Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen, conversation with workers in Kampong Tralach district, Kampong Chhnang province – Day 2 [Unofficial Translation]


(1) The current life expectancy rate of the Cambodian people is 76 years

Today, there are 851 pregnant women (female workers) […] we have a high birth rate. That is not a problem. What should be worrying is when there is a low birth rate, which could lead to a crisis in the future […] in some countries, the population growth is too low, bringing them a crisis after 50 years due to the growing number of old people and fewer young ones. The average life expectancy in Cambodia was more than 50 years previously. Now we can live an average of 76 years. People live longer. It is this longevity that we have to bear (the burden of taking them cares). I told the UN agencies in Phnom Penh that we need to strengthen Cambodia’s virtues, morals, and traditions […] our country has orphanages, but no retirement home because of traditions […]

(2) Population growth rate of 2.4/year, the remaining 5 million people from the Pol Pot regime increased to more than 17 million people

The current growth rate now is 2.4, lower than the 3.8 rate after the liberation. Each year we have an increase of the population by about 300,000. We have made a forecast that at some point our population will reach 20 million. Starting from just around 5 million people, it now over 17 million. If I am not mistaken, some of you who are pregnant may have been born after 1979? […] No less than 70% of you here are born after liberation. That is the result we have realized after the overthrow of the genocidal regime of Pol Pot and the establishment of peace for the country. When you were born in 1982, the war was still going on. But now this generation is very lucky because the war is over […]

(3) Without peace, even survival is difficult

Without peace, do not talk about development, or even about protecting life. It is difficult. Look at Ukraine, Mali, Central African Republic, and the ongoing fight in Sudan – how many people have died? That is the tragedy of war that we do not want to experience its recurrence […] No country in this world where there are more orphans than in Cambodia. In terms of population, there was no country with more orphans and widows than Cambodia at that time. Why? The Khmer Rouge killed their parents, killed their husbands, and left their widows […] they had to eat either corn or bananas to survive. Previously, we would do anything just to fill our stomach. Later, we had to eat full and to your heart’s content. Now stage of eating full and to one’s content is over. We must eat safe and healthy. This issue has become another concern of the Royal Government […]

(4) Workers’ pensions are better than civil servants/armed forces

[…] Until they all meet the required conditions for a certain number of years, civil servants are entitled to retirement schemes […] the condition is more favorable to workers than civil servants and/or the Armed Forces. The civil servants and the armed forces, for example, have to be doing service for 25 years to receive a pension and would not be entitled to it if you do not serve the said period. When we are going into retirement, we will not depend on family members or our children […] we have to ensure the future and think about everything. We think of it not just for that day, but for the future of the people that we enlist in the pension schemes under the labor law. When we grow old, we retire, we do not have to depend on our children to raise us. We have our own salary to support ourselves when we grow old […]

(5) Build infrastructure to support development and attract investment capital to the provinces

Could you have ever thought from 30 years ago that there would be factories in these places? Or even 20 years ago? Clearly not. No one could have imagined of a factory here. However, the Royal Government’s vision for development has focused on building infrastructure to support development, including attracting investment capital to the provinces, including Cambodia […] firstly, we wanted the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to establish a processing plant, warehousing and collection network (in Cambodia), and supply to the UAE market according to the varieties that serve the needs of the people of the UAE […] secondly, we have more than 1 million tons of raw materials – cashew to process. We export dozens of tons of cassava a year without processing and look at other investment opportunities, including oil […]

(6) Domestic labor income of 3 billion dollars / year and abroad …

As is reported by HE Ith Sam Heng, Minister of Labor and Vocational Training, the amount of money we receive from labor that the Royal Government has created locally is about US$ 3 billion a year. From workers we sent to South Korea, we receive about US$ 1.5 billion, to Japan about $ 1.4 billion, to Thailand about $ 400 million, and to Malaysia about $ 300 million. Whose money is this? This money flows into people’s pockets. How many of you here? tens of thousands of people, how much do you all earn in a month? […] the policy on electricity is that we do not raise the price. We try to find a way to bring the electricity price down, but if we cannot get it down, we must make sure it will not go up. Almost all the villages have electricity. The rest of the villages – with ten to twenty houses – are far away from the national network (that further effort needed to be made) […]

(7) Satellite cities owners should re-arrange credit after the one during Covid-19

[…] I ask the owners of the satellite cities to understand the difficulties of those who used to have high but now lost their income. Should reorganize the credit again. How many months have they not been paid? For example, now you have to pay USD 500/month for 15 years. Now you can reorganize the credit – say, reduce the amount to only USD 400 or USD 350 /month (for an extended period of time) […] the government must support both sides. I reasoned that the landlord who sold the house had no problem. This is only postponing it. Repayment will take place. Any confiscation is not good for the national economy and for Cambodia’s socio-economics. Confiscation creates pain and loss for those who have been confiscated […]

(8) EBA will disappear in 2027, Cambodia is not affected by (withdrawal of) GSP, strengthens resilience

[…] that Mr. Hun Sen did not dare to meet the workers for fear that the workers would shout for the EBA […] it is not that you workers do not know, but have you suffered because of the (20% reduction of) EBA (policy) yet? None […] EBA is not going to be there. In 2027, it is gone. We will have to try to survive […] as for the GSP (Generalized System of Preferences) of the United States to 37 countries […] I do not know which country has been affected, but Cambodia’s export to the US market is not affected. This is to strengthen the resilience of the economy […]

(9) The war in Ukraine and the excessive sanctions of Europe affect the income of almost all countries […] Am calling again to the landlords who are ready to seize the houses (because of late payment or inability to pay) […] please stop the seizures […] it is a fact that people’s income have been reduced due to Covid-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and the excessive European sanctions, with almost every country, including Cambodia, feeling their incomes affected. Please understand that point […] stop the seizure immediately and reorganize the credit. The buyer must also be responsible for the payment, (just reduce the monthly payment and extend the period) […]./.


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