Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen, at Koh Kong’s Neang Kok Special Economic Zone (NK-SEZ) [Unofficial Translation]


Meeting Workers and Inaugurating Cham Yeam College

[…] I am so happy to be here in Koh Kong to meet all of you. In December, when I was here for the sea festival, we decided to not include this meeting in my visit. I wish to have a separate meeting for you. Today, we are meeting here and I will also put into official use the Cham Yeam College, which is about one kilometer from here […]

Rejected Past Attempts to Forbid Trading between Koh Kong and Thailand

… (That Tia Sangvan had to change his name to Tia Banh after he survived the shot by the firing squad) has reflected how sad the situation was for our people in Koh Kong. Later, even in my position as Prime Minister, I had to reject attempts in the past to forbid people in Koh Kong from conducting business and do trading with Thailand. Some did not understand politics. While outside world tried to suffocate us, we tried to do it to ourselves too. I came to Koh Kong to stay in Pak Khalng (to learn the truth) […] upon return to Phnom Penh, I chose to make a firm defense that it was not possible (to forbid Koh Kong people from trading with Thailand). If we were to do so we were to kill our people in Koh Kong […]

Strategy 1 – Transforming Former Battlefields into Development/Market Places

… We have realized two strategies after we succeeded in implementing win-win policy (that we recently celebrated the 20th anniversary together with the 40thanniversary of the 7-January liberation day). The first strategy was to transform former battlefields into places of development and markets. It was not a policy formulated in imagination. It is a policy based on true nature and situation […] as of present, about 90% of former battlefields have become development/market places. The remaining roughly 10% is still under mines and UXOs that we are working on and return land to our people for cultivation […]

Strategy 2 – Border of Peace, Friendship, Cooperation, and Development

Another strategy that I have been making efforts to work on with neighboring countries – the Kingdom of Thailand, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic – is to transform our borderlines as areas of peace, friendship, cooperation, and development. For instance, you may ask if relation between Cambodia and Thailand was in a state of limbo, could we have transformed this area, which is a few Kilometers away from the border, into development? […] investors have indeed studied and come to their astute conclusion that they can trust relation between the Kingdom of Cambodia and the Kingdom of Thailand. In recent years, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand HE Prayuth Chan-O-Cha and I have agreed to expedite establishments of new special economic zones such as O Neang in Banteay Meanjei. We will have more border trade relations […]

Trade Volumes of USD 7 Billion with Thailand, over USD 5 Billion with Vietnam

Trade volume between Cambodia and Thailand has reached a size of seven billion USD. Volume of Cambodian export to Thailand is smaller than the volume of import from Thailand to Cambodia. We are in need of construction materials. As of present, we can provide ourselves with cement and some other construction materials but not everything […] on eastern border with Vietnam, we have transformed places where we mounted artilleries against each other into market places, factories and enterprises – such as in Bavet – where industry, trade and service are growing. Figures recorded by custom house has it that trade volume between Cambodia and Vietnam stands at roughly four billion USD. I belief the real volume can reach over five billion USD because trading rice across border from Cambodia went unrecorded […]

NR 48 to Become Highway Financed by Republic of Korea

Hun Sen’s policy on connectivity has brought about Thailand’s assistance in renovating the national road 48 together with four major bridges allowing better access for people (to reach out to Koh Kong and for people in Koh Kong to reach out to the central part of the country). In the near future, we will build this road as a highway with financial assistance from the Republic of Korea. Tomorrow, President of the Republic of Korea will conduct a visit to Cambodia. My ambition has been to also build a road that connects Koh Kong to Thmor Da of Pursat and on to Battambang. People in Koh Kong, Battambang and Pursat having business with each other to take care would no longer have to travel all the way to Phnom Penh to get road connection to reach each other anymore […]

State Purchases BOT Bridges/Roads

In time that state was in short of capital, we allowed Oknha Ly Yong Phat (LYP Group) to build a bridge in Koh Kong […] to allow transportation and commuting access. People paid for using the bridge […] as of present, workers and people do not have to pay money anymore because the Royal Government already purchased the bridge from the company and placed it under management of provincial authority […] we allowed BOT investment in roads and bridges when we were short of cash. We bought two bridges from LYP Group – the Koh Kong Bridge and the Prek Phnov Bridge […] while in other countries they do business with toll ways and bridges, in Cambodia BOT investment in roads/bridges is just a matter in transition. Once we have financial ability, we would buy them back for public use free of charge […]

Workers in Koh Kong Earns 43 Million USD/Year

Besides necessary road/bridge infrastructures we also purchased in the past electricity from the Kingdom of Thailand which also helped us to provide electricity for factories here. As of present, with hydropower plants of Russei Jrum, Ta Tai, and A Tai, Koh Kong has in itself become a battery that provide electric power to other provinces – Phnom Penh included. This has closely related to the development and living condition of people and workers in Koh Kong as well as elsewhere in the country. We have about 15,300 workers who earn about 43 million USD per annum. That is a success of our policy about localizing factories to provinces, and in this case a province at the border.

Koh Kong Purchases Water from Thailand’s Trat

Let is now deal with a challenging issue for people in Koh Kong […] we all are concerned about people’s need for drinking water in Koh Kong. Everyone knows about this fact. Building (water supply infrastructure) is underway for a long-term supply. It needs time. As of now, we have water that is enough for about one-month supply. I have news from Samdech Pichey Sena Tia Banh and HE Ly Yong Phat that (concerned authority) has contacted with Trat province of Thailand to bring in water supply to Koh Kong. We must work on pipe system to channel water to Koh Kong. We have so much sea water that we cannot drink. We have pipe in drinking water from Thailand to address our people’s need until rain comes […]

To Sue Denigrators on Facebook

… There have been some people wishing workers to arrest me. This morning they did. They embraced me and took me in in pictures with them […] in fact, I also have come in touch with workers too because with other leaders, I have journeyed with your grandparents, parents, and you yourselves to the present. Next week I will go to Pursat […] and more in Banteay Meanjei, Phnom Penh, Kompong Cham, etc. I wish to also inform those who denigrated me on Facebook that I have my lawyers to figure out how to bring your denigration to court […] You may live abroad but you have your property in the country. If the court rules in my favor, your property will be confiscated. There seems to be some 32 (Facebook accounts) reviling me with my life. We must collect more proof […] I would demand no less than two million USD […] in their last postings, they presage me with decapitation […] these politicians dare not swear their lives and life of their loved ones. Swearing is still a common practice […] to take a position as Head of State, Prime Minister, members of the Senate or the National Assembly […] they all have to swear an oath […] swearing therefore is not a deadlock way to address thing as they said. It is a common and universal way to stay with the truth […]

Voted for Democracy and Peace and Development

On behalf of the Cambodian People’s Party and my own, let me thank our workers in Koh Kong and their families for voting for the Cambodian People’s Party last year. Having participated in the elections you have fulfilled two tasks – firstly, support regular elections schedules – a democratic process that crushed attempt to lure people to stay home and not to vote. Secondly, you have chosen to keep peace and development. Voting for the Cambodian People’s Party and keeping Hun Sen as Prime Minister is nothing else but keeping peace and development for yourselves. After the formation of the Royal Government, we continue to have peace. There is no fear. We continue to work and earn money. This has clarified that voting for the Cambodian People’s Party is indeed voting for one’s own self […] we must bear in mind to keep this hard-won peace. Losing peace is losing jobs. No investors would place their money in a country of bullets and shelling […]

Whether to Amend Article 125 of the Constitution

One day I will come to Koh Kong for a more leisure time. I would not let anyone know in advance. I may come to you workers for my meal […] no workers would poison me. Only terrorists who wish me dead. Innocent people and workers would not wish me dead because if that happens there is no way of knowing what could have happened […] I am in thought about whether there is or there is no need for amendment of the Constitution of Cambodia. (Article 125) states “If the post of Prime Minister is permanently vacant, a new Council of Ministers shall be appointed under the procedure stipulated in this Constitution …” What does this mean? It means that if the Prime Minister is dead, the Royal Government (under his leadership) would be there no more. No one can be acting Prime Minister […] that is not a simple matter. In Hun Sen’s absence in such case, things could go out of control […]

Land and Water Unification Allows Research of Suoy Performing Arts

In the past, Cambodia had been in divisions all along. We have now unified our land water. If divisions were to continue, we might have lost some of the famous performing arts of the ethnic Suoy people. Thanks to the fact that we were able to realize unification of our land and water in a timely manner, we are able to conduct wide ranging researches on cultures of Khmer and other ethnic minorities and many have come from the ethnic Suoy people. Suoy is an ethnic minority community to which no administration – even at the times when Cambodia was under French and or Japanese controls, ever get to control them. It was not a simple thing to do in a country with many armed groups […]./.