Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen, at the Closing of the Training Course in 2020-2021 and Opening of the Training Course in 2022 of the Royal School of Administration [Unofficial Translation]

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CNV:

(1) Win the battles of Delta, Alpha and Omicron in the Covid-19 War

Today, we come together to celebrate the graduation ceremony for the closing courses of 2020 and 2021 of 1733 graduates, and the opening of new training courses for 665 students. We canceled such events for 2021, but we now can organize it again in 2022 after we have been able to deal with Covid-19. The disease is not over yet. We also remain vigilant, but at least we have resolved the issue one step at a time. In other words, we can say that we have won some battles. We have not won the whole war yet. This means that the war against Covid-19 is not over, but the battle on the Delta, Alpha and Omicron is under control. This situation is conducive for us to re-launch activities in all the areas we did before the Covid-19 arrived. We have to follow, however, a new trajectory. Like for today’s event, it requires us to wear masks and keep safe distance. That’s the new way we are and move on.

(2) Covid-19 Cannot Block the Progress of the Royal School of Administration

I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the Ministry of Public Functions, as well as the Royal School of Administration, the leadership of the Royal School of Administration, as well as all the professors who have worked hard to teach our students in all areas […] again, there are senior officials, there are clerks, retraining officials from all walks of life who have come here to study. Although during this period of study, both schools and students, not just the schools here, but everywhere, faced the same challenge: the spread of Covid-19, which has plagued the world as well as Cambodia from 2020 to 2021 and up to now. But Covid-19 could not block the school’s progress or prevent students from attending school. Although the study pattern may have changed, but the students can still learn the knowledge […]

(3) For the Reform Site to Move Forward, the Best Option Is to Train Human Resources

I am very pleased that our officials have been receiving training and capacity building, which is our main issue. I would also like to welcome new-intake of more than 655 students, from all walks of life, including senior officials, clerks, intermediate-level and mid-level retraining officials, to this academic year. I do not forget to take this opportunity to thank all the development partners who have contributed to our civil servants training school. Our quest for success is first and foremost about human resources. Whatever you do, you need human resources. We have introduced reforms in many areas. If you wanted reform to go ahead, the best option was to train human resources. It all starts with people. Reforming an institution is possible only if the people know how to reform it. An institution is made up of people. If an institution does not have people, it is not called an institution. Thus, in each sector that needs to be reformed, it is necessary to have human resources who have the capacity and ability to respond to the needs of the development of our country.

(4) RSA’s Five-Year Strategic Plan 2021-2025 Responds to What Have Been Done

I am happy to see what is happening on the territory of our Kingdom of Cambodia. At the moment, I commend the school, but I should talk about the five-year strategic plan 2021-2025 that the school has set out in response to these measures. I have observed that these measures have responded to what we have been doing and oriented to the policy framework that we have set out and have been implementing in the long run […] if we think back to 1992, it is important to note that the school was under the management of the Ministry of Interior, then organized by the late General Sin Song, and we later transferred the school to the Office of the Council of Ministers. Later, we transferred the school to the Ministry of Public Functions […] we promoted the Secretary of State for Public Functions to the Ministry of Public Function […]

It would be better for you to invite professors, including ministers, deputy prime ministers, secretaries of state, or experts in various institutions to give presentations […] I have also been an honorary professor at this school since 1997, but this honorary professor is paid only once […] and usually this honorary professor comes to give his lesson only before our officials leave the school. Generally, our officials receive two instructions from me. The first time is when we commence the training, like we have here some 655 people today. They will meet me next year when their courses finish. Therefore, in one course, students meet me twice […]

(5) Fought against Covid-19 in the Past, and to Fight in the Next Two to Three Years

Before allowing me to reach out to our officials, I should first talk about some of the issues so that we can all share what is happening on our territory […] and in any part of the world now. This is a macro framework that we need to see, which is both a challenge and a problem that we needed to address. First of all, I should talk about issues related to the fight against Covid-19 some time ago, as well as in the next two or three years. Covid-19 subjects remain a complex issue. Covid-19 is not over and it is not far from us. Our vigilance must continue. What have we learned from the more than two years of Covid-19? At this point, we all need to see the success we have made in the past in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. Not a joke. We worked hard.

Even the monks, civil servants who study here are all involved through the measures for individuals and through the measures that the Ministry of Health or the authorities or the government put in action, including the vaccination, which is an important part of keeping us from death […] I should make it clear that what the Royal Government was doing then was for now. At that time, the Royal Government was forced to close Phnom Penh, Takhmao, Sihanoukville. Next, we set out the target for lockdowns, divided into red, yellow, orange and pink areas. The division of these areas or (taking) health measures is nothing but the well-being of the people. Obviously, our people have seen (from) the measures taken by the Royal Government in 2021. In 2020, we did not have many measures, but in 2021, when the Delta invaded and killed people, especially the events of February 20, 2021 […] we have concentrated all our efforts to solve (and protect the lives) of the people.

(6) Cambodia Gives Priority to the Right to Life First

It’s not easy […] we have to think and do everything we can to overcome (the lethal pandemic threat) so that people do not die. We prioritize the right to life. Whether the European Union give priority to […] freedom of expression first is up to her but for us here, if one died and one does not have anything to say, or opinion to express. Let me be honest. Here we have to pay attention to the right to life first. Because of this right to life, we can exercise other rights, including the right to form a political party, to form an NGO, to establish a civil society, to establish a press and other rights. If you do not have the right to life, then you have no right at all. Some dare not talk about that right to life. They talk about other rights. We recognize all the rights, including the rights we (received) in one week ago (last) Sunday to vote in (the commune/Sangkat elections). This is the right of the democratic process […]

(7) The Royal Government Serves the Needs of Life Irrespective of Religious and Political Parties

On this point, we should take it for experiment. About the challenging situation, we must mobilize the whole national force to fight. We are proud that even though our people may believe in this or that party, this or that religion, or that there are different nationalities living in our territory, but the medical examination and treatment is non-discriminatory, non-political, non-racial, etc. Particularly, vaccines and vaccination in Cambodia are non-discriminatory. Now we look at the fact that […]

There were 17 political parties and they all have won more or less votes. Asked if those voters were vaccinated? One has to see the solution that Cambodia has achieved in facing with challenge. Despite different religious beliefs, different political parties, we have the same requirements for survival, prevention of Covid-19 infection. We have one thing in common. Therefore, the Royal Government must serve that goal. That so and so believes in any political party, religion, I do not care. What I care about is the lives of our people. That is why the vaccine can be considered as a symbol of our national unity and solidarity […]

(8) Covid-19 under Control – Decentralization and De-concentration Success Story

That is why we were able to put out the fire from the early phase compared to some other countries […] our civil servants need to see the experience and put it into thought for themselves in the future or directing work in this area as to what we can or cannot do.

The experience has underlined clearly sub-national democracies, in which we transfer more power by implementing decentralization and de-concentration to the subnational level, in successful practice. If power were concentrated at the top and we did not transfer power to the base, perhaps the Covid-19 would not have come under control. (Suppose) that the Ministry of Health manages this matter alone, without handing over the matter to the provinces or the province did not hand over the matter to the local community to resolve, I think maybe we did not manage the situation on time.

The fact that we have been reforming in the past, the issue of decentralization and de-concentration, which is the transfer of power to the grassroots, clear indicated the success through the battles against the Covid-19. I strongly encourage institutions to further promote decentralization and de-concentration. In March, we convened a meeting to launch a plan to promote decentralization and de-concentration and in about last February we laid out plans for how to transfer more power to the grassroots […]

(9) “In English or French, It Sound Perfect, in Khmer, It Is Bad Insult”

This point should help expose you as well as the venerable to experiments and lessons for the future […] what we have been doing is for the next generation. Usually, the previous generation left achievements for later generation – not in the case of Pol Pot, they left us disaster, and inherited nothing. The heirs of us have a lot to inherit from us […] we need to compare one stage to another. That’s why I do not understand when some used the word “getting poorer” […] would they swear to be hit by lightning or not? […] Madam (EU) Ambassador, let me tell you when they speak to you in English or French, they speak very politely. It sounds perfect to your ears. If Lok Chumteav (could understand and listen) in the Khmer language (of what) they speak, you will learn for sure how badly they insulted us. That is why we do not agree with what they said to insult us or the way people look at us from the outside.

There have been two Cambodia (in their eyes), Lok Chumteav. One Cambodia is really what you have seen with your eyes here. Another Cambodia is what they have written in the press and it is different from the first. So, if you pay attention to their Facebook postings, you can have someone to translate them from Khmer to English, or to French, or to Spanish, then you will know what they are doing and what they are saying […] diplomats abroad evaluate them, (without learning what they had said or done) to be good. They do not know their provocative language. I am not giving a lecture for EU ambassador here, but I am giving advice because you gave me recommendations. I should also make some recommendations to Lok Chumteav what should be done to know the real Cambodia? […]

(10) 100 M Doses of Vaccine Packaging in Cambodia for 2024, 2025 and 2026

We need to remain vigilant with a new way of life. I am happy to see that even though wearing a mask is exempt, […] some are still used to a habit of wearing a mask. People are sued to, firstly, getting vaccinated, and secondly, wearing a mask […] I call on our people to get vaccinated […]

I request to the local level to continue working with the people to understand and accept the third dose of vaccine. Those who received the third dose already, please go for the fourth dose. Those who received the fourth dose already, please go for the fifth dose. As of last night, up to nearly 100,000 people have gotten their fifth dose. The fifth dose vaccination started from the 9th June. As I mentioned the day before, we are ordering more than 100 million doses, 104 million doses of vaccine to be exact, packaged in Cambodia for use in 2024, 2025 and 2026.

This (local vaccine) factory has to produce about 35 million doses a year for us to use […] at the interval of 4 months, we would need 35 million doses a year. In 2022 and 2023, we will use the remaining vaccines. More than 11 million doses of the vaccine are now in stock. The promised vaccine of 15 million doses will arrive from China, 5.5 million doses from the United States, and 500,000 doses from Australia […] we have not yet assessed when Covid-19 will end […]

(11) Recovered from Covid-19, Hit by Russia-Ukraine War, Food & Energy Crisis

The people accept this political message regarding the continued fight against Covid-19, which is not over yet. This is the first point. The second thing I want to convey now is that we must be prepared to accept the reality of the economic downturn that began with Covid-19 and now confluent with the war in Ukraine. In this regard, we must work together to maintain good macroeconomic stability, curb inflation, maintain the purchasing power of the Riel. Our economy has just recovered after the Covid-19, but it is unthinkable that the Russian-Ukrainian war has begun to place a burden on countries around the world. Now the IMF is lowering down economic growth. The World Bank has just lowered down our growth forecast too. However, the Asian Development Bank, the IMF, and the World Bank seem to have made different evaluations.

I told all our colleagues not to worry too much about the issues being evaluated others. Most importantly, how much we did is actually a deal. Thus, our efforts to maintain macroeconomic stability, curb inflation and maintain the purchasing power of our Riel must continue. We need to continue to exercise constriction to cope with the situation that has been happening. Our economy has not yet reached the point where it’s collapsing or at risk of collapse. In the first three months of the year, exports increased by 33%. Our agricultural sector has a surplus of rice. We have livestock, we have fish for supply.

But it must be seen that the food crisis will become a global crisis, because the wheat barn is in Ukraine and in Russia. While wheat cultivation in Ukraine destroyed, the Russian could not export. This situation pulls the price up (and causes) the food crisis and the energy crisis to go hand in hand. There is an energy crisis now, but the food crisis is coming and we have to prepare for any situation they may be […]

(12) January 2023 – Salary Increases Starts

[…] We failed to increase the salaries (for civil servants, the army and police) in 2020 and in 2021 […] In (January of) 2023, we will start to increase, not in percentage terms, but in a different way […] those with low salary will get the bigger increase, and those with high salary will get smaller increase. Here’s how to get the increment […] teachers and physicians, the lowest salary will be 1.5 million Riel (after the increase) […] as we are raising salaries, we also have to raise the ceiling of taxable salaries […] to avoid those with low salaries have had to pay tax […] those with higher salaries are taxed. We are applying this in the public sector and in the private sector […]

(13) To Attend the United Nations General Assembly, Gas Prices

[…] Please do not complain about rising oil prices. The day before, on live TV, (I asked) people in France (about gasoline price) 1 liter in France (costs) more than 10,000 Riel. You may ask the Ambassador of the European Union to know (the price of gasoline in) Europe is more expensive than in Cambodia. It is not cheaper in Europe than in Cambodia. We must all dare to tell the truth so that we will not be deceived.

I am going to America again. I plan to go to the United States to attend the UN General Assembly (meeting which will start) from 20-24 (September 2022) and on the 25th (September 2022) I will return. I plan to meet with Cambodians in the United States. Then I will ask the price of oil in America. In the past, I also asked (about oil prices) again. I compare prices in Cambodia (with) prices in the United States. We must not be fooled. In the election campaign season some are starting the oil prices auction […]

(14) Tax integrity, 80% Registered Voters Voted, 17 Parties Received Votes

I also called for proper implementation of tax measures in accordance with the law, and all members of the Armed Forces must support the integrity of the tax culture without tax evasion. That is a lesson to tell everyone what needs to be done in the future. On the other hand, I should take this opportunity to thank the more than 80% of Cambodians who have registered to vote and went to the polls in a quiet, neutral, political, free and fair manner, no matter what anyone says. Cambodia marches, and there are no clashes, there are no fights, there are no insults […] all 17 parties received votes, no matter how small or large. I would like to thank the people for participating in the exercise of their rights, the right to choose their favorite leaders […]

I thank and commend the Election Security Commission led by Samdech Krala Hom Sar Kheng for doing a good job for the election process. Our forces are under the command and control of the National Election Committee […] this is a testament of the political maturity of Cambodia’s regular democratic process. As I signed the sub-decree, the law stipulates that the commune/sangkat elections must be announced at least 6 months in advance. The political parties are preparing for six months to go to the polls.

Cambodia is different from other countries, […] they should find out how this country works in a democratic way. In other countries, the Prime Minister has the right to dissolve the parliament before the end of the term, when they found out from polls their Prime Minister is gaining popularity. Other parties are not ready yet. But for Cambodia, the timing of the election is already known. For the national level, it has been known since the election five years ago […] because (the law) says “every five years, every Sunday in the fourth week of July, there must be an election.” All political parties have five years to prepare for the election. In the commune elections, at least the political parties were aware of at least six months in advance to prepare for the election […]

(15) People Voted CPP – Voted Peace and Development

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the people/voters who voted for the CPP. At this point, it is clear that the people have voted for peace and development. The politics of the CPP, as always, is peace and development. No matter what anyone says (their story), but the macro framework of the CPP policy is one side to keep the peace, the other is development. I do not try to comment or reply to anyone, […] win or not win, it depends on who is standing (here) […] (that they say) winning in the heart, let them win for their whole life. They win on everything […] some say “they oppose the result, but accept the seats after the rest is stolen”. Who do you want to accuse? Please help teach the way to steal, how did they steal? […]

(I have said before that we) will be able to provide passports to overseas Cambodians, but will not allow Cambodians to vote from abroad. I explained to the people in the US and Europe that (if they) wanted to vote, they must come to vote in the constituency. Voting starts at 7 a.m. and closes at 3 p.m. Counting is underway in the voting station. They said we stole. When we challenged them to swear, they never dare and say that swearing is a trivial matter […] Let me confirm swearing the oath is not a small thing. The president, the Prime Minister, the members of parliament all sewar the oaths before taking office. Is it a trivial thing? Even Americans swear by the Bible […]

(18) Heads of 99% Sangkat/Commune Enough for CPP

Some said that the CPP lost its seat to the opposition. Losing some is a normal part of the democratic process. Take them and I do not care which party get them. The National Election Committee has not announced the official results yet. On the 26th (June 2022) the official result will come out […] (will) announce the number of seats, announce the elected once and then the Minister of Interior signed them to take office. That is all there is to it. Some say they need to negotiate with the ruling party. There will not be any negotiations at all. If you wanted to negotiate, do it with the National Election Committee. The CPP does not need to debate with anyone. The CPP is also a runner.

Gaining 74% of the vote and more than 99% of the commune chief seats is enough for the CPP. To get more than 80% of commune council seats, it is enough […] I do not care which party. Let us work together against Covid-19 […] we have the same goal and it is the fight against Covid-19. The goal of maintaining peace, political stability is a common goal, no one can deny it. So do not let an election become a national division. The election campaign is over, and the election story is also over […]

Would they now still call (Cambodia) a one-party state? […] (the election results like this), is it still called a one-party state, when almost 20% of the lower level is covered by numerous parties. In terms of seats, they get almost 20%, while the CPP has a little over 80%. Is it still a one-party local level? According to the forecast based on the results, for 2023, in the National Assembly, there will not be just one party. There are many parties that will get seats in it. It goes like that and what else do you want? Would it be a democracy only if they have won and it is not a democracy because they have not? […]

(19) Remind Oneself – a “Servant of the People”

I just found out this morning that there are ambassadors present […] they said that some have helped (the school). Well, since you have come, please listen to me a little because I have not talked for a long time, and on the other hand, I have many topics to cover. What I wanted to remind our officials here is to remember to remind ourselves regularly, we officials have to serve the people faithfully. We are not the boss of the people. Please grasp this point. Remind yourself that we are the servants of the people, not the masters of the people, and to serve the people is our goal. Being an official If you do not consider serving the people as a goal, it is not necessary to be an official. Not only in Cambodia, in the world, they put in place people-centered activities, and we have to put people at the center of our service, and people’s problems are not trivial […] please do not consider every work small and the Prime Minister should not do […] besides, students/graduates wanted my presence. Whether they stand a chance to receive a degree from me in person or not, they wanted to get involved, and I wanted to get involved to encourage and promote human resource training […]

(20) Leadership and Working Methodology, Random Factors Exhibits Leadership Ability

I have already said that in terms of how to lead and work, we have to go through stages […] if there is no specific plan, one should not start yet. One must have a good plan. Good planning is considered a road map. For example, what does the Royal School of Administration as an example of the five-year strategic plan 2021-2025 do? That’s a good example for directions, a road map for us to walk. What to do next. There is a good plan, but the next step is to implement the plan, […] remember the first step – good planning, only achieved 30%, while organizing the successful implementation, which includes human resources, means, materials, budget, will achieve another 30%, a total of only 60% of leadership. What is the remaining 40%? Keep in mind that random factors will appear when we implement our plan […]

Obviously, we have many plans for our country towards 2050. By 2030, we will turn Cambodia into a high middle-income country and by 2050 to become a high-income country. Unfortunately, Covid-19 came. After Covid-19, comes Russian-Ukrainian war. This situation is called the random factor that appears, and this random factor depends entirely on the problem-solving ability of each leader in place. In a normal process, it is okay, but be prepared for random factors […] we in leadership must be aware of working in normal situations and in evolving situations. Now, Cambodia as well as the world is in an evolving state. Are we sure now that the world does not have a global economic crisis? According to some, there is no global economic crisis. Even without the global economic crisis, it would be a problem for the energy crisis and the coming food crisis.

I read a new that a Polish senator criticizes his own government for making too hasty decisions making the Polish people face hardships. He wanted to talk about the decision to cut off oil and gas supplies from Russia. The hardest hit are the Poles. Now, the problem of (cutting off) supply of oil and gas from Russia, can Europe sustain? In Europe, not all issues are always agreed upon. This does not only affect Europe and Russia. It affects us too. ASEAN is also affected by the war crisis. As Russia moves troops into Ukraine, we have had impacts from one front, but the sanction boomeranged Europe itself […]

(21) Be Responsible to the People and the Survival of the Tonle Sap

How many provincial authorities around the Tonle Sap Lake came? All. My message has been sent. We must be responsible to the people. This is in a way of management that we must not underestimate. I must take responsibility for the people of Cambodia and for the survival of the Tonle Sap. People live for generations in the Tonle Sap Lake, and we put them in Zone 3 […] I have already told you that some of the Zone 3 must be carved out, […] our sub-decree in 2011 was really bad. I said we must stop it. How many sub-decrees are wrong? Concerned ministry prepared a sub-decree that wherever the water reaches, the lake is there […]

You (provincial governors) do the jobs now. No one knows the geography better than you do. You cut those lands from Zone 3. Let say they are cultivating on 5,000 hectares, we cut 5,000 hectares for them, and we can leave about 10% or so for them to benefit from. As I did in the “new action, old policy” in the land sector in 2012 […] so that they can find firewood, catch fish, etc. In some places, people are living partly on water and in land. Their farmland is flooded, we can leave them with some forest land nearby for firewood and grasses for cows, otherwise they would enter the forest and violate it again […]

There are two things I need to say. First, about the land that was confiscated in the past from recently claiming activities, […] which we have taken back, […] planted bamboo, trees, we must keep it well. Second, do not allow further encroachment. We give power to the province, and they should not turn to the Minister of Agriculture, Minister of Water Resources, Minister of Environment, Minister of Lands, Urban Planning and Construction. That is my message and orders to those (provincial governors) around the Tonle Sap Lake. The CPP will convene its plenum on the 16th and 17th (July) […] we will talk more about what needs to be done and the subnational authority do not wait for order, but acting on the basis of the interests of the people, there is nothing wrong […]

(22) Seeking Myanmar’s Reconsideration on Execution; Some Trapped Themselves

I am writing a letter to General Min Aung Hlaing in Myanmar requesting reconsideration on the execution of two young men […] I hope that HE Min Aung Hlaing will consider my proposal within the framework of the ASEAN Chairmanship, as we do not want to see more happening adding to issues that are already difficult. I have talked so much […] Hun Sen is like that. I am neither the occasional Prime Minister, nor in dreams. The life of being the Prime Minister is over 37 years. On the 20th, the 45th anniversary of the march towards national liberation will be marked by the anniversary of the meeting between the Prime Minister of Vietnam and the Prime Minister of Cambodia on the border […]

I also apologize if I have said things that are too much to bear. I apologize to the Ambassador of the European Union since I have talked a lot about Europe. I just wanted us to work together, and not to work through the press. While working with foreign partners, what concerned me the most is that they work based on the press. I am prepared to ask someone who will meet me in the next few days […] who said that while Cambodia was (under pressure of) the Covid-19, we arrested more than 700 people. I will ask him where you got the information from, because when you met me at the video conference, you said it once. I already corrected you. In Geneva, you said it again. If you are going to say you got it from the media, I’ll point at you. You do not know how to work yet. Where could you find the 600 or 700 people? […]

Diplomacy must be equal. Let us speak clearly because this is a responsible sovereign state. (Some have said that) millions of people are waiting to revolt, and tens of thousands of troops are just waiting to revolt. When have there been a revolt? They are keeping peace here. The value of peace gives us all this – business, study, election. I doubted if those who criticized us can sum it up – what percentage is good, what percentage is not good – can they add them up? Do they know how to add numbers or not? We recognize that we have shortcomings, so we need to improve. If it is 100% good, why else we would need to reform? […]

As we are building a rather big port, but not yet about the size of Japanese fishing port at Ream – they went to a different direction. As country, would it not have the right to build a port? Would a country not have rights to organize its navy, infantry, and air defense? […] Well, a country must have rights. Here are (some of) the issues that I hope ambassadors and partners understand […] some people like to twist (slander) and some people say that it makes Hun Sen get lost. Just you wait. Who is lost? If Hun Sen is lost, he will not be in power for 43 years.

I send you a message that […] Hun Sen will never walk into your trap. It would happen that you could walk into Hun Sen’s trap, but I do not use traps on anyone except that they walked into their own traps […] take for instance issue of nationality. According to the press, (they talked about) buying citizenship in Cyprus. Well, that gave us the chance to amend the Constitution […] those with dual citizenship cannot become the Prime Minister, the President of the National Assembly, the President of the Senate and the President of the Constitutional Council. You trapped yourself […]./.