Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen, to the Graduation and Diploma Presenting Ceremony of the Vanda Accounting Institute [Unofficial translation]


“Kroma” Helps Protect Health

I am so happy to be able to preside over the graduation and diploma presenting ceremony for 3,458 graduates of the Vanda Accounting Institute, an important part of our effort on human resource development […] first of all, let me show you my new necktie at the time of novel coronavirus. I put it on yesterday when I went to Pursat province to inaugurate the national road 55 and to break the ground for national road 10. I put it on for today event too […] Kroma (a cotton woven scarf traditionally used by Cambodians) is even better than masks […] we just use Kroma when we needed to […]

First Cambodian Infected with Covid-19

Last Saturday, we have had another case of Covid-19 infection on a 38 years old Cambodian man in Siem Reap. We have placed him in quarantine and provided him treatment. He looks healthy from what I see in the footage […] we have had three cases now – one on a Chinese man in Preah Sihanouk province, another on a Japanese man, we have not accounted yet as to from where he had it. We must cooperate with relevant Japanese authorities to find it out […] we have sent medical sample from 22 individuals for lab test. Taking this moment, I am calling on those who have been in physical contacts with the first Cambodian Covid-19 infected man to seek medical help to certify your health condition […]

Extra Precautionary Measures at Entry/Exit Points

I am asking people in Siem Reap to keep clam but be cautious. Please do not think that everyone from Siem Reap is a source of fear. Discrimination, as I said, is the most dangerous disease […] I also ask people to travel to Siem Reap as they needed either for works or for pleasures. Let us exercise no discrimination […] not only among our people but also towards foreigners. We must take extra precautionary measures required by the World Health Organization at entry/exit points to inspect those who arrived at Cambodia. Again, I am calling on people who may have symptoms that they are not sure about themselves to seek medical assistance.

Emergency Call Centre (115) Working 24/24

I am asking Minister of Health, Mam Bun Heng, to make sure staff are always there to receive emergency calls (115) […] and they should have good geographical knowledge and be responsible in their instruction to those callers who needed helps. […] there must be staff working 24/24 and have good knowledge of the Covid-19 […] they must be able to point to callers where to go or get help […]

Spending Helps in Bad Time

I have said already what I should about fear. I have no right to tell people to go fearless. Some have purchased food and stuff to fill their stocks […] well, since I could not prohibit them, they may do whatever they think is best. It is a good thing too because we have so much rice waiting to be sold. It would be nice that they buy rice and store at home […] only sellers should not jack up prices […] to look at it another way, in slow economic situation, spending is one way to stimulate it. What we are afraid of is when people do not spend […] I agree with what Minister of Information said the other day about how many lives would be saved should people are concerned about traffic accident as they are to Covid-19 […]

Each Individual, Family, Community Exercise Sanitation and Hygiene

I have listed to the Ministry of Health different scenarios (at the annual health review conference) […] and need to have courage to fight back fake news […] it would not win over the truth when we all deny it. For instance, they posted Covid-19 breakout in Phnom Penh. We may post telling our fans we are fine. […] Some countries, I know have taken measures to forbid rally of over 1,000 people […] but here I am talking to over 3,000 people […] the best way to go about for us is to have cooperation among communities next to each other and to strengthen our capability to respond to the disease. It would start from one person, one family and each community to exercise sanitation and hygiene. We will soon spray disinfectant in Siem Reap and before we know it, tourists will return. After getting all the medical samples, we will reopen schools too […] I also ask people to collaborate (with relevant health authorities) to protect themselves, families, and community. People must not hide if they have suspicion about their health […]

Where Are Human Morale and Humane Natures

While we did this job with the Westerdam cruise ship, I said – “the fearful regional and world disease is not Covid19 but fear itself and discrimination” […] (I have noticed that) the world seemed to have eroded morale and humanitarian nature as many have lacked responsibilities towards human rights, which starts from the right to life. For instance, while a ship stranded and ran out of food, no country allowed call of port. When Cambodia allowed it to call port, some have discriminated against Cambodia. As of now, I can declare with pride that everyone on Westerdam cruise ship arrived home safe and free from sickness or death […]

China Delivers Raw Materials to Cambodian Factories

Impacts on world economy have been severe because production lines in China stalled. China plays very important role in world economy. About 60% of raw materials for factories in Cambodia come from China. Many countries in the world depend on China’s raw materials too […] China has, however, responded to Cambodia’s call for help. They send seven ships with raw materials needed for factories in Cambodia […] I am asking the competent authorities such as custom office and those relating to transportation to help speed up the process of transportation. […]

When the raw materials (arrived from China) needed to go through to and across Phnom Penh during daytime, as big trucks forbidden to enter the capital, we must allow them in. There should be a motorcade to lead the convoy […] it is an emergency of lacking raw materials. (We needed them) to avoid closing down factories and suspend workers from works […] every provinces where there are factories, we must facilitate convoys of raw materials […] that is the fruit of comprehensive strategic partnership between Cambodia and China […]

Turning Covid-19 Concern to Strengthening Personal Hygiene/Sanitation

With raw materials received, we can ensure jobs for workers and stable production for exports […] prices of oil has gone down to somewhere 31 or 32 USD, while it was 69 USD per barrel before. Food price has a tendency to take the up curve because people buy and store it. There has been news that in Hanoi, people also filled their stocks of food. […] This could be the best time ever to advise people about establishing their habits of sanitation and hygiene. Starting from each person, family, and community, Cambodia will be a clean country. Without sanitation and hygiene, people are prone to all kinds of disease, not only Covid-19. We should turn crisis into opportunity – I mean from concern about Covid-19 pneumonia to strengthening personal hygiene and sanitation […]

Regional /World Meetings Uncertain

We also will make the best of turning economic challenges to opportunity. The Royal Government sets out its budgeting reserves according to different scenarios – if the crisis to last for six months, what would be the impacts for economy? How much are we going to lose? If it prolongs to one year, how bad would it be for economy? How much money would we need to mitigate the impacts? We have reserved somewhere between 800 and 2,000 million USD. However, I am sure the world will do its best to resolve what is unfolding.

UN meetings have to reschedule. I also asked Deputy Prime Minister Hor Nam Hong to cancel his presence at the Francophone meeting […] since I have news that 21 out of 27 countries in Europe may not let their officials to leave the country. Sub-regional meetings next week in Laos – Lancang-Mekong, ACMECS, CLMV, etc. will not be certain yet. I have planned official visit to Laos after attending those meetings […]

A 50% Cut on Institutional Annual Spending

Except for three institutions – the Council of Ministers, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Ministry of Trade, who will see their spending 25% less this year, every other state institutions will exercise cuts of 50% of their spending. We must save them. If nothing happens, the saved up money would not be useless. We must reschedule launch of construction sites for a while, until the Covid-19 is over. We are saving up to save our economy. We are reserving an extra 30 million USD for requirement in health, in addition to its law on financial management in 2020. We have not spent it yet. If we do not need to spend it, it will still be national budget. We are reserving 800 million USD for possible six months challenges. If nothing happened, we saved them […]

Cambodia Would Not Ask for Return of EBA 20% Cut

We have prepared from afar for impacts from the EBA withdrawal. They have taken off 20% of it. Cambodia already affirmed that it would not ask for the return of the 20%. I wish those who called themselves analysts on this issue understand. I have already approved plan to forgo this or that percentage of taxes if this or that impacts from it happened for factories to keep their competitive advantages. EBA is surely to be taken away one day – if not sooner, later. Now we lost 20% of it. We do not trade our sovereignty for the lost 20%. On 1 April, I will issue more measures in addition to those I already laid out on 29 February 2020 to support our economy […] if the European economy has a bump, purchase orders from those countries would be less. We must look at the issue from every angles. I have made it clear already that (I will) “trade no independence and sovereignty of Cambodia for assistance or favor” […]

Persons Committed Crimes Cannot Go Free

We cannot allow anyone with crimes to go free. Prior to the elections, in the campaign period, they talked about change. After the elections, they continued to talk about it. What were those? They had talked about their final assault on 29 December 2013. Finally, it had led to loss of lives at the Veng Sreng road. What would that be? Should we not go for trial? No, we should […] once the court decided we would implement it right away. No one can force Cambodia to ignore its laws. If there are some who do not like (to see law implemented in the country,) they can go live and serve others elsewhere […]

Salary Increases Twice a Year On

On 1 April, we will increase salary for the Cambodian civil servants and armed forces. People will see if their salary is 50% less as some have denatured the meaning (of my statement about 50% cut to state institutions’ spending). We will observe increase of salary twice a year. The first increase observed on 1 January and the second increase observes on this forthcoming 1 April, plus the New Year bonus […] we are to slow down spending and reschedule investment on a number of projects to save between 400 and 500 million USD to prop up our economy […] matters relating to terrorism is not over yet. We have right to listen to (phone calls) to collect information. Other countries would do the same. Would you think no other countries would do that? […]

Cooperation with Neighbors and Every Countries

I am sure you have learnt economy here. Please think of what I am talking about a share to your knowledge. I am covering various topics today, especially on Covid-19, not only for you but also for other students in the whole country. I am calling on everyone to work together to fight Covid-19 epidemic. We are open to cooperate with every countries – neighboring or not to help prevent and/or resolve the spread of the disease. We try to do our best inside the country and to work in partnerships with other countries. We must make sure that no one with the sickness leaves the country without proper medical checkup. Once the planes landed, we carry out stringent inspections on travelers, without disturbing them, before they head to other destinations […]./.