Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen, to the Graduation Ceremony of the Vanda Institute [Unofficial translation]


(1) In Covid-19 Pandemic, Nearly Four Million Students Were Doing Online Studies; Right to Life Is the Greatest Right; Nearly 95% of the Population Vaccinated

The past year of 2020 and 21 were difficult years for us all. However, the professors, the management and the students who graduated today have overcome the difficulties to transfer and to receive knowledge and continued the sustainability in education. The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports has set the course of education – in time of infectious diseases, by the advancement of information technology or digital platform. Nearly four million students receive training through online system. Through the high school exams in 2021, we observe that the number of students who received A Mention was three times higher compared to the previous period.
Online training is not unproductive should there need to have education through this system. We do not want to follow this system, but the situation forced us to do so. If we do not do that, it is clear that the situation could be more difficult for us. We would not be able to know how many would died last year. “We are near the abyss of death,” I said then. In a short time, more than 3,000 people died (of the Covid-19 pandemic). This situation requires the Royal Government to take necessary measures to protect the lives of the people, because the right to life is the greatest right. After Covid-19 has subsided, we have been able to reopen the country since November 1, 2021. It shows clearly to our people that the measures taken by the Royal Government are the most appropriate to address the longevity of our people […]
Last year (we allowed out people to celebrate the ritual) only through to the 4th day (of the Pchum Ben festival – the fifteen-day Buddhist alms offering ceremony). We had to find a solution so that the monks, the pagoda committees and the Buddhist followers can proceed with the ritual safely – people continue to offer alms and we can prevent the spread of Covid-19. This year, however, thanks to the success of keeping Covid-19 under control, the monks and the people can clearly see that the measures taken by the Royal Government are in fact for the protection of the peaceful lives of the people. If we were to let people holding the ritual last year, maybe some monks and Buddhists would not be able to perform Ben or Pchum this year […]
In addition, those who are infected are treated at home because we have acquired community immunity through basic doses and full booster doses. Cambodia is considered to be one of the leading countries in the field of Covid-19 control and the most vaccinated, so far nearly 95% of the population has been vaccinated. This is an achievement that provides an opportunity for us to get together for the graduation ceremony today, after holding no graduation ceremony in 2020 and 21 […]
(2) Private Sector Investment in Education and State Universities’ Fee Paying Programs – Correct Decisions; Salary Increase After Being Unable to Do so for Two Years Due to Covid-19 Pandemic; Private Sector to Be the Locomotive of Economic Growth; Perfecting Free Market Economy in the Past 30 Years; Internal Taxes Increase, Customs Decrease
[…] The policy that we allow the private sector to participate makes a huge contribution to the training of human resources. We cannot rely solely on public schools. I reiterate that I am proud and even more proud because of my right decisions – firstly, open the opportunity for the private sector to invest 100% in building schools from kindergarten to Higher education and there are both locals and foreigners to invest. Secondly, I agreed to give the opportunity to the state universities to offer fee-paying programs for the school’s survival – helping the professors and developing the universities […]
What is interesting in these figures are the fact that 172 of graduates have works in the state ministries/institutions, equal to 4.75%; 2,449 people in private institutions, equal to 78.79%; 78 in national and international NGOs, equivalent to 2.16%, and 517 in own businesses, equivalent to 14.30% […] it has been advised that one must be very careful about the staff burden. As a standard, staff burden should be only 4% of the GDP, but for us we spend little more than that. We can afford. Despite our overpayment, we are still able to increase the salaries of the Armed Forces, the civil servants as well as the veterans and retirees for the next year. We failed to raise the salaries of the Armed Forces, the civil servants two years in a row already […] because we are prepared for the emergency situation of Covid-19 […]
The absorption of 4% (from GDP for staff costs) is not large. The remarkable point that we should be proud of is that fact that the private sector has absorbed up to 78.79% of graduates, almost 79%. It means that our private sector is growing and strengthening, and requiring human resources for development. We consider the private sector to be the locomotive of economic growth. Most of the human resources trained in higher education institutions are accepted by the private sector to work on the one hand, to solve management skills, and on the other hand for the growth of own company itself. Some say the growth of the company itself is in the private interest. You are right. But you must not forget the connection between the private sector and society. As the private sector grows, it helps solve problems for the country’s economy by tackling employment and by paying more private sector taxes […] from which we are able to invest (in) building roads. Canals, schools, hospitals, raise the salaries of our civil servants […]
[…] (we have spent six years on initiating) reform to reach the stage of a free market economy, along with the signing of the Paris Agreement. For more than 30 years, we have been pursuing/perfecting a free market economy, which means that, so far, we have not reached the end of economic reform because we still lack some of the instruments of accession to World Trade Organization. Our country has been a member of the World Trade Organization since 2004 […] the role of the private sector is very important […] only internal taxes, regardless of customs duties and non-tax revenues, are starting to grow again. We get at least US$ 250 million a month […] normally, developed countries have (decreased) tariffs (but) internal taxes increase […]
(3) Knowledge Is the Long-term Asset; “One Commune One Secondary School at Least” – Offer Opportunity for Children in Rural Areas, Especially Girls; Education and Health Continue to Recruit for Human Development Goal; Rebels Abroad Advise People Not to Pay Banks
[…] (Knowledge from) learning is a long-term asset. Inheriting wealth as money, gold, or diamonds does not guarantee long lasting survival. Inheriting knowledge is fundamental […] being a peaceful nation gives us the opportunity to develop in all areas, including the connectivity, schools locating close to the countryside, which creates opportunities for children in rural areas, especially girls […] thanks to the 2002 Santuk of Kampong Thom province, (Santuk statement) policy – “one commune, one secondary school”, now we are talking about one commune, at least one secondary school” […] the Royal Government provides the recruitment opportunities for (the human development) sector to two ministries – the first is the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, and the second is the Ministry of Health […]
Some (of the people in the opposition wander around and) whisper promises that when (they) win the elections to become the commune chief, (those who voted for him/her) do not have to pay the (money they owe to the) banks. That is the target that the bank must seize as collaterals […] some who borrowed for purchasing motorbikes and/or gambling and are not able to repay the loans go around telling people if (s/he) wins the election, (people) do not (have to) pay the banks. The bankers are whispering us that they are the ones who are not paying the banks. They asked for confiscation. I said “just do what you have to” […]
(We have asked the banks to work on restructuring their credits schemes) so that people can go on doing businesses in time of crises, and while we are calling for such loan restructuring, there comes a call from the rebels outside the country for people not to pay. (In light of that I just made an) announcement to lay bare the faces of those who involved in this propaganda and encourage banks to confiscate […] the central banks are raising interest rates in all countries, including the United States/Europe […] at a time when Cambodia is begging the banks and (micro) finance to cut interest rates […] some mobilized people to make no repayment to banks. They are the targets of confiscation. They borrowed money from the banks and they do not want to pay them back. What a cunning move.
(4) Poverty Cards Given to People to Move Settlements Out of Angkor Zone; Do Not Allow Angkor Wat to Be Removed from the World Heritage List; It Is Up to the Fact that the People Really Receive Money; Assisting Old and Young in Poor Households
I have used the Poverty Card to solve the problems of our people. It has been two years now and about ten rounds already. Initially, it was not much money, but when Covid-19 arrived, we provide social assistance to people affected by the pandemic through the existing Poverty Card. Now, I order issuing the cards for the people who voluntarily leave (the area) of Angkor to new resettlement places […] I just saw comments in one of my phones that some had called on people to firstly, do not hand the land over, lest the administration will sell the land to the private sector, and secondly, they asked people to stay a bit longer to bargain for a for a bigger compensation.
I would like to inform you that this is the time when the Royal Government is begging you to leave and is working on infrastructure (for you in the resettlement places). I met almost 4,000 families in person, plus those who came from Siem Reap. When the time came, we would not give out even one cent and move you out of that area […] we would not allow Angkor Wat to be removed from the World Heritage List. We surely will evict them […]
Some said that Hun Sen uses Poverty Cards as a means of propaganda. I am preparing to tell (DPM and Minister of Economy and Finance) Aun Porn Moniroth to find a way to include the number of families affected by Covid-19 (and) those effected by inflation. Now we are spending almost 40 million a month to assist people. We will continue. It does not matter who says the Hun Sen government has not got anymore money. It is not up to what you say but up to the fact that the people really receive money […]
The more those talk nonsense, the more I reveal it, because you lie everyone that you would give old people a salary of 40,000 riel/month (should they give you their votes). What I am doing is not only encompassing old people, but the old and the young in the house. I think a package. There are about 700,000 poor households. Even if I add another 100,000 household, it is not more or less. Among them, the poor are not only the elderly but also the children and their parents in the house […]
(5) World Heading Towards Major Economic Crisis; Maintain Political and Macroeconomic Stability; Welcome Toyota Plant to Phnom Penh
[…] The world has reached a new stage with many predictions/evaluations from world economists that it is heading towards a major economic crisis starting from the US/Europe. It is obvious that it has stemmed from the Russia-Ukraine war, but it is not the only reason for economic hardship. The sanctions that are placed on one another affected not only Russia and Europe itself, but also us who are not involved in the conflict […] there are signs as in 2008-09, when the global financial crisis stroke, and we had to close down some factories because people’s incomes in Europeans was declining […] hopefully the world will find a compromise that can avoid the global economic crisis […] what we need to continue to do is to maintain political stability on the one hand and macroeconomic stability on the other […]
The other day I met the Prime Minister of Japan. The interpreter spokes softly behind her a mask. My ears have difficulty to hear what she was saying. After the meeting, I have asked my staff to write me the minutes immediately (as to what are the points the Prime Minister of Japan) had said since I was not sure I responded to all of them (because I had difficulty listening to the soft voice translation). (The minutes read) “the Japanese Prime Minister (proposed) to set up a Toyota company to manufacture cars in Cambodia, and he asked His Excellency to support the project.” I failed to respond to him on that important question. This is what we have wanted for a long time for it to happen in the Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone of Oknha Kith Meng. We wanted that project. I failed to answer his request for support to Japanese Toyota plant investors […]./.