The Revered Samdech Akka Moha Sangharaja, the Buddhist Patriarchs,
The Revered Buddhist Monks,
Samdech, Excellencies, Ladies, Lok Chumteavs, National and Foreign Guests,
Members of the Meeting and Dear Compatriots,
28 June 2019 is the 68th founding anniversary of the Cambodian People’s Party, initially was the Khmer Revolutionary Party. The Party was born from the patriotic struggle movement of the Cambodian people against the French colonialism for national independence and has traversed innumerable obstacles on a long and zigzag path of the Cambodian history to win prideful peace and development in the present for the nation and people. On behalf of the Central Committee of the Cambodian People’s Party, please allow me to express my sincerest respect and gratitude to our compatriots from every corners of the country for always placing their trusts and confidence in the leadership of the Cambodian People’s Party. That has enabled the Party to score brilliant successes in serving the nation in the past forty years.
On this auspicious occasion, we are expressing profound loyalty and gratitude to the most revered Preah Karuna Preah Bat Samdech Preah Norodom Sihamoni, King of Cambodia, and Samdech Preah Mohaksatrei Monineat Sihanouk, the Cambodian National Heroic Queen Mother in freedom, dignity, and happiness, and wishing Their Majesties good health, strength, intelligence, and longevity, to stay as forever-cool shade for every Cambodian.
On this occasion, we are bowing to convey respects to the souls of our ancestors, uncountable heroic soldiers and compatriots in every generation for their brave sacrifices for independence, freedom, peace, democracy, territorial integrity, and happiness of our motherland and people. We remember always their supreme heroic models and gratitude. We are determined to exert physical, mental and intellectual strengths for the construction and defense, and scoring further progress and forever lasting existence of the nation.
Members of the Meeting
Over the past 68 years, despites complicated development and challenges of national and international situation, the Cambodian People’s Party has shared good and bad times with the people and mobilized national forces with compatriotic ideal for motherland, democracy, peace, irrespective of ranks, livelihoods, races, faiths, religions, and pasts to join efforts to defend social achievements and build Cambodia a country of independence, peace, freedom, democracy, neutrality, and social progress. The Party led the struggle movement against the colonial regime for independence and later participated in the defense of independence, peace, and national sovereignty from 1953 through to 1970. As the country fell into the flame of war from 1970 through to 1975, the Party continued the struggle to liberate the country from foreign invasions. As the country fell into genocidal disaster, the Party led the struggle to overthrow the brutal regime and to win the 7 January 1979 victory that saved life of our nation in a timely manner bringing back rights, freedom, democracy, and dignity for our people.
After the victory on 7 January, the Party raised high the banner of great national solidarity to lead efforts of restoration and reconstruction of the country from scratch and prevention of possible return of the regime of genocide, while serving as the focal point of national reconciliation process until the country ended its three decades-long protracted war, builds a full peace, national unity, land and water unification, offering huge favorable conditions for socio-economic development and improvement of people’s livelihood. The Party serves as firm backing in the defense of the Constitution, the monarchy, independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. The Party keeps peace, political stability, prevents color revolution attempts and all form of controversial actions of the opposition and ill-will circles aimed at curbing development and derailing Cambodia from the path of democracy and rule of law. Along with that, Cambodia has built up friendly and cooperation relations with every countries while making its contribution on equal right and footing in every international affairs.
Our people have been proud of the successful process of democratization stage after stage, especially through the national and sub-national elections in a free, fair and just manner that reflect growing maturity of democracy in Cambodia where the Cambodian people are the true owners of power.
As far as socio-economic development process is concerned, in the last two decades, Cambodia has been among countries with high and rapid economic growth as it has realized an average growth of over 7% per annum supported by progresses made in industry, manufactures, construction, agriculture, service, tourism, real estates, communication and transports. More so, Cambodia left its status as a low-income country for a lower-middle income country since 2015. In 2018, the Cambodian economy has scored 7.5% growth compared to projected 7.1% from early year. The unexpected growth was possible because of political and macroeconomic stability, growing private investments, consumption demands, exports and number of tourist arrivals, etc.
For 2019, the Cambodian economy has been expected to grow at a rate of 7.1% anticipating supports of firm growth in industry and service sectors, though agriculture would continue to share low growth. It is worth noting that in the first half of 2019, every economic activities are functioning well. For instance in the past early four months, the country has adopted 115 investment projects worth of roughly four billion USD compared to 81 projects worth of 863 million USD adopted in 2018. Exports of garments continue to keep high growth. Exports of rice has realized over 210,000 metric tons, or 8.3% higher compared to 2018. Construction and real estate sectors continue to share high growths. Cambodia has received over 2.4 million tourists or 11% higher compared to the same period in 2018.
Recently, the Royal Government of Cambodia issued sharp reforms measures in accordance with the motto of “reforming internally, increasing friends in spirit of independence,” and the approach to “reflect oneself in mirror, take bath, scrub off dirt, provide treatment, and conduct operation.” Those measures include efforts to raise high trade facilitation, reduce cost of electricity, continue to build physical infrastructure, to strengthen legal frameworks on investments, to continue with institutional reforms to guarantee achievement of Cambodia’s economic independence as a country with full sovereignty. They should also help improve investment atmosphere, strengthen competition, and expedite more energetic economic diversification, especially to guide Cambodian through to realizing its long-term vision to transform from low-middle income to high-middle income country by 2030 and high-income country by 2050. Basing on these mentioned economic achievements, people’s living condition has been raised high gradually, while average income per person has grown five times from 2000 through to 2018. The poverty rate has reduced from 53.2% in 2004 to about 10% at present.
In the framework of implementing national policy on social protection to uplift social wellbeing and solidarity, and to reduce poverty to the maximum, the Royal Government established the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) aimed at providing social security guarantee and keeping wellbeing of the Cambodian people when they are senile, despondent, and suffering from job risks. Whereby, the healthcare section of the National Social Security Fund has had over two million people – including workers and employees, civil servants and veterans – under is coverage. The Employment Injury section, which help relieve burden on workers and employees in case they suffer from accidents by and/or during work, has registered over 130,000 enterprises and covered some 1.7 million workers/employees. The Royal Government focuses high attention on wellbeing of mother and child by providing a sum of 36 billion Riel in wage and perquisites through NSSF for some 90,000 female workers/employees – registered and non-registered – in the period of their maternity covering the period from January 2018 through to April 2019.
Along with this, the Royal Government led the implementation of cash provision, from 1 June 2019 onward, for women in poor families who are in pregnancy and child under two years of age to help relieve burden in their living condition and provide nutrition to both mother and child. Such assistance provided to women in pregnancy when they come to public medical facilities during and after delivery, and in case of abortion, and mortality of child or mother. The Royal Government has also established the Kuntha Bopha Foundation to continue to provide health support with quality and free of charge for Cambodian children. Moreover, the Royal Government has expanded provision of electricity to villages/communes and brought down costs of electricity to help reduce people’s expenses.
Members of the Meeting
In brief, history of political action of the Cambodian People’s Party has been one of a brave and steadfast leadership before every phases of history on its clearly defined, realistic and long-term vision policies for the supreme interests of the nation. Going through the past four decades of the struggle for national survival, restoration and defense of motherland since the 7 January victory, we have learnt some valuable lessons crucial to the future of our nation.
Firstly, setting out path, policies, strategies and tactics for correct leadership has been primary factor for success of the nation. In over the past 40 years, the Cambodian People’s Party has led the country with successes on a correct path – without going either too right or too left, or losing control. The Party has always been practical in responding to the aspiration of our people, and in conformity with national and international situation development. The Party has attached itself with people, listened to people, exercised regular self-inspection, and dare to improve own shortcomings. Decision made by the Cambodian people to choose correct political leadership is the most important and necessary part.
Secondly, people are essential factor to realize successes in national liberation resistance as well as in restoring and building the country. They are the foundation supporting political leadership in the nation. Should people misunderstand, provide no support, and make no participation, no major national tasks could be achieved. It is in this understanding that in its politics and actions, the Party must adhere steadfastly to faithfulness and always set people as objective of services. That said, each and every Cambodian must acquire clear knowledge about right and duty, and participate with ownership spirit in national construction and defense.
Thirdly, solidarity is the vital factor of our nation. Only with solidarity, our nation wins. To guarantee a firm national solidarity, there needs to be a correct leadership and path, and a guaranteed implementation of the principles of democracy, freedom, and rule of law. While doing this, an absolute prevention must take place from the beginning on actions of instigation, incitement, division, conflict-making and anarchic actions. They must not be allowed to cause disaster to the nation. In this meaning, implementing the 11-points policy of the National United Front for Salvation of Kampuchea, national reconciliation policy, win-win policy, and taking vehement legal measures to keep political stability, security, and public order at all circumstances have ensured the consolidation of the strand of solidarity of our nation overcoming whatever obstacles they might be.
Fourthly, peace and stability have been the foundation indispensable for development, and vice versa, development with inclusiveness and equity is indispensable to guarantee and strengthen peace and social stability. Together, in the peace of process of our nation, we should remember that war and national division stemmed out from leadership of the previous generations that was incorrect and contradicting to the people’s will. Influential foreign interference has left the later generations to seek for resolutions to be attained through avoiding war-to-end-war means.
Fifthly, in every circumstances and settings, we must raise high self-consciences and be resolute in firmly and steadfastly defending forever lasting national independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity before whatever external violation there may be. National independence and sovereignty is the supreme value to guarantee honorably national existence and the chief pillar to support peace and progress of our nation. History has shown clearly that weakening or losing national independence and sovereignty brought about division, war, destruction, suffering, backwardness, and insults on our nation.
Sixthly, in every circumstances, our people must adhere strictly to the position of mastering their own nation and have confidence in own forces and efforts. Reality has proven that we are able to overthrow the regime of genocide and prevent its return for the second time. We have realized great achievements in socio-economic restoration, construction, and development. We have overcome and resolved internal national crisis, especially realized full peace through own win-win policy, without foreign command or assistance. We scored its success majorly because we have solidarity, will, intellectual, steadfast efforts and braveness. It is worth remembering that solidity of internal factor embraces determined and fundamental natures to receive assistance from outside.
Seventhly, friendly relations, solidarity, and good cooperation with neighboring countries and with countries in the world irrespective of political regimes on the basis of strict adherence to principles of neutrality, peaceful coexistence, and non-alignment, and respect of independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, equal right and footing, and mutual interests are indispensable in guaranteeing development and peace of our nation at present and for a long time to come. It is in this remark that in all circumstances, efforts must be made to build, maintain, and nurture firmer bonds of friendship and cooperation with countries and international organizations, while continuing to take active parts in international affairs.
Members of the Meeting
Reflected through brilliant victories of the Cambodian People’s Party in the elections one after the other, especially the sixth legislative general elections and the recent municipal, provincial, district/Khan councils elections, it is clearly seen that the Cambodian people are in need and believing in the leadership of the Cambodian People’s Party – at national and subnational levels – to ensure peace, stronger democracy, rule of law, socio-economic development, people’s livelihood improvement, and continued further reforms in every fields. Responding to people’s trusts, on behalf of the Central Committee of the Cambodian People’s Party, I make my solemn promise to determinedly and successfully implement the political platform for the construction and defense of motherland for 2018 through to 2023 as proclaimed to our compatriots. In this spirit, the Party adheres to steadfast position of maintaining the hard-won peace, political stability, and national security, at whatever price it may take, to refrain extremist opposition, who betrayed national and people interests, or ill-will circles from destroying them.
The Cambodian People’s Party is determined to firmly defend independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity and to oppose foreign interference in the Cambodian internal affairs, because such interference was the major cause for our country’s disaster. I am taking this opportune moment to remind once again that Cambodia is under no foreign rules. We give no chance to foreign interference in our internal affairs. We bow to no pressures or threats. We already went through unjust sanction from countries. That we do not bow our heads is the honor of our nation.
The Cambodian People’s Party who won and returned every human rights and dignity to the people will continue marching forward on the path of liberal and pluralistic democracy, respect of human rights and rule of law in conformity with situation of Cambodia. That is the Cambodian people’s full and uninfringeable right in choosing own path of development. Let me underline that true democracy, rights and freedom rest in the process of national rebirth, in the success of the peace and national development, and in exercising the Cambodian Constitution and laws. They do not rest on verbal expressions of ill-will persons or circles. The Cambodian people have nurtured democracy, rights and freedom over the past 40 years. Thus, we know what to do to defend and strengthen democracy further.
The Cambodian People’s Party profoundly thanks friends, development partners and international community for assisting Cambodia’s rebirth and progress over the past 40 years and for continuing to expand fruitful cooperation for the sake of Cambodia’s development in particular and for the course of universal peace, security, progress and prosperity as a whole. Along with this, it is my hope that countries with improper conceptions of positive and correct conduct of democracy and rule of law in Cambodia, using political reasons to place conditions on us to do what they told to, not in conformity with the Cambodian real situation and people’s aspiration, would accept the truth, respect the Cambodian sovereignty and self-determination, and make real contribution to the process of strengthening peace, democracy, and development in Cambodia.
I am calling on the committees at every level, every officials and members of the Party to uplift the tradition of patriotism, to love people, to make efforts in strengthening solidarity, internal unity, and to continue to take active parts in building the Party aimed at raising high capacity in the Party’s leadership to achieve score further major achievements. I am calling on our compatriots to strand together in solidarity around the Royal Government under the Constitution and the revered monarch to become a country with civilization in the region, and a harmonious and loving society free from wars, past genocide and national divisions.
Finally, I am wishing the revered Samdech Akka Moha Sanghajara, the Buddhist monks, Samdech, Excellencies, Lok Chumteavs, honorable national and foreign guests, members of the meeting, and compatriots in every corner of the country the four Buddhist blessings./.