Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen, at the handing over ceremony of diplomas to students of Vanda Institute [Unofficial Translation]

CNV:

(1) The era of competitive economy, overthrowing partners economy

[…] How to strive to compete. This is not a race. We use the word “competition”. A competitive economy is not an economy that overthrows partners. Like some banks break some banks. That was in the past. This is not the time of that because we have proper oversight […] the stage where one bank is pushing another bank down for survival is a competitive challenge to win. Our era is a time of competition for growth together […] in the regional framework, we are not going to sabotage the growth of this or that country. It is impossible to do so because the target is a nation. It may be a miscalculation with the idea that, for instance, Vietnam must be weakened, Thailand must be weakened for Cambodia to rise. That is quite wrong […] I am talking about competition. So do not compete to kill each other but compete to promote growth together. Nowadays, China has advanced to 5G while some countries have not yet arrived. They so try to stop China […]

(2) The economy should function so that it does not collapse in any way, so that no country has problems

From among us here, we must strive to make our economy run together, with no part of it collapsing. All countries in the world should not let any one country have a problem. With only Sri Lankan problem, IMF and some other countries are in a lot of headaches about bankruptcy, economic collapse […] America and Europe are our markets. If the US and Europe have economic declines, it will lead to less orders made to us. We export a lot (of items), even rice, to Europe, to the United States. Our rice enters the European market a lot, because Europe prefers Cambodian rice. Cambodian organic rice meets European standards. This is the point of competing in a win-win situation, not in a losing situation. We do not take part in any campaign to destroy any country […] the world is competitive, but it has to be competing in a win-win situation and progress together for a prosperous world. Otherwise, it is like lifting a stone and dropping it on one’s own feet […]

(3) Internally, people did not understand the importance of ending the war through political negotiations

[…] There are three pressures on me when I put two reform packages. The first is the political reform package. The war in Cambodia must be resolved through negotiations, not through the war. How many people thought that Cambodia was doing this right? […] In 1987, the party cell at the Ministry of National Defense held a meeting and replied to this reform effort that the negotiations would be tantamount to eliminating the achievements we had made in the past […] on economic issues, some came from North Vietnam, plus some people inside, did not understand what the reform was about. They do not like the private economy […] and secondly, at that time that the Vietnamese army was still in Cambodia, Vietnam was (practicing centrally planned) cooperative economy, Cambodia already aimed to distribute land ownership to the people […]

(4) Change from a solidarity production group to the one that helps each other

(Regarding the land and mode of production reform, in the province of) Kratie, thing was the most severe then. I went to Sambor district, accompanied by Nhem Heng (the party committee leader) and Say Chhum, then Minister of Agriculture, and the Sambor district chief solemnly declared that “I am committed to turn the third type (of the solidarity production group) into the second type, and the second type into the first type.” Interruptingly, I said “and continue to starve everyone.” Suddenly, their eyes widely opened. I said that I am not here to urge you to form a first or second type of solidarity group. I want you to share labors/your hands, which has been a Khmer tradition since ancient times. If one family had not yet planned for transplantation on that day, they went to help transplant others. When it was their turn to transplant their fields, the families they helped could come and do it in kind. I wanted you to do that. I wanted you to restart that to join forces. Helping each other is in tradition […]

(5) Cut the hat to fit the head and cut the shoes to fit the feet to follow the wishes of the people

[…] (they published articles with) big headings “sinking or floating”. At the time, (well-known journalists like) Jean-Claude Pomonti andJacques Bekaert, who wrote for the Bangkok Post, asked me, “Do you follow Gorbachev?” I said, “I do not need to cut my head to fit the hat or my feet top fit in the shoes. I have to wear shoes that fit my feet and I have to wear a hat that fits my head.” The Soviet situation is not the same as the situation in Cambodia. I must follow the wishes of the people […] and be realistic. In short, at that time, if the Soviets were not happy, they could just say if Cambodia let Hun Sen to go on as the Prime Minister, the Soviets would stop providing aid, then there would just be a fight among each other. But the Soviet Union did not say anything […]

(6) Two men detained for questioning in claims to have insults on HM the King

While we were doing this (perfect sports fire lighting ceremony) yesterday, something happened […] we brought two young people in to ask. One of them mentioned that it was an insult to HM’s power to put the image of His Majesty and His Excellency Chea Sophara to one side. Please give us your answer (as to where the) insults are? On the other hand, they talked in “cafes” about who the real king is. We have no tolerance […] yesterday, I, Samdech Krala Hom, Samdech Pichey, Lok Chumteav Men Sam An, His Excellency Chea Sophara, His Excellency Hang Chuon Naron, Lok Chumteav Pheung Sakona got together (to check) where could that insult to HM’s power that they said could be […] I replied to the comment on Yim Sinan’s page – “Only HM the King knows …” This point can be seen in the pictures. All re-screening […] I do not urge the court to take what I say as the weight for the charges. But I have to make an interpretation to ensure that the King is not insulted and that the Prime Minister is not despised […] I assure you that I will not tolerate any of these insults […]

(7) If Free Asia wants to enter Cambodia, all of their current announcers must be removed

One person asked if doing so (accusing of insulting) is guilty or not […] I wrote back in comment that “if there is no guilt, then it is strange” because this is not a joke. HM the King is the institution, the head of state and the Prime Minister is the chief executive. Why are they (interpreting in a sense to cause) division? Do you want to distort (the truth) while millions of people across the country watched the event live? Last night, the clients of Free Asia and of Cambodia daily cursed His Majesty on Radio Free Asia. Let me tell the rubble group that they should not enter Cambodia. A few months ago, Free Asia wrote a letter asking to return to Cambodia. I did not say anything, but I gave them a condition – if you wanted Free Asia to come to Cambodia, you have to remove all the current announcers. If you dare to do that, I will allow your return

(8) A deliberate slander that is destructive and insulting to the King, and destroying the reputation of the Prime Minister

[…] let all TV stations replay all the live broadcasts to see where (that they say) is an insult to the royal power and/or where they say who is a real king […] either you take the point about the umbrella or the point about the seat arrangement […] I think the police and the court know how to reason. This is not a right to express one’s opinion, this is a deliberate slander that is destructive and insulting to the King, and destroys the reputation of the Prime Minister. This time, (I will) hit it. Do not say that I hit the right to freedom of expression, but anyone who slanders and distorts information in events that are broadcast all over the country […]

(9) If you want to block the path of Hun Manet towards the position of Prime Minister, you have to block the Cambodian people

Lately, Manet is not aware of anything (about being promoted in rank). Suddenly, people send him messages of congratulations […] you need to understand clearly that Manet does not need to wear four stars, as you said it, to advance to the position of Prime Minister. It is his path. You cannot prevent that. If you want to prevent it, you have to stop the Cambodian people’s (aspiration). Some say that (promoting Manet’s rank) shows the power of the Prime Minister. In other words, if to be a prime minister is powerless, why do you need to be one? […] holding the largest army, Manet was the three stars general. How come? do you understand? Why you (do not analyze) when other people get promoted? […]

(10) Treading between hot and cold from now before his time as Prime Minister comes

(Is it not obvious that) your goal is to unite as a front to hit on Hun Manet? I would like to provide a forum for you to hit on Hun Manet because you would do the job on my behalf. I am quite concerned that my son is soft. Doing that, you have done so you fulfill my intention and so that Manet knows how to protect himself, and treading between hot and cold from now before his time as Prime Minister comes. You do not know Hun Sen well. Hun Sen used to say that having a strong enemy is better than having a friend who is weak and ignorant. You should understand the language. You helped me strengthen the capacity of Hun Manet […]

(11) Do not wait for peace to be lost to cry for it

Some people say that there is peace now and why do we need to talk about peacekeeping […] if you do not think about peace, do not protect peace, would you let peace disappear and then cry for it to come back […] who would have thought that Cambodia had a war in 1970? At that time, Cambodia was nicknamed the Island of Peace. Who would have thought that Cambodia was at war? Anyone over the age of 65 or over, who would have thought Cambodia was at war at the time. Who would have thought that Iraq, Syria, and Libya are at war? Keeping the peace is an obligation at all costs. Do not think that there is peace (and it is free from threat) when insults on HM the King and screaming for change of regime are heard every day. People can listen to the words of the traitors on tape. They are talking about changing the monarchy, demanding the King to resign, and only last night, cursing the King (on radio) […]

(12) Cambodia’s right to strengthen its military capabilities to protect national security

Do (you see that) we need to protect (to Royals and monarchy, and peace)? We all have a duty to protect the throne, the constitutional monarchy […] countries must be careful on matter of national security. Why other countries need to strengthen military capabilities? Cambodia has the solemn right to strengthen its military capabilities, its security, its national security and the safety of its people. Why (do you think that) Cambodia cannot, while others can. Germany is a democratically advanced country, but there are traitors and coup plotters […] I am sorry that I was forced to say this. It is all because some say that Cambodia needs not talk about since peace is already there […] while at the same time they called for the armed forces to fire on the government, to dissolve the monarchy, to demand the King’s stepping down from the throne. Shall we all stand still? Shall we punish the traitors? Shall we punish those who wanted to overthrow? […] I am begging, if they are foreigners, to please consider the concerns of Cambodia […]./.

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