Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen, at the Diplomas Presenting Ceremony for Students of the Royal University of Law and Economics (RULE) [Unofficial Translation]

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CNV:

[…] we have faced difficulties, and we have overcome them together. In the field of education, we have seen a new opportunity has arisen at the time of the Covid-19 epidemic. We have closed down schools but we replaced face-to-face classes with online learning. This can be considered as a leap forward in the digital front. Crisis always embodies opportunity. The estimated 4 million students had learnt online or we can say collectively a digital platform. Digital platform is at its booming stage during the crisis. It is one of the fortunes of the world that Covid-19 was born after the world has already gone online. If the world has not yet found this online connection, perhaps during the shutdown of individual countries, we will not be able to meet […]

This year, thanks to our efforts, the country has reopened (its socio-economic activities) since November 1, 2021. Today marks the one-year anniversary of the reopening of the country, which boosted our country’s economic growth to 3% in 2021, after declining to -3.1% in 2020. The economy this year is (estimated to) growing at 5.5 percent as we have put in place a budget law to manage the financial economy for 2023 with a prediction that our growth will reach 6.6 percent. This is also due to all our efforts to reopen the country, in which schools are reopen after online studies […]

I observe that the three state universities are still gaining popularity in accepting students. The first one is the Royal University of Phnom Penh; the second is the National University of Management and the third one is the Royal University of Law and Economics, and there are other public schools that have been accepting an increasingly large number of students. These are the human resource that will continue (to develop the country) in the future. What we of this generation build or former generation built are not for ourselves, but for the next generation. Our ancestors built for us, this generation, and we are building in this generation for the next generation (or) successors. For instance, RULE was established in 1982. I had the opportunity at that time to teach a few courses and it was since the school was flooded and under corrugated zinc roof […]

Without peace, we can do nothing. Obviously, no one can study under a bomb. People will run away from school, like in 1970-75, how many areas were there that people were still going to schools? […] this evening, at 4 pm (in Cambodia) and 11 am in Kiev, I will have a telephone conversation with the President of Ukraine on bilateral relations as well as Ukraine-ASEAN relations. We have a Ukrainian student with us here. During the former Soviet Union era, Ukraine helped train Cambodia’s human resources, including our naval officers in Crimea. If we look at the situation in war-torn countries and ask if those countries can provide opportunities for students to study or not, the short answer is “no.”

We still remember those schools remaining in the post-1970s war, in some of the liberated areas, there were always trenches. Schools in the city were open but also were under the threat of war. In between 1979-1993, some areas students and teachers carried out classes under the threat of war. Teachers had to protect their students from death or injury in the event of armed clashes. As of present, the Cambodian youth are really lucky that they are no longer suffering from the war. They have more opportunities. We continue to work for the growth of ourselves and our families, which is a great contribution for our national development. Do not talk about development without peace and do not talk about development without human resources. Development requires human resources […]

[…] (The Royal Government increases) efforts to invest more in human resource training. The 2023 budget law has already been set out for increasing spending on people, including education and health, which have received large sums of money. We give priority to such things […] those with higher education and post-graduate […] only from these two universities together have numbered more than 10,000 people […] recently, some commune chief candidates have bachelor’s degrees […] it is better to have educated people to take up the jobs. Almost every official in every institution … and even the district officials have higher education (or post-graduate degree) […]

Reviewing the old memories, I refused to be the Minister of Foreign Affairs because I did not know a thing about it. I said “I would be willing to take the job for three months, and when we all entered Phnom Penh, clearly there would be intellectuals who knew foreign affairs”. I did not expect to be the person that has been in the government from January 8, 1979 until today […] I was only 27 years old at the time, while other leaders were over 40-50 years old. I am very young and can be compared with other leaders as father and son. I have traveled with older leaders and worked together for a long time, till now almost 44 years. Just a few more months it will be 44 years. A few more months, I will be in the post of Prime Minister for 38 years. This is considered that I am the longest-serving prime minister – from the youngest one to the longest one […]

[…] Yesterday, the United States of America had had (their President limousines) arrived (at the airport) […] wherever he went, he took his own cars. The Russian President Vladimir Putin may also be sending his cars. That are their habits. Leaders of other countries use cars that we prepare at their disposal. This meeting is not small for our small and poor country. We must know for ourselves that it is the fact that our country is at peace that our friends dare to come. That our country protects security and social order, and there is no terrorist attack, our friends, who are all superpowers, will come to the meeting […] so far, we have not received any response from the Russian President Putin fwhether he will join us attend the meetings – ASEAN and Russia, and the East Asia Summit […]

[…] Some have suggested that while there are great number of agriculture officials, why not appoint anyone of them as agriculture ministers, and take mining engineers for the job. The (new) Minister of Agriculture responded in an educational way – “Do you know all about agriculture? What is agriculture?” […] agriculture is not just about growing rice? Just take agronomy. Do you know it all? […] such words in their suggestion show a lack of knowledge. What is leadership? As for me, I do not have every knowledge. I do not know everything about any subject. I just have to know parts of it and that would be enough […] even though I used to be in the army, I only know that much about infantry […] regarding leadership, the key thing is to know how to motivate the officials under his leadership to work effectively […] while setting out the policy and lead its implementation properly […]

[…] I am calling on people who have not yet registered to vote, please go and register to vote to exercise your right to choose the leader on July 23, 2023. Political parties that will participate in the election or will not participate in the election, and have their members (and/or supporters) should encourage them to register to vote to avoid any discontents later and complain about the problem that “s/he is supporting so and so party, but s/he do not have her/his name in the voters list” […] I hereby once again call on all people of all political persuasions, including young people who have just reached voting age, to register to vote to exercise their rights […]./.