Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen, at the Graduation and Diploma Presenting Ceremony of the Asia-Europe University [Unofficial Translation]


Covid-19 – Main Reason to Postpone US-ASEAN Summit

Please allow me to inform our people from this podium about the US-ASEAN Summit. As everybody knew, the summit was scheduled to take place on 14 March. However, the world is facing with this outbreak of Covid-19 and President Donald Trump just decided to postpone the summit. As to what was the exact cause, I think, only the US President and his team could tell. The core reason here, the US mentioned about the need to fight the Covid-19 epidemic, while Vice President Mike Pence placed in charge. Some have argued other reasons probable for the postponement […] such as would-be absences of President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, President of Indonesia, and political development in Malaysia, where the new Prime Minister swore in yesterday […] however, I am sure, the US gives importance to the US-ASEAN relations. So, I think the main reason was the Covid-19 fight […]

The US, especially President Donald Trump, failed to attend the ASEAN-US summits in 2017 in Manila, 2018 in Singapore, and lately in Bangkok, where they sent a national security advisor to the meeting […] that ASEAN set up a troika for […] consisting of Thailand, the hosting country, Vietnam, next rotating chair country of ASEAN, and Laos was coordinating the meeting […]. This may have brought about considerations by some that the US is having little interest in their relations with ASEAN […] I do not think so. President Donald Trump sent letters to relevant heads of states/governments and they have come to a consensus on date of the summit. However, the Covid-19 epidemic has had the attention not only the US but also every countries in the world […]

I have to reschedule my programs […] I will preside over the River Festival, which I initially asked Samdech Krola Haom Sar Kheng to go in my place, in Battambang province, and other schedules in the country. I just wanted to have the attention of analysts about the US intention to strengthen relations between the US and ASEAN, but the summit had to wait as this Covid-19 is interfering […] I supported President Trump’s decision because at this moment, either the US or ASEAN are busy paying attention to the Covid-19 outbreak […]. That the US failed to have the summit three years consecutively with ASEAN was not a simple matter to their partnerships. I am sure the US has very knowledgeable expertise on geopolitics […] I just do not want people to go too far in their analysis […]

Constitutional Amendments Propositions – Irrational

Days ago, some (analysts) talked about constitutional amendments (1) to form the Royal Government not based on 50 + 1 majority, but 2/3 majority. I do not know if they are not fools. That the two-third majority did work that the country resorted to 50 + 1 to allow the party that wins a simple majority to set up the Royal Government […], and (2) they talked about stipulating in the Constitution that the Prime Minister appointed the next one. They have gone to extreme […] according to what they said would this country continue to be democratic […] they aimed to scoff that “in absence of Hun Sen, there comes Hun Manet.”

Let me advise them that in Cambodia, even HM the King was to come from appointment. Our Constitutional monarch has no right to choose heir to the throne […] the term “HM the King reigns but not rule,” was written by Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk (Preah Borom Ratanak Kaod) himself in Changsuwon, North Korea […] (I am sure that they talked about this is) to direct attack on me […]

Everyone Take High Precautions

The best way to protect themselves from the (Covid-19) epidemic is that each individual and family is taking protective measures. Fear is not a good way to react to this. We must be courageous to protect ourselves, and families. No one is going to help you wash your hands. You have to do it yourselves. We must protect ourselves by ourselves […] in fact people should fear me because (1) I returned from China, and according to required practice, I should be in quarantine for 14 days […]. However, I noticed, even not being in quarantine, foreign dignitaries requesting for meetings with me, the US Ambassador – to thank me and to inform me about Las Vegas US-ASEAN Summit, and Manager of MS Westerdam, were fearless […], and (2) I received passengers and crew aboard stranded MS Westerdam. Some Facebook accounts even spread news that I was sent in secret to hospital in Singapore, while in fact I was at a golf course […]

To Consider Those Who Spread Fake News on Covid-19 Terrorists

We have not yet been able to see what the future turns to be but after I met passengers and crew aboard MS Westerdam, it has passed the 14 days required quarantine and Hun Sen is standing here. Everyone on board is now home. No one reported to have fallen ill or died […]. As I decided to act in a humanitarian way (to let those stranded passengers and crew to land and continue their journeys home), some criticized me of allowing diseases to enter Cambodia. Have they noticed now, how many people have infected? In the near future, I would consider those who spread fake news (about Covid-19) terrorists […] that people died of natural course they fooled everyone that they died of Covid-19. I just ask those rogues what do they receive in return for spreading such news, besides fear for people and their families? […]

Facebook Users Denied Fake News

Everyone must trust in her/himself. They should be the one to know if they are sick or not. If they do not feel sick and clean their hands with soap and/or alcohol, exercise hygienic practices at home, that would be awesome. The Ministry of Health, its spokesperson, or Prime Minister, would not be able to deal with this. Everyone must act against fake news. They said everyone is sick, you say I am not sick. They said Cambodians are infected, Facebook users say “we are not.” […] Cambodia closes no schools while some countries did already. They allowed people to work from home online. Some universities in China allowed students to learn from distance […] the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, should also consider options […] we have not yet forbid assembly of people, however, we must take precautionary measures of some kind. We have already placed quarantine inspection at every entry points […]

Covid-19 Shakes Up World Economy

(The Convid-19 epidemic) has now shaken the world economy. Stock markets tumbled down. Production lines in countries have stalled because most of raw materials are coming from China. In Cambodia, 60% of cloths needed for garment/apparel factories are from China. It is on this note that Cambodia asked China to send raw materials to Cambodia as soon as they could to avoid a break of productions leading to temporary work suspension for our workers […] we have news now in the Preah Sihanouk provinces two small factories – one with 180 workers and another with 170 workers – suspended productions. The factories offered our workers 50% of what we planned 60% of their minimum salary while they had to suspend production. China also recently sent their experts to assess situation […] that was a rapid response from China to Cambodia’s call […]

Tour in the Country, Jobs for Tour Guides

In the time to come, one major challenge would be in tourism. I am calling on people who, according to statistics, over one million of them, travelled abroad to divert their targets to visiting local sites […] in this situation, foreign tourists also canceled their visits to our countries. Saying so, do not take me for discrimination thought. However, it does not seem to be difficult as we can see that every weekend, people left the city to countryside and other destinations in the country. I hope hotels in Siem Reap reduces their rates, as the state paid taxes on their behalf, to allow people to stay rather than keeping rooms empty […] efforts should also be made to help tour guides. Cambodians visited the temples of Angkor Wat but never asked about history. Foreign tourists hired guides (who tell them stories about the temples). Many know about the temples and their stories. I think maybe at this time that there are not many foreign tourist, local tourists can hire guides to help them find out. This would help provide jobs for tour guides, and our people would learn more about national heritages […]

Please Do Not Put on Revealing Dresses

I am calling on our young women (not to put one revealing dresses) and it has come from online business advertisement. I have nothing against the business but their way of wearing clothes should not be too sexy. That we tell them to put on appropriate clothing, they said we are violating human rights. Have they thought of looking up (Cambodian) laws on human trafficking and keeping custom and tradition? […] they criticized us about fall of culture. How could it not, when that was what they did […] (If they say so), especially those on a foreign radio broadcast in Khmer, they may send us pictures of their wives, daughters, sisters, etc. wearing revealing dresses so we could help nailed them on trees for people to see […]./.