Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen,​​ at the Groundbreaking Ceremony of Phase IV Project for Flood Protection and Drainage Improvement of Phnom Penh [Unofficial Translation]


Thank the Government and People of Japan

I am so happy to be present here in the Sangkat Chadomuk of Khan Daun Penh with HE Ambassador (Hidehisa Horinouchi and JICA Cambodia office President Sugano Yuichi) and our compatriots to launch the groundbreaking ceremony today for the phase-iv project of flood protection and drainage improvement (FPDI – Phase 4) in Phnom Penh under the Japanese grant. HE Khuong Sreng (the Governor of Phnom Penh) and the Japanese Ambassador already pointed out to you that this is the phase-iv project to build necessary infrastructure for the sake of protecting Phnom Penh from flood and improving its drainage system will give great benefit to the Cambodian people living in Phnom Penh. Let me take this opportune moment to express my sincere thanks to the Government and people of Japan for providing Cambodia with its assistance so far […]

Japan Experiences in Solving Wastes, Polluted Water, Congestion, and Traffics

In my visit to Japan, our Japanese friend organized my visiting schedules to areas where they have experiences in solving issues relating to polluted water, wastes, sanitation, and other challenging urban problems such us congestion and traffic control […] Japan has had a great deal of experiences in solving these issues. I am so proud that we have Japan as our cooperation partner for the past more than twenty years. Japan has always been ready to get its projects going (in Cambodia) and never waited for (so-called political) situation (development) […]

No Closing of Facebook in Cambodia

Let me reaffirm that the other day, there were thieves who hacked and controlled my Facebook page for over an hour. They impersonated me writing “if Facebook closes down my page, I will close down Facebook in Cambodia.” While it was impossible to inflict harm on me, they resorted to steal my page. It is an act of cybercrime that the world is concerned about and condemning it […] I also use Facebook. Why would I prohibit its use in Cambodia? If they deny stealing my Facebook page, I would challenge them to swear with their deaths and those of their beloved ones. The best way to deal with these people is to challenge in swearing […] I will not order closing down Facebook because our people and I are using it. If we know how to use it, we could take benefit from it. There are of course people who are using it for negative courses. We will need to educate our people about it for instance use of words or speeches and by laws. In some countries, they have gone through making laws to deal with fake news and fight against cybercrimes and/or crimes concerning information technology. Cambodia will need to think about all of this too. However, I affirm to our people today that there is no closing down of Facebook or other social media apps in Cambodia. Decision otherwise would be up to leader after come […]

“Dislike People Who Do Not Know How Japanese Spent Money”

Let me inform you all from here and today that the Sumitomo Mitsui Construction Company will implement this FPDI – Phase 4 at a cost of roughly Yen 2,389 million. There have been ill-will people thinking in a beasty nature kind of way about how we have been using Japanese money. Cambodia is to launch the groundbreaking and to inaugurate once the project completed. As for project bidding and who would have the rights or privilege to implement projects would rest entirely in Japan’s decision. Japan is on control of its money. Japan has always been doing that in every countries it provides assistances. That is a principle that Japan has pursued […] in one of the CG meetings in Tokyo, Japan, I had meal with a former Japanese Foreign Minister. He is still alive. Every time I visit Japan, he and I have made time to meet. Those who called foreign countries to cease assistance to Cambodia went there even in 1990s to ask Japan to do so. Upon my sharing of what happened, the minister said to me “I dislike people who do not know how Japan spend its money.” That was roughly what was translated to me […]

3 March 2019 – Census and National Culture Days

Today is March 3 and it is the day that Cambodia starts its population census. I am calling on our people in the whole country to take parts in this census. The census results would help us envision our future. We were to carry out population census in 2018 but we had the national elections to hold. We have postponed it to this year […] in another instance, March 3 is also our national culture day. It was on Sunday. It was my recommendation to the Minister of Culture and Fine Arts that if March 3 falls on a Saturday or Sunday, we have to reschedule it to anyone weekday so that artists can keep up their engagements in their performance schedules with TV stations or other events […] we have rescheduled our national culture day to March 6 […]

Everyone Cooperate in General Population Census

Particularly, starting from March 3, I am calling our people in Phnom Penh and in the whole Kingdom to participate and cooperate in the general population census. Please allow census agents to come in to your residences and give answers that they may ask from questionnaires of census […] officials of high or low ranks and our people in general must cooperate […] census agents will not ask you about how much money you have but they ask how many motorcycles or cars you have for instance […] census is not about politics. I heard that there was an incident in Takeo between a census agent and an official of a dissolved political party. The person went far to hit the census agent and burnt his/her papers […] why did he hit the census agent? Is he a fool? This act is nothing about politics. It is a criminal offense. I am calling everyone involved to come up with a clear judgment. Population census agents are not political action agents. Every political parties in Cambodia must take parts in it […]

No Pardon Given or No Allegation Withdrawn

I also wish to reiterate that the door (to reclaim political rights) is open. Whether you walk through it or not is totally up to you. You must be aware of one fact that a door can be open and closed. If you are indifferent, not interested, and making more demands and placing more conditions, you may have to wait until November 2022 to receive (your political rights). This is a country with independence, sovereignty, democracy and rule of law. The Royal Government of Cambodia has done its part to draw the door open already. Whether you walk through or nor would be up to you. Please do not nurture hope of a pardon or a withdrawal of allegation on so and so […] (on ground that you do not take it and resort to) carrying out political activities (while you are prohibited by law from doing such thing) I would ensure that your actions will be met with legal actions […] it is not a political issue. It is a legal matter. The court will have to ensure justice is done on the person who is under investigation process. Once the process completed, in its power, the court would go into session […]

Door Closes Before or After the Khmer New Year

This is my last message. Your indifference to such offer would see the door closed either before or after the Khmer New Year. When the time comes, though you send in request, I would not be responsive to it. I am making this matter clear today and in the presence of the Japanese Ambassador (and the public). Some said they would wait for some more days or weeks. I reassert they would have to wait till November 2022 […] a timeframe set by decision of the Supreme Court. Failing to request (for political rights rehabilitation) they would not have chance to set up political parties to contest in the communal councils elections. I have told the sixteen political parties (in the Supreme Council for Consultations and Recommendations) last week there would be two options only – firstly, they request for political rights rehabilitation and go ahead with their party formations to contest in the upcoming 2022 communal councils elections. Secondly, they would to wait till end of the timeframe ordered by the court in November 2022, and they would go for formation of parties to contest in the upcoming general elections in 2023 […] they should not forget that in Cambodia there are not one or two but dozens of political parties. Some have been in the process of forming new political parties as far as I know […]

More Space for Liberal Pluralistic Democracy and Rule of Law

Some have been staying in Bangkok or places. They met in Siem Reap, in Phnom Penh and in Bangkok. The majority were after the thought of doing it (requesting for rehabilitation of political rights) but one person not in the 118 banned (politicians) or now there remains only 114 … said there seems to be sign of political settlement. I am afraid not. I do not need to go into political negotiation. I will leave it up to the court to make decision for the one arrested and placed under court inspection. That is a clear message to you. Hun Sen would not do it on the contrary […] I have the power to decide (on who will receive or will not receive rehabilitation of political rights) […] it is not a political suppression but a guidance for an expansion of political space for liberal pluralistic democracy and rule of law […]

Why a Person More Important Than a State

You may wait. I know that you have been doing bus meetings […] in Phnom Penh, the woman who leads women movement (of the dissolved party who have been organizing those meetings) should know that your actions are not hidden from our eyes […] if you do not walk through the open door […] it would even be better for us to keep things under control […] why a person would be so valuable that a state must be placed under one’s order while the person is not even yet tried […] they have mobilized and selected five people in each Sangkat (in Phnom Penh) […] to prepare for the arrival of (so and so) […] and for arresting Hun Sen. Younger and elder sisters, aunts and grand aunts may be able to hold and hug me […] but for you to arrest Hun Sen – the Prime Minister who commands the armed forces in the whole country – would not be that simple […] you may wait to see who the army will respond to […]

A Legal Process against Political Party Violated Country’s Laws

In Thailand […] they have revised laws concerning elections […] requiring me parliamentarians chosen by the army to have rights to elect Prime Minister. In that case, a person from a party not winning the elections would also be able to become a Prime Minister. Why no country brings this matter up with Thailand? It is not an interference into (Thai) affairs but I bring it up as example for us all to understand the gravity of the situation. In Myanmar, the army, allowed by the Constitution, 25% of seats in the Parliament to be occupied by the army appointees. What do they say about this? Cambodia has done nothing of the sorts but carried out legal process against a political party violated and infringed upon the country’s laws, why it is not within our right to do it? Are we not a state? […]

My apology to the Japanese Ambassador (for bringing these matters up) but I have the need to set light on the issue. Why it is possible for other countries to fight against (outside) interference and why Cambodia cannot do so to protect its state. Australia did so and days ago a Singaporean Minister talked about making law against interference. The US even talked about Russian interference in elections in America. Cambodia wishes just to be in peace and long for mutual respect, why can’t we do it? Please, my people have gone through so much sufferings and I do not wish to see them suffer more, not even to go to jail […]

No to Organizing Strike Network

Let me warn Roth Sothi, the chieftain organizing meeting at Boeung Trokuan, of handcuffing. The woman who led the bus meetings also must be warned. You must not organize hidden strike network. Those taking refuge abroad declared (plan to) arrest Hun Sen […] let me affirm to them that Hun Sen will match actions to words. He does what he says. People inside the country and abroad may keep their eyes on this […] I just wish to have our people’s attention that only with peace and political stability, rule of law and law abiding, as an independent and sovereign state, we can do things about environment, polluted water, sanitation, clean city, development, improved living condition, etc. It seems though our rights to manage our destiny has been confiscated and they do not respect the will of more than 83% Cambodian voters voted in their powers to manage their destiny. Let us worry what is to happen by stand up together and move forward.

Five Approaches, Two Mottos

I have talked about five approaches and two mottos of taking further reforms inside the country and expanding more friends outside on the basis of national independence and sovereignty. I have come – in the five approaches of reflecting oneself in mirror, taking bath, rubbing of dirt, taking treatment, and taking operation – to the operation stage now. I just did that last week. I convey my message to other officials to take high attention of their actions. I do not need to talk to Minister of National Defense (of what I would do about) army officials or Minister of Interior about stripping off from ranks district or provincial governors […] it is within my area of competency […]./.