Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen, Conversation with factories workers from Samrong Tong and Kong Pisey districts, Kampong Speu Province [Unofficial Translation]

CNV:

(1) After liberating the country, trading life for peace

Even if I have a problem with Covid-19, it is worth it. In the past, I had a lot of sacrifices. It was not just going through a handshake, taking photos together happily like this. My life is left from death (because I used to be) a fighter in the fire of war. I did not know if I would be dead or alive in/after the fight. I then traded my life for the survival of the Cambodian people (from the Khmer Rouge genocidal regime). If I did not do so, the question would be, did we have a chance to liberate the country? You know the answer. If I did not do something, one of the most obvious things is that I would die. I did not know what happened too. After the liberation of the country, I had to trade my life again for peace by entering the Khmer Rouge-occupied areas. If the former forces of the Democratic Kampuchea were not loyal with the win-win policy, I could have been shot dead by those forces […]

(2) The salary of USD 451 million/year goes in the pockets of Kampong Speu people

More than 20 years ago, could we have thought that Kampong Speu becomes the second province with that many factories? In the past, according to the elders, people humiliated each other calling the underprivileged after the people who reside in Kampong Speu province or one of its districts – ankles bangels shaking (Rolak Kong Choeung). Not anymore. We had a competition for freshy boy and freshy girl in the garment industry, it turned out that the best contestants were from Kampong Speu. This shows a profound change in the territory of Kampong Speu. Currently Kampong Speu has 385 factories with 150,000 workers and earns an average wage of US$ 481 million/year […] This salary of US$ 481 million/year or almost US$ 500 million goes into pockets of the people of Kampong Speu […]

(3) Kampong Speu has a garment factory, ethanol, sugar, car assembly and cement in the future

Kampong Speu has got more than just a garment factory. Kampong Speu has reached the stage of sugar production, ethanol production, car assembly. A cement factory will soon be present in Kampong Speu province, making Kampong Speu a province that supplies cement for construction throughout the country. According to the investors who visited me, the production capacity is about 2 million tons per year. We now produce (cement) for our own use of more than 9 million tons, but the demand for cement in the country is increasing – on the one hand, for building houses and on the other, for roads. We now use cement to build concrete road […]

(4) Kampong Speu ended the war in March 1996

We must value the peace we have fought so hard for. Be aware that a part of Kampong Speu territory just ended the war in March 1996. At that time, the Oral area was to be integrated with the (then Democratic Kampuchea’s) 18th Division under the command of Keo Pong. Our country has just ended the war and division, leading to national unification and territorial unity for the first time in history as of December 29, 1998. We have just had peace for 24 years, but these 24 years give us the opportunity to attract investment for the development of our country […]

(5) Of the USD 29 billion garment exports, US$ 13 billion is from garment

As reported by (the Minister of Labor and Vocational Training) HE Ith Sam Heng, in 1997 Cambodia had only 64 garment factories with more than 80,000 workers. At that time, our workers were paid only US$ 40, with an export value of just over US$ 200 million. Now in the garment sector, the factory has grown to 1,326 with about 840,000 workers, and exports reached US$ 13 billion in 2022. Of the US$ 29 billion in exports, the garment sector is worth US$ 13 billion […]

(6) Cash support according to the number of children until the child is 2 years old

I decided that from August onwards, those who have twins must get cash support according to the number of her children. Definitely, with more children, she must receive higher subsidy […] I have made the decision from Kampong Speu and you may have to write it down – “on Saturday, June 17, 2023, the Prime Minister decided to implement cash support for pregnant women until the child is two years old, and according to the number of children she has” […] the world economy is suffering from many factors – wars, arms races, geopolitics and mutual sanctions – have brought consequences for many countries, even our country that has nothing to do with their conflicts […]

(7) Provincial governors to concentrate on economy, no politics, no fighting

It has been a while now that the Royal Government has transferred functions/duties from the national level to the sub-national level. Recognizing that there is more work at the sub-national level, the Council of Ministers has amended the law to increase the number of seats for the capital, provinces, districts and Khans. There are many deputy district governors and the deputy provincial governors that they should be able to help with the tasks. First of all, they have to hold on to their own provincial economy, or otherwise you are not qualified to be the provincial governors. Leading a country or leading a province must first think about the economy. There is no politics and no war anymore. Let us just gather in improving economy […]

(8) Kampong Speu has an income of nearly 500 million dollars/year from industrial labor, not including agriculture and services.

Last night, (the provincial governor) HE Vy Samnang sent me the income of Kampong Speu province from the labor in the province […] with this number of workers, we have had an income of up to nearly 500 million dollars per year. Not small. This does not take into account the share of available agriculture and services in the province. GDP per capita, low or high according to places, but on average, across the country, is close to 2,000 (dollars). In some places, it may be over 3,000 (dollars) […] now we are campaigning for the fifth dose of Covid-19 vaccination. Please do not give up on the Covid-19 vaccine. It has not completely gone. Although the World Health Organization no longer classifies it a “public health emergency,” the World Health Organization (WHO) still recommends a booster dose. The government is continuing the process for vaccination against (Covid-19) […]

(9) After the no-vote campaign, the opposition resorts to spoilt ballots campaign Every five years, good citizens must fulfill their obligation to vote for their favorite political party. After the amendment of the election law against the non-voting campaign was sent to the National Assembly, they (the opposition) resorted to deliberately spoilt ballots campaign […] the law stipulates that those who lead such campaign can be imprisoned. That is not a threat. This law has imposed penalty on anyone who obstructs/disrupts voting, registration, and/or inflict harassment and other irregular activities […] that does not respect the citizens’ rights to vote and instruct people to invalidate the ballots. In the 2018 elections, they did the same […] this time, for example, if s/he does not go to the poll for the legislative general election, s/he will not be eligible to stand for Commune/Sangkat Council election in 2027. In the case of the National Assembly members, if s/he did not vote in the general election on July 23, 2023 and the general election for the Commune/Sangkat Council in 2027, s/he will not be eligible to stand for election in the 2028 National Assembly […]./.

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