Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen, at the Gathering of Civil Servants and Technicians Teams Involved in Building Infrastructures of the Province of Preah Sihanouk [Unofficial Translation]

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In 7 Months, 94% of 34 Roads Constructed

My presence here today is mainly to inspect results of physical infrastructural development in the city of Preah Sihanouk. This morning we also had a form of meeting in the time of Covid-19 […] with someone talking from behind and those of us listening sitting in front without seeing each other. The construction projects started in November […] and as of beginning of June, or about seven months, we have realized 94% of the works […]

When I came to the city of Preah Sihanouk in a rescue operation of a collapsed building, I observed that the city has changed its landscape to skyscrapers with beautifully decorated lights, while roads were in ruins and muds […] I could remember that we have in saving then over three billion USD […]. I decided an allocation of 100 million USD right away for the infrastructural development project. Deputy Prime Minister HE Chea Sophara then came to me with this principle of wrapping palm sugar with its leaves […]

Economic Growth Corridor Linking First and Second Poles

We have allocated, in all, 340 million USD to 350 million USD to the province of Preah Sihanouk. In comparison, if we were to invest this amount of money to build bridges over the Mekong, the Bassac or even the Tonle Sap rivers […] we could have built five bridges […] why do we spend it to build all 34 roads […] The most importantly is we need to transform the city of Preah Sihanouk, the only sea hub of the province of Sihanouk, as a corridor of economic growth corridor, linking pole 1 and pole 2 […]

Let me remind you that we have set up three economic poles in Cambodia – Phnom Penh, Preah Sihanouk and Siem Reap. I hope that we will be able to have the fourth one in northeastern part of Cambodia. It will be a strong economic pole of agro-industry along with mineral resources development in the future […] I have said it many times that I am thinking of connecting these dots to establish links of economic poles 2 and 3 altogether, using national road 4 to the western corridor […]

Infrastructures Attract Tourists

I think that the province of Preah Sihanouk would be able to attract more visitors/tourists with its newly developed infrastructures. I instructed the governor Kuoch Chamroeun to decorate newly built streets/roads with lights to attract visitors to this Southwestern province/city of Cambodia. That we have been building 34 streets, this morning I have travelled on three avenues – Chumteav Mao, Sen Chey, and Chhne Ream […] each one has drainage system built and people’s homes can connect theirs to the main system […]

Smart LED streetlights in Preah Sihanouk City

I am so happy to see such remarkable progresses of Preah Sihanouk City infrastructural development. I thank the people in the province of Preah Sihanouk, especially those in the Preah Sihanouk city, for cooperation and support given to these enormous projects, which also included this beach development project. We have more works to do. As for lighting up the streets, I would say that the city of Preah Sihanouk would be the first using smart LED streetlights. Deputy Prime Minister Chea Sophara signed an agreement with Minebea (Cambodia) Ltd. […] to provide over 5,000 smart LED streetlights. I think elsewhere in the country should consider using smart LED streetlights too. It is smart because the light would dimmer should no cars were passing through […]

Connecting Road between O Traes and O Chheuteal

This morning I traveled past and area where we were not able to build a road connecting between O traes and O Cheuteal because of legal land holding along the beach. I met with the landowner this morning. I thanked him for his cooperation. Even if he does not, by law we would take the needed land for public interest […] people in O Cheuteal already moved their stands and they have one request. We must apply one rule and standard for everyone and not only on them but not on those with power […]

The connection will link up O Traes and O Cheuteal and all the way to Ream […] we must continue to build more drainages and culverts. We do not have enough yet. We needed to find more financial resources – local and/or external, to build more […] in order to avoid releasing dirty water/wastes into sea […]

Three Places Named – “Cambodians Can Do,” “Love Waiting Rock,” and “Love Waiting Tree”

This morning I named three locations respectively. For a place where the engineering teams sliced through the hill/mountain, I named it “Cambodians Can Do.” Later on, where there was a huge rock standing in the middle and we had to build roads on either sides, I named it “Love Waiting Rock.” There is a huge tree standing in the middle of the road too in another place. We run our road construction in detour of it. I named it “Love Waiting Tree” […] let me stress that this location of “Cambodians Can Do,” it means not only the technology to slice the hills and build the road through, but also the process of thought, building technology, financing – all are Cambodian. There were no foreign involvements […]

A Multipurpose City of Preah Sihanouk

Our main objective here is to set up a multipurpose city. We must see that this city plays a central role in connecting land, water and air transportation together from the region into Cambodia […] we also aim to transform the city into one of the international financial center in the future. It is an imagination. Maybe we need the next generation to fulfil this dream. The city is also a concentration of industry. As you can see, we have two special economic zones – one invested by China and another by Japan […]

Japan has been financing and helping to expand our deep seaport at the province of Preah Sihanouk. I have discussed it with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to find a way to deepen our port to 14 meters so that ships do not have to transfer goods at Singapore and/or Vietnam in order to enter Cambodia […]

As for airport, while managing it, VINCI Company would complete its construction of runway extension to 3,800 meters and will be in operation in this year 2020. VINCI also determined to finish arrival lounge by 2022. We have two companies – Malaysian and Chinese that supply coal-generated electricity to Phnom Pent and the whole country from here […]

Ream Base Welcomes Foreign Ships

[…] I have the necessity to reiterate Cambodia’s stand to avoid repetition of suspicion regarding the military base in Ream. Weeks by, an Ambassador of a country sounded to me through Deputy Prime Minister and Senior Minister about us allowing the military seaport used by China exclusively […]. Reiterating its independence and sovereignty, Cambodia does not align itself with one against the other; or allow a foreign military presence in its territory; and does not station its military in foreign soils, unless under the flag of the United Nations […]

We have the right to do what we wanted such as maritime centre. We moved it from former location to a new location. I am inviting foreign friends to help finance the centre. A study conducted and suggested we move the Maritime Centre location to another place. Should any countries wish to help – America, France, Japan China, etc., they are welcome. As also needed to proceed with our plan to have a dockyard […] the question is does Cambodia have right to have a dockyard for its military, passengers, and/or fishing vessels?

It is true that we are asking for financial funding from China to build it. However, if anyone wishes to help us with that, we welcome. The Ream naval base welcomes every country – America, France, Canada, India, UK, Japan, Australia, etc., wishing to have their ships to call on and/or to join military exercises with Cambodia. We do not restrict it to doing only with China. Some already blamed us about providing exclusive rights to China for 50 or 90 years. The Cambodian Constitution does not allow it […]

Three Messages about Ream Naval Base

I think that foreigners working in Cambodia keep their ears and eyes on this issue. Let me send them the following messages:

  1. Every country is welcome to contribute to developing the port. We would also welcome help to the Maritime Centre, which has had to relocate. It is our master plan.
  2. We are building a dockyard to render services to every foreign vessels not only those from China.
  3. From this moment onward, whoever wish to help, we welcome. We would collaborate in combating terrorism, human and drug trafficking, smuggling and naval exercises.

I wish to have naval exercise only on two topics – combating against terrorism and rescuing operation in time of disaster. I do not wish for any exercise to fight against enemy.

I think I have made it clear now on this declaration on the matter from the province of Preah Sihanouk. We should understand each other now. What benefit would China yield from placing its naval forces in Kompong Som (Preah Sihanouk) since it has naval base in South China Sea. Previously they claimed Tara Sakor a hidden Chinese port and airport. Now they talked about Kompong Som and a few days ago about Koh Rong. I do not know why they like painting colour […]

Independence, Neutrality, Non-alignment

I wish to reaffirm that Cambodia is implementing a policy of independence, neutrality, and non-alignment. Should a vessel of anyone country can enter and dock in Cambodian port facilities, other countries also can do it. We welcome. […] agriculture is playing smaller role here but by promoting agroindustry, material resources needed to bring in from Koh Kong, Kompong Speu, Takeo for processing. I am calling on foreign helps but Cambodians are keeping ownerships. Foreign investments is a normal occurring […]

Managing Covid-19

I still have this Covid-19 issue to talk about […]. As of this moment, we could say that Cambodia did quite well to restrict Covid-19 pandemic. Our country has come to a more relaxing mode along with those in the region and the world. However, it is not yet over and Cambodia must keep it vigilance […] our medical professionals have been working hard on this pandemic. Those in Phnom Penh and Preah Sihanouk have been doing lot of works. We do not have foreign flights in Siem Reap, we have flights in Preah Sihanouk province and night flights in Phnom Penh. Passengers are in quarantine and taking samples for tests at the military airport […]

Years ago, people have not been happy with our medical staff and physicians. Now many songs written and sung about “soldiers wearing white uniform” […] people have seen sacrifices of our medical professionals and staff at the frontline. People’s feeling towards our medical staff changed […] in just one day, when I issued order to get ready for combating the pandemic, we were able to register in all over 3,000 rooms for isolation need […] voluntary medical staff have been taking samples and helping with quarantine of workers who went to home villages for the Khmer New Year […]

New Ways of Life, Perhaps

We are now living in a time that possible Covid-19 would take away our old way of life. We are on the path to a regular new way of life. Our old way of life that we had been living for hundreds of year now destroyed by Covid-19. Should we go on having no vaccines, the new way of living could be forever. We may have to keep observing social distancing and wearing facemasks. For hundreds or thousands of years, we embraced one another and wore no facemasks […]

I thank over 90,000 workers returning from the Kingdom of Thailand for bringing not even a single Covid-19 case back to Cambodia […] the other day, the Thai Ambassador brought to me two million Baht or about 60,000 USD from Prime Minister HE Prayuth Chan-ocha. I thanked him for working together to do this job. On another front, about 95% of our workers responded positively to the Royal Government’s call for them to stay working rather than going home for the Khmer New Year holiday […] it was lucky that the pandemic did not go from city to rural and from rural to urban areas […]

I am seeking understanding from parents of students […] that we have to enforce schools closures longer. The first wave of Covid-19 pandemic may have passed but concerns are now on possible second wave warned by the World Health Organization based on spikes of infected cases in China and another time in South Korea. I believe it is possible. For the first wave (of pandemic), we have taken countering measures, Cambodian and every other countries.

The measures in place – sites set for isolation and treatment, served as defence line against the second wave. However, if we risk allowing reopening of schools the new wave could be detrimental to the existing defence line. For Cambodia, you may note that the first wave was mainly imported cases. If we were to suffer in the new wave with community transmission, […] we would not be sure to win the battle. We would be facing this dilemma of less number of medical staff to take care of outnumbered patients […]

Some countries have advanced medical expertise but they lacked tools such as facemasks and/or personal protective equipment/gears for their medical staff. Their medical staff had had infection. However, some in those countries have written about us so bad. They blamed health system in Cambodia weak […] however, in their advanced countries, people died of the pandemic in large number […] I hope they learn to be more humane. Covid-19 does not single out if you are rich or poor, advanced or backward, strong or weak. The issue has been on how you manage and lead the efforts to deal with it […]

We have relaxed restriction on some sports activities. We allowed boxing in closed doors. In the time to come, we are considering allowing football competition. Sports competitions and practices are to resume but they have to follow instructions of the Ministry of Health. Again, that is what I said earlier about new ways of life […] we have to change from shaking hands to raising the two palms together in respect of each other […] I ordered a primary production of two million washable facemasks from cotton scarf for workers and people with limited resources […]

Fourth Round of Intervention

Let me share with you some economic actions. As of now, we have put in operation the fourth round of intervention as issued on 26 May 2020 by the Ministry of Economy and Finance on behalf of the Royal Government […] the fourth round of intervention has two main objectives – firstly, to continue measures in place issued by the Royal Government – from round one to round three. Secondly, it was to increase more contribution to assuage living condition hardships of poor people through more social assistance programs in the time of protracted Covid-19. It also aims to restore and promote production and business recovery contributing to post pandemic crisis economic growth […]

Four Advantages of Round Intervention

There are many points in the fourth round of intervention. I wish to bring up some of them here. Firstly, measures to stabilize business and living condition of employees. Measures taken included – 1.1. To exempt all kinds of monthly tax on hotels, guesthouses, restaurants, companies, travel agents registered with the Tax Department and carrying out their businesses in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Preah Sihanouk, Kep, Kompot, Bavet and Poi Pet for two months further from June to July 2020.

1.2. To allow skip of insurance payment for risks at workplace and national fund for social security healthcare in the duration of operation suspension. 1.3. To waive license renewal fee for tourism for 2021 […] as for the aviation sector, tax exemption continues for another two months, June and July 2020, for those registered in Cambodia […]

Secondly, financial measures for businesses, by readjusting special financing program of 50 million USD implemented by the Rural and Agricultural Development Bank, and readjusting special financing program of 100 million USD implemented by small and medium enterprises and financial foundations […]

Thirdly, provide further financial assistance to restore and drive post Covid-19 growth, by 3.1. Exercising measures to increase and facilitate cash flow by the Ministry of Economy and Finance with the National Bank of Cambodia to review possibility to relax and readjust conditions for increasing and facilitating cash flow in banking system […]

3.2. Easing withholding tax on interest for local and external loans […] should Covid-19 continues in 2020, the easing of withholding tax would continue to be a consideration because we have planned to increase back in 2021, and by 2022, it would reach where it was […]. We hope Covid-19 end before long but according to the WHO’s evaluation, it would last longer.

3.3. Prepare financing sources for working capital by the Ministry of Economy and Finance […] with a budget of 200 million USD being able to secure loans through banks and microfinance using market principles to help alleviate pressure, cash flow and working capital of businesses in all sectors […]

3.4. Provision of additional financing facility by the Ministry of Economy and Finance and an additional USD 300 million financing package to support and act as a catalyst for key sector growth during and after the crisis […]

Economic Sabotage an Act of Terrorism

Yesterday there was attempt to have a meeting at 8:30 pm in Cambodia led by someone abroad. They failed to carry through. They have plan to bring down banks in Cambodia. Their nature was for national destruction. Whomever s/he delegated works to carry out (sabotage) inside the country, we will have him/her arrested. Economic sabotage is tantamount to act of terrorism […]. While they do nothing to help the country, they nurture their attempts to cause trouble by mobilizing people to refuse payments to banks, and finally to benefit from them falling down. I give you no chance […] that they have planned to carry out economic sabotage leading to national destruction, there is no reason for us to leave them be […]

I have not heard anything from Brad Adams. Where is human rights? When Cambodia took measures against demonstrations, they blamed us for violation of human rights. When other countries did the same, they said necessary measures for social order. In China, when they lockdown Wuhan, Hebei, they said a violation of citizen rights. When Western countries lockdown the countries, they said measures necessary to combat Covid-19 […] Brad Adams must say something about what happened in the US or he would not have right to say anything about Cambodia. Human rights people have all gone silent […]

Fourthly, social measures4.1. The Royal Government decided to expand the coverage of the budget for labour for cash programs in 2020 to 100 million USD in order to absorb labours released from suspended factories and returned to their native villages […] it would be able to implement small size physical infrastructures at local levels for the sake of uplifting agriculture and rural economy […]

4.2. With determination to implement existing social protection programs, the Royal Government launched in June 2020, the social assistance program aims to facilitate everyday life in time of Covid-19 for poor and vulnerable households with equity cards across the country with further attention given to children under the age of five, the disables, the aged, and those with HIV/AIDS […]

Fifthly, implementing first step of electronic registration of companies in early June 2020 to facilitate and motivate general company listing, especially those received credits from special financing program of the Royal Government […] on this note, the Telecommunication and Post must work with related ministries to create IT Business for listing […]

Small USD Notes in Circulation

Let me take this opportune moment to reaffirm […] (because there has been a) bad person declaring – “the small notes of 1 USD, 2 USD and 5 USD will be out of circulation” (in Cambodia) […] if s/he continues to spread such rumours, arrest her/him […] once s/he devastated the nation, s/he would not be spared. Let us continue spending those small notes of USD. After they reached the Bank, perhaps they will not let them out again. The Bank already clarifies there would be no loss for our people […] would be great if we could encourage our people to spend in Khmer Riel […]. Some accused me of rejecting the USD in order to accept Chinese Yuan. They are so troublemaking. If s/he goes on doing things like that, how could I work with them?

Carefully Resuming Socioeconomic Activities

I am calling on people to act together to combat against Covid-19. Let me clarify that Cambodia never close down its economy. Some may confuse to use term as reopen tourism. We never close down tourism. We just do not have tourists coming. I never declare closing down factories. Some factories closed down because they lacked raw materials and buyers’ countries irresponsibly cancelled their orders for soaring demand of pandemic treatments. However, they purchase rice. This year, our rice exports grows 42% compared to the same period last year. We allowed exports of rice, fish, etc. I never forbid trades and/or close markets/shops. We closed KTV, Beer garden, casinos, cinemas. We have allowed more activities for museums.

We are pondering some sports activities such as swimming, but exercising social distancing. No projects sites are on hold, including those in Kompong Som, from roads building to bridge construction across the Mekong River. Real estates, according to some surveys, pricing from 50,000 USD to 200,000 USD, or even half-a-million USD continue to sell. However, people purchased more houses pricing under 70,000 USD because there is not registration tax or stamping duty […] (those in opposition) may not hope for me to die. People still have their money to gas up their vehicles […]

Concerning tourism, we do not prohibit trades but I am asking our people to protect themselves. Restaurants may exercise social distancing and regular and strict hygienic and sanitation manner. People may want to come to Kompong Som to see newly built roads, the “Cambodian Can Do,” “the Love Waiting Rock,” and the “Love Waiting Tree.” Tourists to Kompot went up 90% recording 17,000 of them in May. Some foreigners have travelled to islands of Rong and Sangsar […]

Agriculture for Local Food Production and Availability

I am calling on people to strive in agriculture to guarantee food production and availability. It appears to be one strong point for Cambodia. People may not purchase clothes and that would lead to job loss for workers in clothing factories. However, in Cambodia, workers are not completely detached from agriculture. Their parents are still working in agriculture. In 2008, world economic crisis gave us such lesson. In concrete term, 130,000 workers losing their jobs in factories, a majority of them re-join their families in agriculture. They may not purchase clothes but they may not go without food.

I did declared to hold up exports of white rice and paddy and fish for local consumption. However, after a review, we see that almost 80% of Cambodians are eating rice from their barns and not in Kilogram purchased from markets […] we have noticed that prices receded on a number of items such as beef, pork, chicken, etc. […] we must work harder to grow in order to ensure food availability in the country […]. Our saving of over 3 billion USD has not been touched […]

Land Traffic Enforcement for People’s Own Life

Some said that that we are enforcing land traffic because we needed money to pay police and soldiers salaries […] I am happy to lose some of my popularity and I know about it but I have the need to protect people’s life through enforcement of land traffic law. I received encouraging report of less accidents and decreasing loss of lives every day from Net Saveurn, National Police Chief. If people respect the traffic rules, police would not fine them […] I continue to appeal to our people to respect traffic rules and law to keep safe your own and others’ lives. Let us have no traffic accident today and tomorrow […]

Well, my apology to the US Ambassador for the fact that I talked about the White House instruction of President Donald Trump and violent demonstration in America. The US have right to speak about Cambodian problems. The Cambodians also have right to speak about the Americans. It is a reciprocation. In some instances the US Embassy and/or the State Department issued statements concerning situation in Cambodia, while on its part, Cambodia never issue statement but only I speak in comparison […] If Brad Adams does not say anything (about what happened to human rights in America at this time) he is not a human being […]

In the time of my 100 days mourning of my late mother in law, much the same as I did for my father and mother, I am performing my full capacity as Prime Minister. Let me warn no to take advantage of Covid-19 to bring down the Royal Government and/or cause trouble. If concerned parties do, their force may dwindle down further […]./.