Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen,​ to Graduates of BELTEI International University and Launching the “Cambodia’s Hun Sen” Book [Unofficial Translation]

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CNV:

Education Liberalized since 1980s

It is a great pleasure that after the celebration of Pjum Ben ceremony I am coming here to preside over the graduation for the 1,183 BELTEI International University’s students […]. On behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia, I would like to take this opportune moment to express my appreciation for the progress made by BELTEI International University in its contribution to training human resources […] I also wish to share my congratulation to BELTEI International School for a high rate of mention-A students in the recent secondary school exams. Reviewing the framework (on education) policy we issued, I am so proud to see that private sector has taken active parts in human resource training making Cambodia a country that has liberalized education while making accession in 2002/3 to World Trade Organization (WTO). In a usual procedure for accession that member countries asked requesting to-be new member on various issues, a number of countries questioned us about liberalization of education in Cambodia, or how much do we allow private sector to involve in education. I noted the question and referred it immediately to Senior Minister Cham Prasidh, then Minister of Trade and in charge of Cambodia’s delegation in negotiation for accession to WTO.

I have said it already on various occasion that some (of the countries) asking us the question could have at that time not allowed private sector’s involvement in their education yet. In Cambodia, as we can see, there are growing number of private schools and it has reflected correctness of our policy in widening participation by private sector’s contribution to human resource training. There have been talks about public-private partnership or PPP concerning infrastructural development. For infrastructure, we mean both soft and hard. The soft one would include intellectual resource, human resource, education, laws and regulations […] one may ask, if in those times, the Royal Government or the previous governments did not allow private sector’s involvement in early 1990s, not after 1993, (what progress could we have made here?) […] referring to such dates, one may understand that it was a policy developed by the Cambodian People’s Party and myself. In regard of private sector’s educational involvement, I think we must take it as our pride. BELTEI made a huge contribution in human resource training from general education level to Bachelor and Master, among which we are celebrating the graduation of 371 pedagogical graduates […]

More Foreign Students Learning in Cambodia

I am pleased to offer my gratefulness and high appreciation to HE Li Chheng as well as leaders and professors in the (BELTEI International) schools and universities. What impressed us all is the fact that there have been some foreign students coming to study in Cambodia. More are coming. Lately, when I had a discussion with the State Councilor of Myanmar, HE Aung San Suu Kyi, I have offered 10 scholarships to students coming from the Union of Myanmar. I have a hope that with progress made by both state and private universities, I would be able to offer more scholarships to foreign students. I am calling on the private sector to work together to help receive more foreign students, for instance, if they wish to study at BELTEI, you may help accept them. The state would contribute funding to the universities accepting them. The universities will accept them for their continued studies and the state will provide them with scholarships. In some cases, there are, and in other cases, there are not reciprocation protocols, in which case we will offer them scholarships that may include also payment for cost of living. I think we have growing abilities to do that […]

High School Exams Took Place Smoothly; New Generation Schooling

This year, it is an encouragement to see that the high-school exams took place smoothly. During the exams, I had a concern since flood was happening at the same time. That could have obstructed the exams in progress. I have noticed though provincial and district authorities’ efforts to resolve relating issues to ensure the exams to go smoothly. The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, and related institutions, both national and subnational levels for their parts to make this happen. I have set my schedule to meet with mention-A graduates on 7 October. I will leave for an official visit to Vietnam on 5 October and return of 6 October. On Monday, 7 October, I will meet with 443 mention-A graduates. Last year we had 404. This has shown us the number of graduates with mention-A rising over 1%. It has clearly reflected gradually growing quality of our education. I may suggest to HE Li Chheng, since the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports started what they called new generation schooling at the Sisovath High School, would you consider trying the new method in accordance with the norm set up by the Ministry. It is my recommendation. This method has been results of numerous researches and introduced to a number of schools in Phnom Penh […]

Human Resource Development Index

Though some Cambodians insulted their own country of its education system, while accepting that we are still working on it, I had a talk with the Vice President of WTO weeks ago that index of human capital development, especially in regard of human resource training, Cambodia may stand behind (in an overall listing) but not that far among developing countries. I told him about efforts we made. According to WTO ranking, Cambodia stands above Myanmar but lower than Laos, among the nearly 200 countries listing. I admitted we have more to do on human resource development but I gave him an argument as I am comparing what happened in this sector 40 years ago – 1979 and 2019. According to a report prepared and sent to me by Samdech Krola Haom Sar Kheng about administrative management officials from district through to provinces/municipals […] they all have tertiary education and post graduate education.

Only about 5% of officials at district levels that do not have tertiary education […] in recruitment procedures for staff in private institutions, conditions are set for those with bachelor and/or associate degrees. For state institutions, the requirement would be at least bachelor […] what wondered us was why they did not recognize tragedy of the genocide that millions of life lost, in which a part of it was Cambodian intellectuals. Those who survived were the ones that made efforts to bring about national development through to the present.

It is so unfortunate that some have belittled the Cambodian education system. One thing they forgot about that was their supporters are educated in this system. I think it is extreme. They may brag about where and what schools they studied but they should choose careful words and take constructive actions such as providing scholarships for Cambodian students to go study abroad, while in their contempt, schooling in the country was not good enough. It is a serious insult to own race, in which about three millions of intellectuals are working for the country. Are they educated abroad? Most of them studied in the country.

US Embassy Should Clarify West Point Degree

I am calling on the US Embassy and they are the only authority that can certify the (Military Academy at) West Point degree that someone has just said that on that particular year that Hun Manet took the exam, s/he (claiming to have taken the exam too) could not pass. I think they should refer to the government of the United States of America. Should they accept Hun Manet without taking entry exam, the (US) government was a corrupted one, then. Was not it true? […] (They may have to clarify if) there were two types of degrees approved in (the US Military Academy at) West Point […] the one to clarify this matter should not be Hun Manet or Cambodia, but the US Embassy or the (US Military Academy at) West Point itself […]

The General who was the (Military Academy at) West Point director told me in a hosting dinner for my wife, me and Hun Manet that there are only ten places for foreign student per year. The year when (Hun) Manet entered, there were only eight of them […] my son has already said he has no time to talk the talk with anyone as he has more works to attend to […] my two other sons also learnt in the military school in France – École spéciale militaire de Saint-Cyr. Hun Mani had later received a US scholarship to study in the National Defense University […] I never would have imagined though that they attacked my children. Well, a dog with disease would just bite […]

Policies Attached with Budget

We have launched reforms to achieve effectiveness in human resource development in which for the fifth and sixth legislative terms, the Royal Government considered human resource training and development a priority. It was then that we were applying policies with attachments to (funding or) budget. What is the policies attached with budget? It means if we are giving priority to education and health, we must reserve and provide funding for education and health. Budget allocation for human resource development has been high. We made every efforts to make it happen. In my talk with the WTO the week before, I also told him that when natural resources in the coming period bring in income, especially from oil, we would not use it in running current expenses. Our goal is to set spending of the revenue from natural resources for infrastructure. We are optimistic on this matter. Why would that be possible? It is possible because even without incomes from natural resources or oil, we can survive. In this regard, once the natural resource or oil income starts to come in, we will concentrate using them in soft and hard (infrastructural) investments […]

15 Billion USD Foreign Reserve and 30 Tons of Gold

I may say something about this. By September, income from custom reached 105%. Income from tax reached over 95%. I do not talk yet about non-fiscal incomes, from which we have collected about 100 million USD from about three million tourist arrivals […] this year, custom and excise collected more than planned 800 million USD, why would we need to make use of income from oil in current expenses. We collected over 500 million USD per month and we spent about 300 million USD, which means we could save about 200 million USD. This is what I said money we have for own investments […] they are not incomes in papers but in cash. We have a cash surplus, and that does not include foreign reserves, of over 15 billion USD, with 30 tons of gold. Gold inherited in Switzerland that they give us back was 12 tons. Gold that the National Bank bought and kept in the UK was 15 tons. We have three tons of gold stored in Phnom Penh. That is not a big amount (of gold) but starting from nil, we have now 15 billion USD and we do not touch it. We have about four billion USD in cash for current expenses. While there was this shortage of electricity, we delegated a sum of nearly 400 million USD for (the purchase of) the 400 megawatts generators (to be placed at the suburb of Phnom Penh). The Electricite du Cambodge borrowed the money and will pay back to the state later […]

Four Major Factors Allowed People to Enjoy Traditional Buddhist Pjum Ben

… I went to the pagoda of Vang Chas (or Old Palace Buddhist pagoda). I came across no more than 100 cars while I reached the Wat Phnom, from Takhmao […] people left the city to enjoy the ceremony […] there are in all four major factors that allow our people to visit their native places and tour the country during the celebration of the traditional Buddhist Khmer Pjum ben. Firstly, we have peace. No place in the country has problem of insecurity. Every pagodas and touring sites are open and welcome visitors. This is the true value of peace. In division, the country fought war from one region to another. There were always armed confrontations and landmines casualties […] win-win policy brought about final integration on 29 December 1998. That date we ended the war […] we must work together to defend peace. Without peace, there would be no talk of human rights and democracy or development […]

Secondly, we have better physical connectivity infrastructural development. We all know, even if we were to have peace, without physical connectivity infrastructures, people would still have difficulties to make their ways to far-off places. For the year 2000, 2001, or 2002, people would not be able to travel as a whole family to their native places […] the bridge across the Mekong at Stoeung Trang  and Kroch Chmar districts will soon be ready. My wish has been to build connectivity along that Cambodian-Thai border. We just built a national road 55 from Pursat to Thmo Da at the border. In the time to come, we will launch the groundbreaking to build a road from Samlot (of Battambang) to Pursat (province) and on to Koh Kong (province) to establish connectivity in this remaining corridor […]

Thirdly, people have own means of transportation. People are traveling by own means and they have more and better private means of transportation. Some would travel by motorbikes and some by cars […]

Fourthly, people have increase in their incomes. Should they have no incomes, they would not be able to travel. The Royal Government has prepared and paid one full month salary (for people to cover their spending during the ceremony) plus a bonus of fifty thousand Riel […] with incomes people celebrated in Buddhist pagodas […]

Busy Schedules Abroad in Late October and Early November

We will celebrate boat-race event during the Water Festival. Previously, we would not organize boat race when the water level was either too high or too low. As for this year, we would organize the boat race any way, no matter what level the water will be. I have an intention to see what they say about bringing Hun Sen down on Novermber 9, which is our national day of independence. We will organize the boat-race event on 10, 11 and 12 October 2019. I am anticipating that day to come […] let me tell you, I will conduct a visit to four countries if things go as planned […] I will conduct official visit to Vietnam. Then I will visit Czech, and then Hungary, where I will attend the Summit on Water. HE Hor Namhong will attend the non-aligned movement meeting in Bulgaria. I would come back home to prepare for the ASEAN Summit in Bangkok. Some have commented that Hun Sen dare not go to the UN General Assembly. Let me tell you, for the UN General Assembly, I would attend only once in each term of premiership. Many countries send their foreign ministers or even the Ambassadors to read speeches. President Macron of France invited me to attend the Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment Conference and I send HE Ieng Moly in my place […]

9 November – A Day to Eat Ambok

Then it will be 9 November and the water festival. They have declared that they will bring us down on 9 November. What else could it be if not a coup? The Ministry of Justice already announced new charges relating to the coup and organization of armed rebel. Let me tell you that I am declaring 9 November – our national independence day the day that we will celebrate Ambok (flattened newly harvested rice) eating along with the water festival in the whole country […] it is the time when our people start their rice harvest so we all have this even of preparing Ambok and enjoy it. It is not difficult to find Ambok […] we will celebrate this Ambok Day to defend our nation, religion and King. They seek not only an arrest of Hun Sen, or force Hun Sen to step down but also to call on HM the King to abdicate. They consider HM the King as Hun Sen’s puppet. They insulted HM the King. Their intention at this time was not only to bring Hun Sen down but to change the Constitutional Monarchy regime. It is treason.

Let me inform that whoever is engaged in the (said) campaign would be facing with the new criminal law. I must warn anyone of this nine fingers campaign. Whoever joins the campaign to destroy peace on 9 November would be apprehended […] while there have been reactions on financial resource to raise and keep armed force, they revert their campaign to people’s power. When they faced reactions on insult on HM the King, they twisted saying they will come to rescue HM the King. That is not freedom of expression. It is a coup to bring down the state or to inflict regime change […]

HE Mahathir Mohammad said to reporters at New York that he has not yet received the court order from Cambodia. I think it was just a matter of procedure. We have sent it to every ASEAN countries. Would you think every workers working in Thailand are your supporters or in Malaysia are your supporters? […] well once again I am calling on our people to get ready for the 9 November Ambok day followed by the water festival, with a three days boat race event on 10, 11 and 12 November. Let us eat Ambok to defend our nation, religion, and King. Any actions in favor of a coup is illegal and punishable […]

Cambodia and Vietnam Achieved 84% Demarcation

With Vietnam, we have achieved 84% of demarcation. My visit to Vietnam this time is to ascertain this achievement. Maps printed in Denmark have arrived. After tough negotiation from 2005 through to 2019, or 14 years, we now have only 16% of border issues to resolve. With Laos, we have resolved 86% of the border issues. During the recent incoming visit of Laotian Prime Minister, we have agreed to go into a treaty to accept the 86% achievements, and to continue to resolve the remaining 14%. We – Cambodia and Vietnam and Cambodia and Laos have requested France to help transfer coordinates from Maps to land and provide relating documents regarding borders […]./.