Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen, Inspection of Construction Site of the New Phnom Penh International Airport (PPIA) [Unofficial Translation]

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CNV:

Today, I am glad to come inspecting the construction site […] I have listened attentively to the report of Deputy Prime Minister HE Chea Sophara, who leads this committee to promote construction of new (Phnom Penh) International Airport. I also listened to the report of Pung Khieu Sae, Chairman of the company and watched the VDO […]

Covid-19 Could Not Hinder Infrastructural Development

Covid-19 could not hinder process of infrastructural development. I am taking this opportune moment to express my sincere appreciation to the construction committee as well as sectors related, which includes Phnom Penh, Kandal and Takoe, for helping the company to settle land issues and other matters. The Secretariat for Civil Aviation has also done a great job. Those efforts altogether have led the project, as of this moment, to about 30% completion. I am quite impressed with what Mr Pung Khieu Sae has said in his report about having up to 20,000 jobs in the time to come. This has indicated that Covid-19 has had impacts on a number of sectors – tourism and industry, but it could not hinder state and private projects of infrastructural development.

Jobs for Workers in Suspended Sectors

Weeks ago, I visited the infrastructural construction of the province of Preah Sihanouk, where we also have thousands of workers at works. As for this project here, we now employ thousands of workers but in the future, when the projects function in full, we will have up to 20,000 jobs. Along with this, we also have other bridges/roads projects of CIC at Jroy Jangva, the satellite city of Peng Huot, the Satellite city of Chib Mong, where there are demands for workers. These projects have contributed to providing works and incomes for workers from suspended sectors for Covid-19 impacts […]

2030 – New PPIA to Inaugurate

The new PPIA is indicating a vision for 2050, the final stage of development of the airport. I do not know how many of us present here will be alive by then but we will at least by 2023 inaugurate the new PPIA, with its initial capacity to handle some 13 million passengers. Later on, in 2030, I hope I will still be around and even if I am not going to be in official position, I will still come as a guest for the inauguration of the second stage development, where the PPIA’s capacity would be able to handle up to 30 million passengers. As for the third stage development, we are not sure yet if we would still be around […]

Three Airports On-Going Construction

As far as airports construction is concerned, let me reaffirm to you that three airports are under on-going construction. Firstly, the new PPIA; secondly, the airport of Siem Reap, and thirdly, the Kong Keng airport of the province of Preah Sihanouk, which, thanks to latest runway extension efforts to 3,200 meters, has allowed landing larger commercial aircrafts. We are aiming to complete passenger terminal by 2022 according to confirmation from VINCI – the French company that implements the airport development project. As for this project (of new PPIA), I have noticed that many foreign companies bid for architectural development and construction. I am sure that the new PPIA is going to be a good airport where there will be not one but two runways […]

Covid-19 Changed Human Habitual Behaviours

Some may ask while the country is facing with Covid-19, why is it necessary to build a new airport. Days ago, when the army and the National Police General Commissariat distributed among them the 290 trucks (purchased from China) some have questioned why in Covid-19 time, it is necessary to purchase them. That would have been though of a beast. I could not have fathomed their foolish reactions and wonder if it is this much only they could be? In rage of Covid-19, there was not a single international flight, except domestic ones in Siem Reap. International flights landed in Phnom Penh and the province of Preah Sihanouk […]

It is clear now that Covid-19 has placed us in a new uncertainty. The point is when will it end? What would entail in the post-Covid-19 period? Covid-19 has now changed human habitual behaviour, which has been around for thousands of years, to a new normal […] returning from a foreign country, one must stay in quarantine for 14 days before reuniting with families […] while before everyday planes are everywhere in the sly, they are now landed and many airports in the world are without activities […]. Out of this uncertainty, one thing is certain and it is the fact that Covid-19 would not be able to destroy the planet. As soon as scientists found vaccines, development would surely return to usual. It may be a new normal way of habituating, which the World Health Organization appealed for human to learn to live with Covid-19 […]

Many Economies to Have Negative Growths

Covid-19 placed us all in a new uncertainty with impacts on numerous fields, especially those on world and every national economy. This year, there may not be many countries reporting positive economic growths. Most of them have predicted falls. Some countries have even declared its negative growth predictions […] to -7% or even down to -10%. According to assessments given by economists of Asian Development Bank, IMF and World Bank, the Cambodian economy is going to be poised to land somewhere between -1.5% and -2.9%. Cambodia’s own assessment has been certain that its economic growth would land somewhere at -1.9%, a situation that Cambodia has never had in the past 20 years. Again, the question is in light of economic crisis, why building a new airport? Let me affirm to those posed such questions that as of this moment no companies in Cambodia has declared bankruptcy or lack of investment fund. For instance, this (new PPIA) development project that required an investment fund of 1,500 million USD, the company has not said a word about lacking of funding and cancelled it […]

Some Lost Jobs, Some Created and Increases Jobs

On this point, it has indicated that there are job losses from Covid-19 in tourism and industry, while, however, we also have sectors that created and/or even increased jobs. While some factories are scaling down their scope of works and/or suspending completely, some factories are increasing scale of production. For instance, factories in the Special Economic Zone of Kompong Cham and Svay Rieng, where they make medical tools and personal protective equipment, of brand name like Du Pont, are busy taking purchasing orders from many countries. They have increased their production capacity. The airport development is proceeding according to plan, and so are other infrastructural development projects […]

Boeung Choeun Loung – Land Levelling, Irrigation, Fish, and Flood Relief

Since the airport development tied Phnom Penh, Kandal and Takeo together, and as they make great efforts to assist the company, I am calling on the three authorities to do more for farmers in Tonle Bati and Prey Kabah of Takeo province and Kraing Yov of Sa Ang district of Kandal province […] there is this lake Boeung Choeung Loung. I have told Pung Khieu Sae to take soil from the lake to level up the airport field. Why do I bring this issue up here? The lake plays many critical roles […] it serves as a source of water for irrigation for farmers in Put Sar in Tonle Bati, a certain area of Prey Kabah district, a dry-season rice area of Kraing Yov, and all the way to the river of Bassac. There is a clear demand to keep as much water as possible in this lake. Deepening the lake would give the company soil for the airport project and water for farmers. Deep lake would also increase fish population. More so, the lake also serves as a relief destination of flooding, which occasionally happened along the creek of Prek Thnaot […]

24 June – Cash Assistance for over 60,000 Poor/Vulnerable Households

I hope that people looking for jobs can come and have jobs here. I am sure this project is keeping its momentum and there will be continued incomes. No one can live without a job. State intervention would only be possible for a specified period. No country in this world would be able to feed for life while people are at their working age and with working ability. On the coming June 24, I will declare financial assistance program for over 60,000 poor and vulnerable households, in addition to our on-going financial supports for workers who lost their jobs (for Covid-19), for female workers with pregnancy and delivery, and for women with pregnancy and delivery of poor households […]

Current Income Enough for Current Expenses

This company has suffered no financial setback for this construction project. It is financially strong. In general, no company or construction project in Cambodia shut down for lack of fund. It has been peculiar that some said Cambodia’s economy is in crisis. They are right but such crisis incurred not only for Cambodia but also for the whole world. Rich countries have exercised stimulus packages for economy and social intervention. Some countries have resorted to selling treasury bonds to rescue economy. Some claimed on their Facebook postings that Cambodia would have no money for salary next year.

Let me affirm to them that Covid-19 could not kill the Royal Government led by Hun Sen […] from custom department we could, in normal time, collect approximately two billion USD or more. If we fail to get to that record, we could still come to 1.2 billion USD. It would not take us to a short of cash for salary […] Cambodia’s cash in hand is more than three billion USD and I do not talk about the 20 billion foreign reserve. Cambodia has been saving in cash, not figures […] there is no need for us to take our saving to serve our need. Current incomes are enough to cover current expenses […]

Military Trucks Ordered Since February

Why we bought the 290 military trucks, […] we placed order since February but because of Covid-19, we had had to wait for the production line to resume in China. From where did this idea purchasing the military trucks come? One day there was this dam accident in Laos. Laos sent us the news. We have this district of Thala Borivat sitting along the border with Laos. The Stoeung Treng province sent about 1,000 forces – military, police and military police to help evacuate people from possible flooding area. We had come to a difficulty that we did not have enough military trucks to do the job […]

As I am of the opinion that we could not use national fund for this need, I mobilized generous people to help provide means for military region and divisions stationed in the upper parts (of Cambodia). We have military trucks at the division 99 of Ministry of National Defence and division 90 of the Cambodian army […] it is the military regions and divisions, however, who would be able to respond in a timely manner.

We did not use even a single cent from the state coffer. People’s defence foundation has been Hun Sen’s policy and there is nothing new about it. It is a successful policy. Where situation demanded, the private sector contributed to the army […] if they are not beasts, they should have been happy to see that we have equipped the army with means to carry out their tasks like when they helped with incidents of collapsed buildings in the provinces of Preah Sihanouk and Kep. The army was at the centre of the operation. They needed means for transportation […]

28 June 2020 – Inaugurated New CPP Headquarters Building

Some could not rest but disrepute the Cambodian People’s Party for its new headquarters building. Let me tell you, no matter what you talked about it, we are going to invite the Buddhist monks to bless our inauguration day on 28 June […] where did we get the money from – many asked. My answer to them is the Cambodian People’s Party have its members in every circles from workers, farmers, traders to millionaires. It would not be difficult to raise 30 million USD for the construction of a party headquarters […] Pung Khieu Sae is also a member of the Cambodian People’s Party; why would he be unwilling to contribute […] it is an art of sharing.

25 Million USD/Month for 60,000 Poor/Vulnerable Households

In this time of Covid-19 pandemic, none of our people died of hunger without us knowing and helping them. Let me just remind them not to underestimate the Hun Sen’s government and its capacity to resolve (hardships). If Hun Sen were not capable, he would not be able to stand firm among Cambodian politicians for the past 41 years […] I am not using this forum to trade words with anyone but I have the need to explain about where the money come from. On 24 June, I am announcing it once more that we will spend every month a sum of about 25 million USD from current account fund to save and assist over 60,000 households.

In the time of Covid-19 pandemic (relief efforts), we may spend as much as 400 million USD, if not 500 million USD, since we only needed over 200 million USD for salary […] having said that does not mean to encourage provinces and institutions to waste spending […] they should not underestimate Cambodia’s ability. We have medical tools and personal protective equipment in stock of the Ministry of Health and in strategic stock of the Royal Government. We have always 11 million facemasks in warehouses. We have thousands of personal protective clothes and equipment for health workers.

We have in stores rice and instant noodles, and we are working on producing and keeping in store fish and soy sources too. We have gone to very detail completely differing to those of the opposition people thought […] since for them, national achievements would not be in their benefit […] as a Cambodian, I am happy to be patriotic seeing more means of transports coming for Cambodia’s army and forces […] I needed more means of transports whether fire extinguishers and ambulances […]

Phnom Penh Pochentong Airport for Visiting Dignitaries

As far as this new PPIA is concerned, I am encouraging and hoping that Deputy Prime Minister Chea Sophara, mayor of Phnom Penh and governors of Kandal and Takeo, work together to resolves whatever remained for this airport to finish construction as planned. Let me take this opportune moment to share with you that according to my primary consideration, the Pochentong airport (current PPIA) would continue to serve as (1) a military airport, (2) an airport for domestic flight since we are going to have numerous domestic airports, and people will be able to afford to travel by air within the country. We are looking to have airports development in Battambang and Ratanakiri too for domestic flights. Thirdly, we can use it for air cargo, and for private jets. More importantly, planes of dignitaries as King, heads of states and/or governments would continue to land in Pochentong airport.

Seeking Office for Ten More Years

Some said Pochentong would turn to be a satellite city. That would not be so.  Maybe not in my time as Prime Minister. Every day, having come to this, some talked about transferring to Hun Manet. If I am still holding this post as Prime Minister and I already declared to go on for another ten years, how could my son take power from his father? Let me tell them, in Cambodia, Hun Manet is not the only candidate for this position. There are many in the Cambodian People’s Party. However, as a father, I support and educate my son […] and the point is voters will decide. Firstly, whether his candidacy would have the support within the party and secondly, it has to go through people’s decision – whether the party wins the elections. Three years ago I declared (to seek office) no less than ten years. Now, I am declaring once again that no less than ten years. As of this moment, Hun Manet is 43 years old. In ten more years, he would turn 53 years old. I became Prime Minister when I was 53 years old. Why would he, by then, not?

CPP for 50 to 100 Years Ahead

Well, that would be a matter for younger generation and there are many with qualifications as Hun Manet has in the Cambodian People’s Party […] people may see the Cambodian People’s Party headquarters from central to provincial levels. We are not in for two or three years. We are preparing for 50 or 100 years ahead. We are investing in infrastructure and human resources for a long-term, not hasty, leadership. If they hope for the government of Hun Sen to go short in cash for salary, those beasts failed in working on numbers […] ADB, IMF, World Bank, and other partners working with Cambodia would know Cambodia’s economic capability since they predicted growths to be anywhere between -1.5% and -12.9% […]. In 2005, Cambodia’s growth was 13.3%. It was 12% in 2006, 11% in 2007, and in 2008, it fell to 6.8%. In 2009, growth was somewhere at .5% or .6% but Cambodia’s economy did not rail into losing macroeconomic stability.

Observing MoH’s Instructions to Keep Safe   

I heard from people around that there are full of people in restaurants, except the space can place less number of people. They exercise social distancing rule. People working in restaurants are now going back to work. Foreign tourism has not yet returned but local ones are recovering. I am calling our people to continue to practice measures instructed by the Ministry of Health to prevent themselves from Covid-19 pandemic infection. Social distancing, wearing facemasks, washing hands with disinfectants and/or soap, and other necessary measures, starting from each individual, to keep families, society and nation safe. I am aware that we have here 1,102 workers and staff. Let me offer them on this occasion 100,000 Riel each. We have not come to a condition that Prime Minister is short of cash for such present wherever he goes […]./.