Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen, conversation with factory workers near Wat Prey Speu, Khan Por Senchey, Phnom Penh [Unofficial Translation]


(1) 72nd anniversary of the foundation of the Cambodian People’s Party; 46 years of history of the struggle for national liberation, national unity, peace, territorial unity and development

Thank you for joining us today. Our meeting took place on the occasion of the 72nd anniversary of the foundation of the Cambodian People’s Party. This year, we do not celebrate the 72nd anniversary on June 28, because we are going to combine with the launch of the election campaign on July 1 in the coming days. However, […] today numerous messages of the CPP members posted for the occasion (on social media). The party is 72 years old and the party’s president is 71 years old. I was born later. We learn of the past from history. What is clear for us is the last 46 years period that I have been in the history of leading the struggle for national liberation as well as the struggle for national unity, seeking peace and territorial unity and development […]

(2) Strengthen the Cambodian tradition of caring for the elderly when there are more elderly people in our population

During a meeting between the UN agencies and the Royal Government (at the time that e hosted the ASEAN summit and related summits), the UN officials raised concerns about the future of Cambodia, which will have more older people in our population. As of present, we have more younger people, but in many parts of the world, many developed countries are starting to have less young population, and more old people. It means that the younger population will have to work harder to feed the elderly.

At that time, I said to them that there was a need to strengthen Cambodian traditions in order to respond to the concerns of (increasing number of) the elderly. In that Cambodian tradition, (children are) to take care of their parents and elders in home. However, some children abandon their parents […] everyone has the same concerns, rich or poor, as to who and how will they be looked after. We have now resolved the financial part of it. When you grow old and cannot do any works, you will have pension as those employed in the Armed Forces and the civil servants […]

(3) Reduce fainting in factory, get vaccinated, implement health measures

You may have remembered, especially the former generation of workers in our country, whether in Phnom Penh or in the provinces, very frequently there was this case of fainting. It was at the starting stage and many factories were built with lack of ventilation. Gradually the workers fainted. After finding out the cause and taking care to correct the issue, our workers are healthier and fainting is reduced. We pay more attention to health […] the fact that I am asking if there are any of you who did not get vaccinated is because I wanted to make sure that you did not have the vaccination not because you did not want to. We have this misunderstanding in the beginning that we had to refrain some people from getting it for fear of endangering life. In our country, however, no one is at risk from vaccination […]

(4) Phnom Penh registered 9,314 factories/enterprises, 727 garment factories, 340,000 workers, and US$ 1 billion/year labor cost

In total, there are 17,000 factories / enterprises nationwide. Phnom Penh has the largest number of factories/enterprises, up to 9,314 factories/enterprises. In the garment sector, there are 727 factories with nearly 340,000 workers, and the value earned is more than US$ 1 billion. Thus, the Cambodian market is not short of US dollars. The Royal Government has allowed factory owners to pay factory owners in foreign currency. This point helps ensure both sides. On the one hand, the factory owner guarantees that there will be no loss due to exchange rate fluctuations, but on the other hand, it ensures that the purchasing power of our workers does not decrease through the exchange rate […]

(3) Three economic crises: “Jump not yet high, fall back not hard”

There have already been three notable economic shocks. The Asian financial crisis of 1997-1998 had had little effect on Cambodia […] back then, I said “as we have not jumped high, falling back is not very painful.” At that time, our economy was small. In the wake of the 2008-2009 financial crisis, the impact on inflation was neither high nor large, as we used diversified (currency) payments. As of now, the Covid-19 crisis and the Russia-Ukraine war, combined with unilateral sanctions, are hurting the global economy. Inflation in other countries is skyrocketing. In Cambodia we still maintain the purchasing power of workers by taking measures to increase wages, but also try to keep commodity prices as affordable as possible […]

(4) In 2022, industry contributes 38%, services 35%, agriculture 21.3% in GDP

In the future, as tourism picks up again, the service sector may expand. Usually, countries have larger contribution from the service sector, followed by industry and by agriculture consecutively. A small share of agriculture in GDP does not mean that we are anot able to feed the people. Previously, Cambodian agriculture covered about 80% of GDP, but we lacked rice. At present, agriculture is only 21.3%, but we have the capacity to export more than 4 million tons of rice per year. We export more than 1 million tons of cashews, tens of thousands of tons of cassava, mango, and longan. We are expanding the export of Khmer pepper. In addition to the unprocessed, we also process for export. We have exported fish. The service sector, tourism to mention it, dropped during Covid-19, but agriculture is accounting for 21.3%, industry for 38% and services for 35% in 2022 […]

(5) Do not trust external intentions to offer pardon

I have already said the reason why this/that person is imprisoned is because everyone expressed loves to the criminals too much. The court is investigating the person’s collusion with foreign entities, and many foreigners visited and brought the person to the embassies. That is what I called “shaking my hands and steeping on my feet.” How can I trust you? I do not request the pardon for the person because I do not trust those foreigners who intend to wipe me out […] from now on, I am sending a message that anyone who has foreign intervention (must) serve full term imprisonment. As long as there is foreign interventions, there is no relaxation, and do not put the person on the list of mitigation and pardon […] Apparently, the “shaved-headed Apsara” is in prison at the province of Preah Vihear. The other day, there was a visit and she sent a message out telling her intention to go on hunger strike […] do not assume that that case is sensitive and affecting (relation with) this/that country. (She is a) Cambodian […] even foreigners, if they make mistakes in Cambodia, Cambodians have the right to try and imprison in Cambodia […]

(6) It would be better if the world reduced the production of weapons and increase production of affordable goods/medicines

The economy is the biggest thing in the world. If the world today shifted from the production of weapons for killing each other to the production of goods, especially cheap medicine, it would be better. Reducing the cost of producing lethal weapons by only 50 percent to produce cheaper means of transportation, especially cheaper medicines and medical equipment, will make human health better than killing each other. What can we do, when the world has had every means – above, below, under the sea, to destroy each other? We are concerned that countries with nuclear weapons are attacking each other with such weapons […] however, we pray that there will be no nuclear war. If it happens, no one wins […] even if we do not die from the effects of radiation, we still have to suffer from economic problems […]

(7) “sky netting” to drop drones in violation of Cambodia’s sovereignty

Yesterday, I issued a strict order to send forces to help the 1st military region solve the problem. At the moment, I ordered the Commander-in-Chief of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, Vong Pisen, to install all weapons in the 1st zone […] follow my rules. We are hanging the “sky net” or shooting from under it […] let us warn any country that allows drones to invade Cambodia and carry out terrorist attacks on Cambodian territory, once we know for sure from the investigation, we will file a complaint to the United Nations. Let me affirm which unit shoot down a drone, I donated 200,000 US dollars […] I wanted to know where the drone really came from? […]

I assure our people to not worry about war eruption. (We have this incident of drones) flying into Cambodian airspace. I believe that the breakaway forces that fled from Vietnam are taking refuge in the Cambodian soil. These (drones) intruded to establish communication with them […] the other day, there was a case that we chased after and one of them ran dropping a phone […] we did not know that there was a phone (dropped) […] when another phone (call) came in, we picked up and listened. The caller was from Vietnam and we know that it is the voice of the ethnic […]

Let me confirm to our compatriot, this is (a proof when we talked about) the three generations traitor having signed (an agreement) with Kok Sar (while egret). It is the Degar. The three- generation traitors who signed with the state of Degar must be prosecuted. That force is nothing else but the FULRO force. Then try to disguise it as giving rights to indigenous peoples. Where are the indigenous people? Behind Kok Sar standing with the three- generations traitors there were an American flag, a Cambodian flag and a Degar flag […] in fact, Kok Sar is dead, but (we do not know if) the deal is. However, black or white, we will fight them all. This land is the Khmer land and it is not to be cut off and give to anyone. Cambodia’s indigenous people have had enough land already […]

(8) Drones could either come from a country or a ship

I conclude that when they crossed the border to launch attack in Vietnam, its master crossed Cambodian territory. He is lucky that he got out of Cambodia (before we knew it) […] I doubt two points (about the presence of the drones). First, they may come from a country that I do not name. Second, it could be that these drones fly out of a ship [..] Commander-in-Chief Vong Pisen must give a strict command. Chhay Sinarith (of the police force) has to give orders to the police. The heavy weapons, however, are with the army […]

Let the ground troops explore below. There would be some traces left. I am giving a strict command to fight them out. I really want to know where they come from? If that is the case, country that provides (drones and drone operations base) […] should be concerned that it might suffer a terrorist drone strike (itself). The drones are in that country. If the government cannot control them, the drones could attack the government in that country […]

(9) National security is not a simple thing; Good security come investors Cambodia has been closely monitoring without negligence (even on private security companies). National security is not a simple matter. If we keep good national security, investors will come […] this (drone incident) is a complete violation of Cambodia’s independence and sovereignty. We asked the Vietnamese, they said that they do not know about them. What good would it do to Vietnam to fly a drone without notifying Cambodia […] Cambodia has the ability to help Vietnam search for them […] Vietnam has a special division to search for these insurgents […] Vietnam has not yet captured all of them. The first news came that the insurgents fled to this area of Sre Pok […] let us increase the search force. Most importantly, from tonight, just shoot down those drowns and report to me. Do not worry that the Prime Minister has to sleep at night […]./.


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