my grandmother lived to 92 years of age and my father to 90 years of age […] as for Hun Sen, you may not want to wait for my brain disease to happen. No one would know what Hun Sen’s thought would be. That is the point to score success. In English they say “most races without win.” I win every time I race. Some couldn’t defeat me, they burn effigy to make me angry. But I am not […]./.