Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen, impromptu speech to workers at Camton Industrial Park, Ponhea Leu District, Kandal Province [Unofficial Translation]


(1) The second round of workers’ gatherings were impossible due to Covid-19

[…] Actually, I wanted to run the second round (of meetings with workers) as soon as possible, but unfortunately Covid-19 was in the way […] and in early 2023, before the (Covid-19) test requirement waived, we did not have a chance to meet […] exemption (of test) created opportunity for gatherings again […] you have worked hard to implement the three health measures – 3Dos and 3Donts, and adopted vaccines to make Cambodia one of the leading countries in keeping Covid-19 under control […]

(2) Becoming one of the leading countries keeping Covid-19 under control

Covid-19 requires caution, but it is not as urgent as it was in 2020 and 2021. There is a report from Singapore that the Prime Minister of Singapore is Covid-19 positive. Covid-19 is now like a common cold. Please take this opportunity to express your appreciation to all the factories, especially to the workers who fought together against Covid-19, which was a big concern. What was the most worrying fact was the possibility of a Covid-19 explosion in a factory crowded with workers. One factory, hundreds of thousands. It was very scary and worrying. All of you have worked hard to implement the 3Dos and 3Donts health measures and adopted vaccines to prevent disease, making Cambodia one of the leading countries putting Covid-19 disease under control […]

(3) Closing of factories during the Covid-19 phase due to shortage of supply of raw materials from countries under lockdown

That is why we have the opportunity to reopen the factory along with the arrival of raw materials for domestic production and responding to orders and export. This is the time to thank all the workers here and across the country for joining the Royal Government in the fight against Covid-19. During the Covid-19 phase, we also experienced some factory closures. The closure was not caused by anything other than a lack of raw materials. Countries that sell raw materials were not able to transport us what we needed because they too had to go into lockdown. Transporting raw materials from one place to the port to transport to our country was not possible […]

(4) Returning Cambodian, Laotian and Myanmar workers from Thailand will damage Thai enterprises themselves

I would like to take a closer look at the 10th recommendation regarding overseas workers. As no one knows for sure what is going to hap[pen yet, (the election winner) in Thailand has threatened to expel Cambodian and Lao workers. I just advised the electoral winner in Thailand, “I do not interfere in your country’s politics, but I hope you look farther from Thailand.” You win the election, but it is not sure yet that you can become Prime Minister and form a government. You have put in place a policy that is harmful not only to Cambodian, Laotian or Myanmar workers, but also to Thai enterprises that employ workers from Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. We need to monitor (this situation) thoroughly to ensure our workers working (situation) in Thailand […]

(5) Recommendation 10 to prevent the impact on workers working in Thailand

The Prayuth Chan Ocha government has transformed illegal workers into legal workers. So far as we know the election winner gathers only 151 seats, while he needed 376 seats to form a government, on behalf of which, no one knows what will happen, he threatens the expulsion of Cambodian and Laotian workers. I think this politics may not have the support of neighboring countries like Cambodia and Laos. Cambodia just warns that they should be careful. I do not discipline Thai politicians. Cambodia has been closely monitoring and not interfering in the internal affairs of other countries, but what happens there is affecting our workers working in Thailand. This is the 10th recommendation I give to the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training […]

(6) What we are having now is because we have peace

Do you know where is everything we have today coming from? Most importantly, we are having everything today from our hard-won peace. When we were at war, no one came to invest. If we were still at war now, some of you might not have been born because either your parents were dead in that war, or those factories and enterprises where you worked were not present. (As far as factories locations are concerned,) we are not just aiming for Phnom Penh. We have deployed factories to the provinces. In Kandal province alone, there are many factories, up to […] more than 309 factories. Separately, in Ponhea Leu district, there were 25 factories. We used the word “sports to live in peace.” It is quite correct. However, I wanted to say that everything lives under the roof of peace […]

(7) The opposition wants unrest to overthrow the government

This peace is not only needed by those in government. Those who support the opposition or the leaders of the opposition also need it. But the party leader inspires chaos because he is not in the country. As far as we know, the locals do not want a tumultuous war. They (the opposition) still want unrest so that they can take advantage of the unrest to overthrow the government. But I already warned you guys not to do anything illegal. We have to accept the reasonable reason that where there is no peace, there is no development […] they accused me to hang on to power. They are right. If I do not defend power, would there be peace for the Cambodian people? You have no face and no ability to manage the peace of the country. You just wait for your turn to revenge. We do not allow you to act at will. Even these days, over and over again, you still want a demonstration. I insist that if you dare to go ahead with it, my order must be obeyed. Do not create chaos […]

(8) Asking foreigners to cut aid, not to buy goods and to punish the country is breaking workers’ rice pots

[…] The opposition leaders often asked foreigners not to invest in Cambodia, not to buy goods from Cambodia […] with these requests […] who are you losing? […] if they do not order, the factory will be closed. The factory is closed and the workers are unemployed. You just have to go back to farming with your parents […] you have to point your fingers at the opponents, “You are breaking my rice pot. You go and ask foreigners to cut aid, not to buy goods from Cambodia, and to punish Cambodia through this/that” […] only the CPP can find jobs and protect your rice pots […]

(9) NGOs must make financial reports to the government

[…] Already discussed with Samdech Krala Hom Sar Kheng. (Those organizations must) confirm financial statements […] which NGOs get their money from which source/s? […] if you do not do it, (we will have the law to) dissolve the organizations within a few months. This is set out in the draft amendments to the law relating to NGOs. I am sending this as a message to friends and NGOs. The government’s position is not to back down on the issue of financial statements […] financial reporting laws is what other countries are doing. While those countries can do it, (ironically) when we the Cambodians do it, (they say) you cannot […] geopolitical situation requires us to be careful […]

(10) Do not threaten about sending no election observers

Let there be no threat to send no election observers (to Cambodia). There is no need to do so because the election matter depends on the people who cast their votes and the National Elections Committee (NEC). If there is a complaint, the Constitutional Council will step in to (resolve it). After that, the King convened the National Assembly and formation of the Royal Government commences, after which HM the King will sign in approval. You do not need (to threaten). You wanted to threaten (that you will not send any). No need to send. There is no need for talk on such thing to Hun Sen. Send in if you want to and do not send in if you do not want to. There is nothing difficult […] please do not consider us a child with his finger in his mouth. We also are a country […] I always say frankly with them that they are lucky that they are born in rich countries, and with that credit, they came to discipline me. But their brains are not sure any better than ours […]

(11) Has the UN Special Rapporteur – a Thai national – ever demanded Thaksin and Yingluck return to Thailand?

[…] To the UN Special Rapporteur (Vitit) Muntarbhorn, you may look at your own Thailand […] did you ever demand that Thaksin and Yingluck enter the country? […] do not look at Cambodia as rubbish in your eyes. I would like to reprimand you […] I do not discredit the Thai government or the Thai people, but let me ask the UN Special Rapporteur who raised the wrong issues with Cambodia, what kind of democracy does Thailand have? […]./.