Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen, at the Inauguration of the Maternity Ward in the National Pediatric Hospital of Phnom Penh [Unofficial Translation]


(1) In time of Covid-19 strike, no construction projects suspended

I am pleased to attend the inauguration, at the beginning of the new year the new achievement – the 100% investment from the Royal Government made in the difficult Covid-19 phase of 2021. We already know that Covid-19 had been exploding in 2021 and we should not have been able to build a hospital. On the contrary, even though Covid-19 attacked us, construction sites all over Cambodia, not only the ones with the national budget, but the foreign-funded ones were not suspended. We invested about 400 million US dollars in Sihanoukville to build roads. We invested about US$ 200 million in Siem Reap (to improve infrastructure). We have also made counterpart funding for various investment projects, and even this hospital […]

(2) Progress made in the health sector since war and peace coexisted

Our health sector also flourished during that period. Today is one of the examples where all of you here, as well as our compatriots, can see the progress of our health sector, starting from a difficult journey in a country with peace and war coexisted. At that time, the war broke out in certain places and for some time, but this war after the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime could not prevent the country’s development. To look a little further back, 48 years ago, our people were forcibly leaving Phnom Penh, when some of whom died on the streets, some were killed on the streets, some were separated from their spouses and children. It was so unfortunate. In the next 48 years, according to statistics, more than 13 million people travel around the country to celebrate Sangkranta or the Khmer New Year. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the people all over the country who have joined in and rejoiced in the recent New Year celebration […]

(3) Two measures – mask wearing and testing – waived

After the Khmer New Year celebration this year, I am more confident (about our effort to control Covid-19) […] while after Pchum Ben in 2021, the infection rate dropped allowing us to start reopening the country gradually. On November 1, 2021, we reopened the country, but we had maintained certain measures. By the time of the Khmer New Year in 2022, I was really scared […] I saw a sea of people everywhere (going out celebrating the Khmer New Year). I think to myself, is it a right or wrong decision to allow people to gather without maintaining safe distance, while we continued to observe the “3 dos and 3 don’ts measures” […] I do not know how others would feel, but for me, as a leader, although I do not consider the people my own children and grandchildren, but I have a duty to protect them as I do to my parents and my children […] (with such confidence of control over Covid-19) some measures were waived yesterday. The first one is to waive the duty to wear a mask […] and another to take no test before joining assembly like this […]

(4) Achievement made for the treatment of pediatric diseases

Now about the inauguration (of this hospital’s maternity ward) using state budget together with the help of equipment from the Czech Republic. We thank the Czech Republic for helping us to equip this building. We have made an achievement that gives us more opportunities in the treatment of pediatric diseases […] I hope that it is necessary to improve capacity building of the health sector in all areas. In the past, we have done a lot through aid and direct investment […] now, some parts of the hospital with a capacity of 10,000 beds is running […]

(5) CPP’s government social protection policy for poor women will continue

We must ensure that people get access to (adequate) health services. Most importantly, we must increase the treatment capacity and ability for women and children. We call this building a maternity ward, a place to give birth, or a place where we are keeping our people healthy. We are carrying out the social protection policy for poor women from pregnancy to childbirth until the child is two years old is an important policy of the CPP that will continue […] and we are expanding the amount of money to be received for women […] I myself was saddened by the loss of my first child […]

(6) March 2023, total customs and tax revenue augmented to US$ 1,012 million

[…] At the end of each month, when the customs and taxes revenue are finalized, I send them to the permanent groups of the Party’s Permanent Committee and the Royal Government for information on incomes […] last year, (in March) we got about USD 900 million dollars. This year, we have more than USD 1,012 million dollars […] due to the global economic health difficulties and the country’s income tends to stagnate or decrease, (I had written) the following message: “Do not increase the spending while seeing that we have more money.” Yesterday, I signed a counterpart funding of US$ 8 million for three projects, though. We needed to have a contribution budget with various projects […]

(7) To make no charge on food and lodgments on SEA Games athletes

With only 15 days away, the SEA Games hosting will arrive. Please join us in receiving our guests. What we are doing this year will be different (from what they usually do). Despite it is a requirement, (we will show to the world that) Cambodia is a small country but with a big heart. (We all learnt that no country allowed) the Westerdam cruise ship to enter (in time of Covid-19 outbreak). Cambodia rescued thousands of people on board the ship. This time, Cambodia accepts players to participate in the SEA Games without having to pay as other countries used to […] however, it will be free only for the athletes. We arrange for them not to pay (for their food and lodgments). I have made the decision already […]

(8) From war to peace, although not yet rich, Cambodia has no food crisis

[…] Cambodia, a small country with a big heart […] welcomes players to participate in the SEA Games without having to pay (for food and lodgments) like other countries used to. We do it this time so that they know Cambodia better. Before, we Cambodians were forgotten. Now […] the Cambodian people are known, first, by the Khmer rice which is going to 73 countries […]; by cashew that is going to various markets […]; and black pepper, for instance, […] we are evolving from a Cambodia that was divided by war to a peaceful Cambodia, from a degenerate Cambodia to a resurrected Cambodia. Although not yet rich, Cambodia has no food crisis […]

(23) If 50% of the world’s spending on weapons transfer to producing drugs/medical equipment, the world reaps great benefit

In the world […] if only 50% of the money spent on weapons was transferred to producing medicine and medical equipment, and they are sold in the world only 50% cheaper, the world’s population would reap great benefit. Some countries, however, do not think so. They only think of exceling in one kind of weapons, and the other is finding a way to stop it […] and the one who really benefits is the manufacturer of the weapon that it has destroyed human life […]

(24) Next Khmer New Year there should be water blessing and not water spraying […] The day before, the court refused to charge an officer, the Deputy Director General of Civil Aviation […] if the court does not prosecute according to the law, I will apply the discipline first […] this is just a removal from office. Do not just possessing a gun and carry it to threaten others. Water guns are also uncomfortable. Seeing a posting that a British tourist being shot in the eye (with water). Do not play water spray […] next year there should be no water spray. (We should change it) to water blessing […]./.