Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen, the Presentation of Diplomas to the Graduates of Asia-Europe University


(1) Digital Technology Widely Used in Education; the Country Fully Reopened; Students Prioritized for Vaccination; Disables Reaped Benefit from Education

Today, I am thrilled to be present at the Asia-Europe University graduation ceremony, which we had not been able to organize for the past two years. As I said last week, with the crisis that has arisen, there are also opportunities for us in advancing our information technology front rapidly, obviously through online learning, […] not just in education, but all areas of digital advancement, whereas the most widely used sector is in education […]

Our efforts have led us to gradually reopen, and at this stage we have already fully reopened the country, just in a new normal way. What is the new trajectory? At this time, we are sitting wearing a mask (and) away from each other, observing the “3 don’ts and 3 protection measures” […] it is how we learn to live with Covid-19 […] we have opened all sections not only in the country for socio-economic activities (), but we dare to hold in-person international meetings in Phnom Penh and in Siem Reap, and/or other places where (we) invited foreign guests to come join us with confidence that Cambodia is a safe place from Covid-19 […]

We have reopened the school for quite some time now. Nearly four million students are now prioritized target group for vaccination. We also get new vaccines, including vaccines for children […] from friends like Spain, who just delivered a few days ago and Australia has promised to give us too. That means that children can have the opportunity to attend primary or kindergarten level school without fear of infection, or if infected, it does not lead to serious illness […]

I am very happy and wholeheartedly congratulate all the monks as well as all the graduates who have worked hard and achieved the results today. It is even more encouraging that among our students here there are six people with disabilities who have struggled to hand on to their education […] this is an opportunity not just for the physically fit person, but even for the disables […]

(2) More Chance for Youth; Teachers’ Training Improved; Insulting Education Quality in Cambodia Is Insulting Themselves; Schools Get to Where the Students Are

This is a time when our youth have a lot of opportunities compared to the previous generation during the war and during the genocidal regime of Pol Pot. Young people lost their opportunities completely in early 1979 (and during the regime) for 3 years, 8 months and 20 days, or almost completely between 1970 and 1975, when the country was divided into two, one side was in the liberated areas (and) the other in the urban areas […]

After the liberation in 1979, some may not remember and/or may have heard a little, but it is the truth that happened in our country about the fact that “those who know more teach those who know less and those who know some teach those who does not know.” We have recruited teachers/professors among those who were inexperienced as most of the professors/teachers were massacred under the Pol Pot regime. If we review at teachers in rural areas 30 years ago, sometimes teachers were one class higher than the students […] they all may now have retired and our teachers are now having their training of bachelor + 1 (year of pedagogy) […]

This is a rapid advancement in education. Although some people blamed us of low quality of education in Cambodia […] but whether it is strong or weak is not in what they say. It depends on whether we reinforce our own efforts. Those who have degraded the quality of education in the Kingdom of Cambodia are in fact humiliating themselves. It is a wonder why some people who studied in Cambodia and got their Ph D degrees in Cambodia are addressed as Ph D when they go abroad. What does that mean? This means that education in our country is not bad either […]

In the past, there was a lack of schools because there was no peace […] after 1979, there were no schools to reopen because most of them had been demolished to build collective kitchens. Students then studies under a tree or under the monk’s stilt houses. We did not have chalk. Some of the schools had trenches. Teachers had to take care of students when there was a fight and took them to the trenches. That was how children and youth had to go through that time. The policy of the Cambodian People’s Party, and clearly the Santuk 2002 statement, I have declared that there must be one secondary school in one commune. We later declared there must be at least one secondary school in one commune […]

There are universities in Battambang/Banteay Meanchey/Prey Veng/Svay Rieng/Tbong Khmum/Kampong Cham and many university branches that provide more opportunities for students to study, including the wider access and opportunity for girls who previously had difficulty traveling to schools far from homes […] now schools have reached their remote locations. In the past, students looked for schools, but now the schools are looking for students […]

(3) School Lockdown to Evade Death of Covid-19; Pay Raise in 2023; State Staff Recruitment through Exams

During the Covid-19 stage, it was my great concern and a regret that we had to close down schools. However, should we not close them down, what choice did we have? (Should we leave the schools open, it) might have been fatal to teachers/students. Therefore, it is necessary to close schools and replace them with distance learning through online information technology system, where the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Information have worked together to get the works done […]

Indeed, in the last two years, our teachers, professors, as well as civil servants across the country have not received a pay raise as we had to save money to fight Covid-19. As I have said in other occasion, in 2023, our civil servants and the armed forces, as well as retirees or all individuals working for the state, will receive a pay raise. The situation has inverted. In the years 2020 and 2021, while the revenues decreased, the demand in expenditures increased. In the year 2022, while revenue increases, the expenses, such as medical treatment for Covid-19, are being reduced […] a revenues increase, though not enough, we have planned for salary raise opportunities, with teachers and doctors being the highest paid priority. Hopefully (the armed forces) as well as other civil servants are not jealous of teachers and doctors […]

It was to my surprise about the economic crisis in Sri Lanka. Some quickly predicted Cambodia would suffer collapsed economy as what happened in Sri Lanka. But I have heard that Sri Lanka has 1.8 million salaried employees. If was the case, Sri Lanka would earn just or barely enough to pay for government officials […] I am very careful about (the government civil servants) framework […] so far, whereas 10 people are to retire, I would allow to recruit only 10 people back, and in some institutions, only three or five people. That was for reducing the staff costs […] they have to take exam and we will select the bests. It is not possible to recruit so many with taking into consideration the national budget […]

(4) Cambodia’s Hun Sen; Vietnamese Language Department in RUPP; Hun Manet’s Visit to Vietnam; Two Crucial War Factors If CPP Does not Rule; Successive CPP Prime Minister Must Ensure the Country’s Stability

[…] Some have predicted that Hun Sen will lose power […] and that Hun Sen will die […] let me tell them that their predictions are not wrong. It is correct to predict that Hun Sen will lose power. Clearly, no one has ever been serving as Prime Minister until his last breath and after his death. Power is going to get away. However, please note that the power will not slip into the hands of anyone other than the CPP […] even if Hun Manet (would not be the successor), the power would not fall into your hands. Clearly, it will not be in any one’s hands other than the CPP’s […] Hun Sen does not change because Hun Sen needs to ensure peace for the Kingdom of Cambodia […] for the rest of his life. Hun Sen is still Hun Sen. Absolutely Hun Sen belongs to Cambodia […]

Two things should be elaborated […] the first is related to the establishment of the Vietnamese language department at the Royal University of Phnom Penh and secondly, comments concerning Hun Manet’s visit to Vietnam […]

The establishment (of Vietnamese language department) is not to bring in Vietnamese to teach the Vietnamese language in Cambodia. We have departments specialized in foreign languages such Laotian/Thai/Chinese/Japanese […] the profit is for the us Cambodians. Why profit? How many Cambodian students go to study in Vietnam per year – the army, the police and the civilians. If we have had language prep training here, it will be easy for them. Now more than 1,000 Cambodian students are (studying) in Vietnam […] to set up this department is for the benefit of us Cambodians […]

In addition, concerning Hun Manet’s visit to Vietnam, to some ,it seemed that Hun Manet was all wrong. There is a nephew who says that there is nothing wrong with visiting Vietnam. “If I were the ruler, I would deal with Vietnam too, but in a different way,” he said, and elaborated “he is not the Prime Minister, not the President, and in the army, Manet is the third person – the first is the Minister of Defense; the second is the Commander-in-Chief, and Hun Manet. There is nothing for Manet to go visit Vietnam other than to seek Vietnam’s advice. That is why I posted back last night […] what really bothers us is the fact that why they did not discuss the matter when Japan is in fact the one country that invited Hun Manet for a visit three times. I said last night on my Facebook that Hun Manet visited Japan at the invitation of the Prime Minister of Japan three times already […]

[…] These people, once it is about Vietnam, they quickly make scenes. It is on this note that I said Cambodia will inevitably face war if the CPP does not control power […] I dare say so. Why? There are two crucial factors […] the first factor is (they always) use the words like “they are to seize from the rich for the poor.” Then, a civil war will break out […] secondly, (they always show that they are) ready to invade the lost territories. Thus, Cambodia will inevitably be at war with Vietnam/Thailand. Should you be bold, you may make it your political platform in political competition in the future. You should state your policy outright that you will attack Vietnam to take the land […]

No need to explain any further because I already did five hours in Parliament. In the history of our country, when did we lose our land? Who is more patriotic than the King Father Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk, Preah Borom Ratanak Kaod? Did he ever demand the return of Kampuchea Krom? Did he ever go to get Koh Tral back? He only demanded the Brevie line as maritime boundary. Why do you say I am the one who handed over Koh Tral to Vietnam? We even deposit maps of land demarcation and maritime boundary at the United Nations, […] so far Vietnam has not agreed to accept the Brevie line as a maritime boundary yet […]

Some say it is not wrong (for Hun Manet) to visit (Vietnam) but what is not right is that Vietnam does not raise the Cambodian flag. Last night, I made my comment to the accuser. […] I would like to clarify that point a bit […] there are protocols for each country. Cambodia does not allow anyone to raise a flag in the Royal Palace. Whenever our King receives the head of state or receives Kings from other countries, he receives at the Deva Vinichai Hall, and there is no flag of any other country is to raise there. The visiting fellow’s flag is flown while observing the guard of honor already […] I should give protocol lessons to these analysts […] you cannot become analysts as you only create insults/incitement and by doing that you push me to be careful with you […]

[…] (they) accused Hun Manet of visiting Vietnam to receive orders from Vietnam or to look for Vietnamese support. I would like to tell you that Cambodia needs not ask for support for its Prime Minister candidate from any country. For Cambodia, first there must be the support of the CPP itself. After that, the person must be elected to become a Member of Parliament because the Cambodian Constitution requires that the Prime Minister must be a Member of Parliament. S/he has to go through the election […] once being a Member of Parliament, s/he has to get appointment as Prime Minister and proceed to forming the Royal Government. Once the Cabinet is formed, the Prime Minister elect submits for the approval of the National Assembly. If the parliament does not approve, even if with the King’s appointment as Prime minister, (the Cabinet formation process) would be null and void, meaning the National Assembly does not condone the Cabinet […]

It seems there is still confusion about the transfer of power […] if my children do not meet the conditions, I cannot let this party, especially this country, be destroyed by my children. If the CPP does not agree, it will not happen too. With qualifications, the person must also take up the responsibility to ensure that the country continues to be stable […] “if he (Hun Manet) wanted to be the Prime Minister, Hun Manet must do it differently from his father,” a man once said. Let me get back to him on this point that if “he was to do it differently, it means he tread on a different principle chartered by the Party. In that case, the only way to deal with it is to expel Manet from the party […] because he did not follow the party’s principles […]./.