Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen, t the Opening of the Waterpark Garden City’s Trial Operation [Unofficial Translation]


A Golf Course, Five-Star Hotel and Stadium in Former Khmer Rouge Hideout

Today we are pleased to join together to put into trial operation the garden city waterpark – an investment by Oknha Ly Yong Phat. It is a pride for us that this investment takes place in a former Khmer Rouge guerrillas’ hideout from where they shelled the capital city of Phnom Penh. In 1989, when the for State of Cambodia celebrated the tenth anniversary of its foundation, they were able to shell as far as somewhere near the former warehouse where we stockpiled fuel at Russei Keo. We sent in the 1980s youth and civil servants in Phnom Penh to help clear the forest to take away their hideouts. Later, the area has become a development zone in which Oknha Ly Yong Phat developed a golf course and a five-star hotel to begin with. We also built a monument in memory of win-win policy, and selected this place to develop infrastructure for hosting the 2023 SEA Games. Before us, not long from now, this stadium built with assistance from the People’s Republic of China, is going to be ready along with other infrastructures necessary for the games and for hosting sportsmen/women […]

BOT Roads/Bridges Purchased for Use by People Free of Charge

I must say that I admire this long-vision of Oknha Ly Yong Phat for choosing to invest in this area. Not many people could have thought on this issue of building roads, bridges, which later the state bought up to help reduce costs of transportation and travelling of our people. Everywhere in this world, not only in Cambodia, travelers would have to travel using BOT built roads/bridge. As of this time, Cambodia has purchased them all back as state properties. At the time that the state was short of capital, we invited private companies to invest in infrastructures. Oknha Ly Yong Phat had invested in a bridge in Koh Kong, a bridge at Prek Phnov, and there were companies that invested in national road 4, Sar La road, and a road at Koh Ker […] the state has now had to maintain those roads and bridges. We are working on more infrastructural construction projects as this would not only reduce people’s expenses on traveling but also speeding up socio-economic benefits, and time for our people […]

Working in New Normal Practice

According to a study (on its capability), this waterpark is one of the biggest in ASEAN with its 4,500 square meters and its wave making capacity is up to three meters high. The waterpark can entertain 300 visitor in one session. With waterpark entertainment spreading on an area of 8.6 hectares, the park also has six hectares for other activities and 2.5 hectares reserved for parking area […] as Covid-19 strikes, things have changed. Today, with presence of the President of the Senate, the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Ministers, Ministers and senior officials, workers and staff, we have been practicing a new normal working procedure. We are having masks on […] the old ways of thousands of years have changed because of Covid-19 […] people no longer shake hands but raise their two hands together to show respect or to welcome without having to touch each other’s hands […]

Covid-19 Impacts More Devastating Than World War I and II

Some have used their elbows to touch each other because shaking hands would be one way of transmitting disease from one to another. As you can see in here, we sit in distance from one another and we do not shake hands. We also have our faces protected by masks. This practice is not the way only in Cambodia but the world over since the pandemic impacts is far more devastating to human than the ones caused by World War I or World War II. The world war devastated countries involved. Countries that were not directly involving in the fights would have no deaths or other incurred problems. As for Covid-19, hundreds of countries have reported impacts […]

Online Booking Could Be Helpful

As for this waterpark, an investment of 44 million USD is a huge project. I learnt from Oknha Ly Yong Phat when he came to see me that the park has between 6,000 and 7,000 bookings already. If the park is also providing online booking service to customers, I think, so that they do not have to come in persons, it will be easy to manage with number of visitors each time/day […]. As for this area, even if some who live far off the city, should they wish to come visit or bring along their families to see what features are there in the waterpark and to enjoy the zoo – they can stay in its five-star hotel […]

Golfing in a Few Holes Course behind the House

There is also a golf course here and I used to come play too […] however, as I was in mourning of my mother in law I played gold at my private course behind my house, I would continue to do so […] I am sure my wife and children would be happy. My bodyguards too in that matter because if I were to go out playing in other gold courses, they would have to wake up very early. Some would have to clear the area for security reason. In that case, for the sake of good health, I could just do it at home […] In fact we have planned to launch this trial operation of the waterpark since April (the Khmer New Year) but the concern of Covid-19 pandemic then reached a high level. I decided to pull off every schedules I made in advance – meeting with sportsmen/women, small and medium enterprises, Chinese community, and even the Asia-Europe Meeting in November (this year). Even the UNGA also had to go on videoconference. The forthcoming 24-August Mekong-Lancang Cooperation meeting in Vientiane, planned for March and was cancelled, also will resume through videoconference. The canceled ASEAN Summit in April also meets through videoconference […]

Workers Returned, Civil Servants Travelled, Reasons to Cancel Khmer New Year

Today is one day away from the make-up holiday for the Khmer New Year for our workers and civil servants. I would take this chance to reaffirm the fact that we canceled the three days holiday of the Khmer New Year in April was because we were concerned about preventing and controlling this unknown scale of Covid-19 pandemic. In fact, there had been requests to postpone the Khmer New Year holiday since March but I did not agree to them […]. As Samdech Krola Haom Sar Kheng alerted me about over 90,000 Khmer workers coming back from Thailand taking quarantines in their local communities, while civil servants and workers in Phnom Penh would also travel to their native villages, in serious consideration of what might have happened then if the pandemic broke out, we decided to cancel the holiday […]

Some Factories Go on Working

Those in the armed forces are taking turns to observe the holidays. Civil servants, workers, employees, etc. are taking holidays with pay. I know that some factories, because of their agreement with workers, continue to work as usual. We allow that. That is not a problem as we make up this holiday for the one on Khmer New Year that we did not observe. In April, if people stopped working for holiday, they also have the same benefit. In April, if people did not stop working for holiday, and worked with pay too. Now that we are able to control the pandemic outbreak, we can now allow out people to take holiday […]

Fight to Prevent Imported Cases, Community Transmission, Provide Treatments

It is true that lately infected cases in Cambodia has jumped to over 100 bringing the total infection to 273 cases from not even 100 in April. One thing is clear that there has not been infection or transmission in community. That is why we decided to allow our people to take holiday. All 273 cases are imported and none has been a community outbreak […] in this development, we continue to observe the three battles so far – to prevent imported cases, to prevent local community transmission, and to provide the best treatments […]

Rescheduling Rotation of Peacekeeping Troops

Relating to these three tasks concerning combating Covid-19, I proposed to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation during the Cabinet meeting last Friday to contact the UN Secretary General to consider our request to postpone rotation of UN peacekeeping troops in the coming days. We will have over 400 of them on rotation. According to a report of Deputy Prime Minister HE Prak Sokhonn, the Cambodian Permanent Representative to the United Nations already brought the request to the attention of the UN Deputy Secretary General in charge of Peacekeeping Troops. We have our troops in Mali, Central African Republic, Lebanon, South Sudan, and in Sudan, there happened to be a high risk (of Covid-19).

In high consideration of possible impacts, Cambodia requests the UN to reschedule rotation of peacekeeping troops to later dates as transporting from outside to inside Cambodia and from Cambodia to other countries as well. The Cambodian troops to take up the task would have to have a fourteen days quarantine in the host countries and those returned would have to go through similar procedure at home also […] we just had one case that a blue beret returning home in Kandal had had Covid-19 even after procedural tests. We had to call all of them back and stay in one place for a quarantine again […]

I am calling on HE Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, to have his consideration on Cambodia’s request regarding postponement of rotation of the UN peacekeeping troops. If they could not do it for other countries, we are asking them to consider the case of Cambodian troops. We do not mean to keep our troops there for years but for a period of time that we are working to contain infections cases from abroad […] I am sure our troops in Sudan, South Sudan, Somali, Central African Republic, etc. are watching live my speech here […] I am asking for their understanding on this evolving situation. If they had had to stay on, I am sure they and their families will understand. I am seeking understanding also from those who are prepared to take over […] if the UN agreed to our request I am asking our troops to solicit understanding of this development at this crucial time […]

May Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines Understand Cambodian Measures

We have only one case that a two-star general died of Covid-19 in Mali after only five days of infection. In fact, the blue beret found to have Covid-19 after procedural tests back in Cambodia also recovered from Covid-19 in Mali. It relapsed while arriving to Cambodia. I am calling on the UN Secretary General to review this matter and if possible consider rescheduling the rotation of all the UN peacekeeping troops to avoid movements of people from one place to another as infections can happen while traveling by air together in one plane. We are asking Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines for their understanding of Cambodia’s measures to cancel flights from the three countries as lately the infection rates have been very high. We are asking for understanding from our friends […]

Be Safe from Covid-19 and Traffic Accidents

As we are taking a long holiday, and many have already left for their native villages, I am calling on our people to keep themselves safe. Firstly, they must keep themselves safe from the pandemic. I have reminded provincial authorities and others through the videoconference during the Cabinet meeting already. Tourist sites, hotels, guesthouses, restaurants must keep up with the safety standard instructed by the Ministry of Health. Should there be any signs of infections, lockdown measures taken immediately of the place and search for everyone involved. As tourists, our people must also be prepared and this preventive measures starts from everyone as an individual. Each individual must exercise sanitation/hygiene because an infected individual would cause everyone in the family a difficult time altogether […]

Secondly, I am calling on our people to take care of their lives because in this long holiday, traveling long distance and in crowded streets would normally record traffic accidents. I am calling on our people to keep safe their lives and lives of others. There has always been high percentage of accidents caused by drunk driving. We do not forbid people from enjoying their lives and parties […] but they must refrain from drunk driving […]

Comfrel Poll – 78% Arrest Was Legal

I do not have political messages but I should bring up one matter. You may check for Comfrel Facebook Page in which they run a posting asking people to take part in its poll about whether arresting a person (relating to border issues) was a respect or a violation of law and right. They have decided to poll for seven days. While in three hours the poll will close, 22% of respondents agreed it was a violation of law and rights. However, 78% said it was not a violation of law and right. I hope that Comfrel and Foreign Radios broadcasting in Khmer Language will share this finding. Let me remind you that this is not a Facebook Page of or supporting the Royal Government. The page administered by a non-governmental organization and always opposed the Royal Government […]

Unalterable Border Drawn by the French, not the Cambodians

What are they talking about now? This issue has been implemented according to law and agreements between the two governments, for which the National Assembly ratified and HM the King already signed. The border issue has been a meticulous work. “Swapping land is a treacherous act,” as they said it, I have on this issue spoken for over five hours in the National Assembly. Let me say a few things here. The border left from the French colonialism – unalterable border, stipulated in the Constitution. We have a number of border markers with Vietnam, Thailand and Laos.

While working out the borderline, we noted that there are Vietnamese villages locating inside Cambodia and Cambodian villages locating inside Vietnam, for instance the village of Samdech Heng Samrin, President of the National Assembly. We were not the ones who drew the map. The French did. HM the King has done nothing wrong. Even the former Kings, they had no ideas as it was the French who drew borderlines concerning the Trol island, Cochinchina, etc., and it was the French Assembly that adopted it. It was not the Khmer National Assembly.

Swapped Land Given as Social Land Concession to Army and Police

What choice do we have? If we follow the official borderline drawn in the maps that HM the King deposited at the United Nations, and we are using those maps now, the village of Samdech Heng Samrin is locating inside Vietnam […] one choice was to observe the borderline in the maps and offer the village of Samdech Heng Samrin to Vietnam […]. Another choice was we moved the village of Samdech Heng Samrin inside Cambodia to observe the borderline, and find him a new land. While another choice, we redraw a new borderline where the village of Samdech Heng Samrin, about 500 hectares, is locating inside Cambodia and find a similar size elsewhere for Vietnam.

As of this moment, along the Cambodian-Vietnamese border, Vietnam will have to provide Cambodia a size of 2,000 hectares and I have already commanded that once the land offered, we must place them under supervision of the provincial authorities and they must be categorize as land for social concession given to army and border police. I already instructed on this paper of HE Var Kimhong. (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning, and Construction) HE Chea Sophara gets ready to issue the over 2,000 hectares to be provided to Cambodia by Vietnam to the provinces concerned. We will give the land to the army and police who has no land as we did in Svay Rieng […]

No Incitement for War on Border Issues

Why dare you say it is a treacherous act? I ordered your arrest. While I led the Cabinet meeting, I instructed concerned institutions to follow a leader of a political party who was going to issue a statement (regarding border issues). Should s/he make similar statement to the one before her/him, s/he is to be arrested. As I left the Cabinet meeting, live on The Cambodia Daily, the person said swapping land was a national treason. If it was, it meant HM the King, the National Assembly, the Senate, the Royal Government all were. Let me stress here that border is not a joking matter. I am telling you not to incite a war because of your messages about this or that place with neighboring countries. You have kept saying loss of land from one meter to a hundred meters every day for 41 years. Where the current border would be if what you said was true […] border is not a joking matter. A border war would be because of your mouth to incite turmoil at the border […]

27 August – Official Maps to Provincial Authorities Bordering with Vietnam

They have been slanderous as far as maps are concerned. This could have been because the border committee has not explained them clearly. Originally, we used this 1/100,000 scale maps printed by the Indochina Geography Group together with the US UTM 1/50,000 scale maps. However, to ensure location for border markers, we needed the 1/25,000 scale maps that was printed in Denmark, not in Vietnam. We have verified them together […] Vietnam and Cambodia received the same number of copies. On 27 August, Samdech Pichey Sena Tia Banh, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, on my behalf, will offer those maps to provincial authorities bordering with Vietnam. They are official border maps and the army will use these same maps […] let me send them a message. They should not mess up on this border issue. It is not a time for opinion debate. This is purely legal matter. The National Assembly ratified not once but twice – in 2005 and in 2009 […]

Border Defined by Negotiation and Guaranteed by International Law

That I spent five hours in the National Assembly (on this matter) was it not a debate/advocacy. Have they watched it? The Cambodian National TV should replay the tape. You have just started a new political party and you pick up this border issue saying it an advocacy. Debate must be in the National Assembly not when you drove your bikes around (here and there) […] we have built good roads now along the border. How could they ride motorbikes on those roads for a brief moment and say this many meters or that many maters? We have taken times to stay in the field, with the help of GPS, and satellite. It is not a matter for fun. I ordered arrests of Hong Sun Huor and Um Sam At – member of the Senate and the National Assembly in flagrante delicto. Whoever said things like that will also face arrest in flagrante delicto. Border is not where your mouth says it to be. Border is where involved countries negotiate and guaranteed by international law […]

Local Tourism Observing Health Measures

It is a good thing that we, despite Covid-19, have work to do. Here we have 185 workers and more are working in golf course and hotel. Though tourism affected by absence of foreign tourists, we can see now local tourism is on the move with instruction for strict observation of health measures. I never asked to close down or economy or factories, or markets. I asked to close down discotheques, Karaoke. We now allow Karaoke shop that convert themselves to restaurants to operate. I denied Minister of Tourism Thong Khon’s request to open discotheque. I think we should hold on to that for a bit more time because those places would have difficulties in observing social distancing […]

Cash Assistance to Workers and Poor Households

The Royal Government is busy providing assistance to some 20,000 workers from factories closed down because of lack of orders and/or raw materials, and some 60 households of over three million people that are in poor and vulnerable situation. We spent about 24 million USD last month. For this month, we may spend up to 28 million USD. We helped them to acquire some cash to help with their daily food needs in this time of difficulties. As for some who wish to go to jail (because of their actions mentioned above), we may allow them to. There was one other person who, that he could leave the country because I allowed him to do so, called for demonstration to take place […] he called on workers and farmers to launch demonstration in order to change in this time. If he would come himself, I would send him a private jet to lead the demonstration in Cambodia […]

Calls for Locals to Withdraw Money from, and to Make No Payments to Banks

Maybe I should say a few words on this topic. Some foreigners have talked about credits given through microfinance saying that Hun Sen encouraged confiscation. On this matter, no one could have been generous than Hun Sen. I called on microfinances and banks to have understanding of difficulties of those who owed them and I asked them to reorganize their credit schemes for hundreds of thousands of households. While we were trying to get flexibility from microfinances and banks in time of Covid-19 difficulties, there was a movement from abroad for people inside the country to do two things – (1) mobilize locals to withdraw money from banks with an aim to collapse banking system, and (2) mobilize local Cambodians who owed microfinances and banks to deny payment obligation. In response to their tricks, I declare that whoever followed their chieftains and deny obligation to pay to microfinances and/or banks must face with confiscations. They went muted.

Now, I continue to say that too. I am asking the banks and microfinances to foster understanding in such difficult time to reschedule their credit schemes. I said the other day, if for an asset of 20 million USD worth deposited before they (banks) give five million USD in loan, I am asking them to consider giving them more. Some may need them to reorganize their businesses in time of Covid-19 new normal too […] though we now allow reopening of schools in late August and early September, and Baccalaureat exam taking place in December, we have to be precautious. Should there be worrying signs, we must cancel again.

On this note, I am asking those who write about this issue to listen to my explanation if they are conscientious […] since the guerrilla leader/s launched this campaign to mobilize people not to pay back to banks and even mobilized demonstration in Battambang, I must issue my warning message. Those in debt to banks/microfinances must decouple themselves from their bosses and seek a workout with banks for their understandings. It is an issue between lenders and borrowers. The Royal Government can only appeal and not impose on them […].

Those who followed their leaders’ tricky appeals to deny payment obligations, they would face with confiscation. As for those who are not following them but have lost their incomes, I am calling on microfinances/banks not to fine them or exercise confiscations […] let me clarify once again (on those who followed their calls). They may want to stay away from demonstrations. If they would join one, and were to have missed banks’ obligations, it would then be up to the banks to deal with them […]./.