Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen, at the 22nd National Culture Day, the Closing of Sixth Youth Arts Festival, and the 3rd Gathering of Artists​ [Unofficial Translation]


In addition to the prepared text, Samdech Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia made the following elaborations:

From text: Today my wife and I are honored and pleased to join with you all to celebrate the March-3 national culture day under the theme “Youth for National Culture,” along with the closing of the “Sixth Youth Arts Festival,” the contest on “Knowledge of Culture,” and the third gathering of artists […]


Inappropriate Organization of Royal Ballet in Singapore

Let me talk to you relating to the competency of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts. Yesterday I received a letter that from reading it I was regretful and found it unacceptable that there had been organization for the Cambodian Royal Ballet to perform in an inappropriate setting. They have set the stage for the Royal Ballet dancers to perform behind a Feng Shui reader, while claiming they were performing well wishing rite for the Kingdom of Cambodia. It was a devaluation of our national culture. I asked the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts to review management of artists at every levels […] we have so many associations of artists and, without proper management, they send artists for performance in absence of thorough consideration […]

The Feng Shui Reader Must Apologize to RGC and Cambodian Royals

The worst development was that the Feng Shui reader, who is a Malaysian becoming Singaporean recently, insulted and attacked the Royal Place […] on Facebook, a Cambodian, who thought such performance was inappropriate, made his comment. A member of the Royal families also confirmed it was (inappropriate). On the contrary, that Singaporean fellow attacked and insulted the Royal families. It was a grave attack on the Constitutional monarchy, HM the King as well as the Cambodia Royal families. I ordered the Ministry of Interior, the Department of Immigration, to forbid the person from entering Cambodia, unless he makes a public apology to the Royal Government, the Cambodian Royal families […]

Cambodian Arts Belong to Cambodian Nation

(The Ministry) must find it out. Even if the (Cambodian) persons who led the Royal Ballet team is a royal families member himself, the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts must invite and give him/her instruction on such devastating action. Cambodian arts belongs to the Cambodian nation, not an exclusive property of anyone royal members. Even HM the King, he never considers them his own exclusively […]. No one may do whatever s/he wanted with national arts let alone taking them for inappropriate performance abroad under reason of performing well wishing celebration for Cambodia. If it was for Cambodia, such event must organize appropriate setting for the dance […] this was not a row between Cambodia towards Singapore but to a Singaporean, who, with some Cambodians, brought about this scene […] as a protector of the royal families, the Constitutional monarchy, the throne, and Khmer national culture, I find such action unacceptable […]

Maintain National Culture by Keeping Types of Arts

Let me take this moment to appeal to our artists on two points. Firstly, please work together to keep value of national culture and arts by maintaining the different forms of arts that we have. I continue to say that there could be no cultural aggression from outside but only voluntary acceptance […] as we can see these days there are some new forms of dancing techniques and styles created by a singer and s/he set up her/his own backup dancers. I am afraid that once the singer/dancer no longer is in the business, their inventions disappears with her/him. We should see that some songs or music last hundreds of years. Composer and/or lyric writers died but their works remains. As of present, composers and/or lyric writers are still alive but their works died […] on this note, I am asking our artists to keep in mind and their actions the national culture day all 356 days a year and not only on March 3 […]

Performance Artists Wear Proper Dresses

I am seeking your cooperation on this suggestion that in movies, scene performance, concerts, etc. artists must put on appropriate dress to ensure national value and dignity. We have noticed new development in efforts to make movies after the Ministry of Information instructed TV stations to replay the Cambodian movies at their gold show hours. I hope that movies makers continue to make authentic Khmer movies and refrain from copying from others. I also hope they are not going into business of inappropriate movies type […] I thank companies that advertise their products in the Khmer movie time on TVs […] while I am asking nieces artists to rewind from pushing to the limit of sexy dress, some blamed me for prohibiting other people’s rights. I am inviting them to think a bit about value of national culture and Cambodian women on one side and revealing private parts on the other […]

Artists – Public Persons in Social Education Role

Secondly, may I ask artists not to insult each other online/Facebook? It is quite inappropriate. As artists, you are public figures taking your appearance on TV and among thousands of public where you performed. What would it do to your reputation when you insult one another on Facebook? […] either in associations or as individuals, artists must refrain from such rhetoric or insults on one another. It was quite unfortunate. You are pursuing roles of social educators but you seemed to do things to disrepute yourselves […] I hope nephews and nieces as artists consider reducing such unethical words online and try to talk your difference out on phone or face to face […] to keep values and dignity as artists of all types of arts […]

Artists Can Help Fight Fake News and Educate about Covid-19

Besides, though I will have another speech to give at the annual review of the Ministry of Health tomorrow, I think I should appeal today to our artists and students who are present here to make yourselves activists to educate people, families, and/or community against Covid-19 […] help them aware of ways to protect themselves (bodily and spiritually). As of this moment, we have not discovered such disease in Cambodia […] it is important to make people understand that every individual and family exercise proper sanitary and hygienic practices to fight against all form of, not just Covid-19, diseases. In the same interest, I am asking artists to fight against fake news that is spreading fear (about the disease). I hope you artists of all forms act against fake news against such menacing illness […]

Khmer Surin Keeps Kantroem Well, Khmer Kraom Keeps Yike and Basac Well

Please allow me to take this opportune moment to send a message to our Khmer brothers/sisters in Surin, the Kingdom of Thailand, as they have well kept our culture. Their artistic values and performances are well received in the central part of Cambodia. It has helped Cambodia to protect its national culture […] we have Khmers Loeu (Khmers living in upper parts), the Khmer Kandal (Khmers living in the central parts) and Khmers Kraom (Khmers living in the lower parts). The Khmers Kraom, currently in Vietnam, have kept the Khmer Basac and Yike arts (theatrical/performance arts) well. The Khmer Loeu, currently in Thailand, keeps up with maintaining the traditional dances of Ramvong, Ramkbach, Kontroeum […] we have so many arts forms to bring back […] ./.