Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen, in the Ceremony to Hand Out Diplomas to Graduates of Western University [Unofficial Translation]



(3) All actors involved in Covid-19 fighting allowed the country reopening in all fields

[…] I really appreciate the efforts made to overcome the difficulties of the past to bring the situation this far, including the contribution to the fight against Covid-19 in 2020 and 2021. It was an unusual situation indeed. I would take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the University Management Board, the professors and all the students who have contributed to the prevention of Covid-19, which allowed us to meet in persons again (as well as) reopening the country in all areas. There is no sector that we need to continue to block. We just have to adhere to health measures, as in here we continue to wear masks and social distance – according to the “3 Dos and 3 Don’ts” measures […]

(5) About 100,000 students/year passed the Baccalaureate is not a small thing

[…] If we take the number of graduates (in this university into) consideration, there are up to 16,441 graduates from the departure time in 2003-04 until now, which is about 20 years already. More than 5,000 students are still studying here. The figures are growing at several universities, including this one, which show that our students/youth are full of curiosity to get educated and to reach wherever they wanted to go. If we look at the whole country, that more than 10,000 students passed Baccalaureate a year is not a small thing […]

(6) Allowing the private sector to invest in the education, part of the state institutions offers fees paying program is the right decision of the Royal Government

The number of students taking the Baccalaureate exam is a testament to the hard work of parents and guardians, especially individual student. Ae have noticed that, after the 12 years general education, there is an increasing number of students in public and private higher education institutions, including also the contribution of the private sector. I had said last Monday at the Graduation Ceremony of the Cambodian University of Specialties that the decision to allow the private sector to invest in higher education, and the state higher education institution’s partly fees paying programs to help solve the problem of lack of study space for our students/youth, is the right thing the Royal Government has done […]

(9) With natural resources, no guarantee to be rich; no natural resources, not sure to be poor

We enjoy these achievements, which play an important part in solving problems in our country. Let us give the example in our region, as I have said before, that a country with abundant natural resources is not necessarily a rich country. Countries without natural resources are also not unlikely to become rich. Now, for example, in the framework of ASEAN, Cambodia is a country with rich natural resources, we can say that we have rich natural resource from gold/gems to coal, and we have not used it yet and we are just starting to invest in coal-fired power. There is also iron ore that we have not yet exploited. We have other natural resources, […] we are talking about our country as to why we have rich natural resources plus favorable weather conditions, like we do not have earthquakes, our country is still poor […]

(10, 12) Let there be no more political mistakes in Cambodia

[…] Occasionally there is a flood or drought, but it does not last long. If we look at the situation of our country, the benefits are many compared to other countries, but why are we poor? Problems start from political mistakes. Started by the 1970s coup d’état on March 18, 1970, which the 53rd anniversary will be in just one month from now, the country fell into war. The coup d’état overthrew Norodom Sihanouk. At that time, our country was developing remarkably. We marked development in all areas. The youth of that time also took advantage of the peace that emerged after the independence era led by Samdech Preah Borom Ratana Kaod the father of the nation. But the political mistake that overthrow of Norodom Sihanouk led the country not only to fail to develop, but also to suffer devastation. We have a hard time and the war flames burned all over the country […] this political mistake puts the country backwards as other countries move forward […] we must avoid making this political mistake. We always say that we must try to maintain the hard-won peace at all costs. Let there be no more political mistakes in Cambodia.

(18) Considering the construction of dormitories for the accommodation of teachers/female students, poor students, foreign students

At this point, we need to find a way to deal with the decline in postgraduate training (for female students). However, it is a pattern. At that level (of education, female students are at their ages of getting married. They are not free anymore. On the other hand, it may be related to the dormitory issue for the study of female students. I am looking into the possibility of building a dormitory somewhere in addition to the existing dormitories. Let us start with the students’ hostels for female and poor students, in addition to foreign students who will be coming to study in Cambodia. So far we have offered scholarships to Timor-Leste and to the Maldives to study in our country. We need to have dormitories to promote the learning and accommodation process of students, especially female students […]

(20) Some political parties seem to wish to destroy what we already have when they win the election

The policy-making of political parties is their prerogative, but they seem to have developed a policy framework on the basis of making things again. I do not understand either. Some parties seem to have rejected what the country already has (and is considering) to start restructuring everything again. What does this basic reorganization mean? The other day I made a comparison between our country and other countries that have the same regime change situation […] in South Vietnam (and) in Laos, they keep the currencies from the former regimes in circulation and then exchange it at a later stage. They keep the functioning of health and educational institutions, while for us here, (Pol Pot) destroyed all […] I do not understand. This is the right of other parties and I do not interfere. However, they seem to have developed a policy framework to destroy the old and redo things. What does that mean?

(21, 22) The two-day Party General Assembly will advise on the political program for the next five years; Policy framework 2023-28 focuses on people

The CPP will hold the National Congress this weekend for two days to discuss the 2023-28 policy framework. (The CPP political platform, as you can see, is) not approved by one or two people or 4 people, or 10 people. The party invite its officials/members from the district level to hold meetings to comment on the direction to be taken in the next 5 years, on the basis of what we have already achieved, […] we have to convene the extraordinary Congress of the nationwide representatives. It is not decided by Hun Sen alone or just a few permanent members or the Central Committee. It brings together thousands of intellectuals, starting from those representing the party at the district level, to come and share their ideas for the next five years’ political program on the basis of what needs to be changed. In that, human/people have become the most important issue.

As I said, the 2023 budget is focusing on people. Salary increases, interventions to help the poor with/in the Covid-19 time, coupling with inflation. These are all issues with impacts on human. That said, I do not demand other political parties to set out policies based on the achievements of the CPP ruling Royal Government. But if they issue policies that will restart everything, it is then what Pol Pot did. It means destroy both public/private universities and rebuild new ones. We still have shortcomings but that does not mean we are perfect. If we all do things perfectly, there would not need to convene the congress to discuss the political platform as to what to do, how to arrange budget to move forward. (We will examine) all aspects that we need to put out a policy […]

(24) Making the SEA Games hosting in Cambodia a national sports movement

[…] Let our people participate in the process of the SEA Games, which we have been waiting for more than 60 years, 64 years to be historically exact, […] let our people use the opportunity of the SEA Games in Cambodia as a national movement (to participate in sports), not a separate issue of sports in Phnom Penh, and working out how to make our country clean. Tens of thousands of people will come to Phnom Penh. Nearly ten thousand players/sportsmen-women will come for the competition […]

(25) To live another 20 years will see the population increase to 20 million

[…] Under Pol Pot, we had nothing to eat. Polpotists did not allow us to eat. Now, the Doctors recommended us to not eat (certain foods) […] human life is not stable, but I firmly believe that I am to live till I am (over) 90 years old. I will keep watching until the population grow to 20 million (people), from the only 5 million (people) at which point we started. Now our population has reached 17 million. If I live another 20 years, I will see our population increase by about 20 million (people) with other achievements built […]

(27) Cambodia is incapable of providing military assistance but helping to train deminers for Ukraine

[…] Cambodia has no capacity to provide military assistance to Ukraine. As for Cambodia, helping to train Ukrainian deminers is a purely humanitarian task. Cambodia has sent troops to clear mines abroad, contributing to peacekeeping under the United Nations umbrella. We now have troops stationed in four countries – Mali, South Sudan, Lebanon, and Central Africa. In the past, we had been in (countries like) Syria, Chad, Cyprus (in) Europe. How did we get there? There is an area of conflict […] that was under mines. The United Nations sent our troops there to help clear mines. We had sent forces to help clear mines, which are hidden killers in various countries […]

(28) Cambodia does not send troops and/or deminers trainers to Ukraine

[…] We have helped train people from Colombia and other countries to learn demining in Cambodia. We have an ASEAN Mine Center located in Cambodia. I would like to inform that any country that wants to come to learn demining in Cambodia, including Russia, they are welcome. We help train all. I would like to emphasize that Cambodia has not sent troops into Ukraine and has not sent our deminers trainers into Ukraine. What we are doing is purely humanitarian. Destroying landmines and unexploded ordnance is a task to be done everywhere in the world […]

[…] We have been doing the job of clearing mines and removing unexploded ordnance for thirty years (in the country) and it is not over yet. We have to make a forceful investment. The day before, we have had and used funds from the philanthropists, including His Majesty the King and Her Majesty the Queen Mother, with the donation of nearly US$ 19 million […] I have made an urgent appeal for the Mine Action Fund 2025, which immediately invested US$ 30 million for demining operators, including CMAC, and trained peacekeepers, demining forces and military units, to speed up removing the remaining mines, along with resource mobilization from abroad for the sake of removing the danger from mines in our own country […]

(29) Japan has financial resource, Cambodia has demining training facilities […] I would like to confirm as a political decision maker responsible for domestic and foreign politics that Cambodia will accept any country that wants to learn demining. Please come to study in Cambodia. Do not involve Cambodia in military action in Ukraine. Cambodia does not have the capacity to do that. Cambodia’s humanitarian work related to demining has been a bitter experience. Many people died and many people became disabled. Therefore, Cambodia cannot just watch the tragedy in other countries. Many Colombian (deminers) came to Cambodia […] As Cambodian Foreign Minister is visiting Japan, I urged him to discuss with his Japanese counterpart. Japan has financial resources and Cambodia has location for training […]./.