Selected Comments Samdech Techo Hun Sen, Conversation with Workers at 81 Factories in the Royal Group Phnom Penh Special Economic Zone (Day 2) [Unofficial Translation]


(1) The second-round meeting with workers reviews the implementation of the 10 recommendations and the results of the first-round meeting

[…] From May 22 in Sihanoukville yesterday and today I have met in total, both in Sihanoukville and here about 60,000 workers. The specific purpose of the meeting is to review the implementation of the 10 recommendations and what has been achieved looking to the status before the first-round meeting and the outcome of the first-round meeting so far […] let me cite a small example. It can be small and it can be big. It has been my intention to let female workers with pregnancy to stop work and get out of the work line first. Why do I want them to leave first? The reason is that if they come out at the same time with other people, it is clear that there would be jostling between pregnant and non-pregnant women. Such congestion will make it difficult for pregnant women. That is why I suggest to let the pregnant women leave at least 15 minutes early, and if some factory management can let them leave earlier than that it is even better. However, it has to be not less than 15 minutes before time […] I think that the Minister of Women’s Affairs is happy with the policies I have put out in the past for women, and they are policies for women workers […]

(2) Factory owners and workers should complement each other

Gatherings to review progress and find new solutions are a way to move the country forward, supported by the development of links in the areas of agriculture, industry, services, and linkages between factory owners and workers […] why the Royal Government wants and strives to attract both domestic and foreign investment to the country? […] promoting only agriculture cannot become a rich country and we cannot develop. Pol Pot’s theory to have rice is to have everything – did not work […]in the end, the people were starving […] we are developing all areas. Agriculture continues for the growth of the rural economy and for the supply of food, food security in our country. But at the same time, the industry and services are being taken care of to attract investment […]

(3) Provide infrastructure, electricity, roads, legal documents to meet the needs of local and foreign investors

After 1979 and for most of the 1980s, our country had very few factories or all the loss factories except for the profitable cigarettes. At that time, who came to invest? No one invests. Our country is at war. When our country is peaceful, we strive to build infrastructure, electricity supply, roads, legal documents and network systems to meet the needs of both local and foreign investors. Without peace, there is no opportunity to attract investment to our country. (With peace) you are here sitting listening to the Prime Minister. (Without peace) this is the time when you are working in the fields with your parents […]

(4) Prime Minister held forums with farmers, now with the private sector and workers

In the 1980s, we had a hard time. At that time, the Prime Minister held forums only with farmers in the fields. People may have seen pictures of the dialogue between the Prime Minister and the farmers in the 1980s and 1990s discussing where to dig the canals, what roads to be built, etc. But over time, there have been many opportunities for the Prime Minister to hold meetings with the private sector in relation to industry and other non-agricultural sectors. In the future, we have to meet with Oknha(dukes), because it is these dukes who create the capital to provide us with jobs. I wanted to explain this point. Some people say they will take from the rich and give it to the poor. What is different from the Pol Pot way? How do we get rich people to invest their money to create jobs for us? […]

(5) The basic salary of US$200/month or US$7/day is above the poverty line

In terms of salaries, in the garment sector alone, we receive more than USD 3 billion in labor. Each worker receives a minimum benefit of US$ 200. For 12 months, it can be up to US$ 2,400 per person. According to the previous universal declaration, whoever earns US$1/day crossed the poverty line. The latter one – US$ 1.9 limit is considered to be above the poverty line […] now, you earn US$ 200 a day or between US$6 and US$ 7 […] I have received figures from His Excellency Pan Sorasak, Minister of Commerce […] for the past four months, we have exported US$ 7,334 million. Last April alone, we exported US$ 1,842 million. Thus, the export value of our country, both in the garment and agricultural sectors, is increasing. We must expand it through efforts in all areas. We want the industry to process existing raw materials in the country […]

 (6) Extremists with undemocratic methods for power

Please join au to keep peace. In fact, why can we be here? It is because of peace, not because of war. When a country is at war, everything on land is destroyed […] all I wanted to add is unless we keep peace, we will not be able to secure development […] you all know who could and have kept the peace so far? It is the peace seekers who keep the peace. Those who do not seek peace are trying to destabilize the country. They do not think about who dies, who lives, but only how to get power […] they blame me for staying in power […] let me ask them want do they think when they also seek power? They have used undemocratic methods for power, wanted to kill Hun Sen, wanted to arrest Hun Sen, and wanted the armed forces to turn their guns on Hun Sen. What do they make of think? This is a way to seize power in a process that is not democratic and that must not be tolerated […]

(7) Tolerate no extremists to seize power in a non-democratic process

This extremist group must not be tolerated. Otherwise, our country will suffer again. Your goal is to make a color revolution, as in the case of the peasant revolution that you are stirring. How many more places? […] I am asking our foreign friends who give money for such movements to withdraw (from such action). We will do our research to find out where you got the money for training like that. We cannot allow a country to be destroyed. Some people say to us that there is no need to talk about peace if the country is already at peace. I have to say it is because you want to destroy the peace in my country. If you do not want to destroy the peace in my country, I do not need to talk about it. You, however, again and again, through this or that way, so many ways, (want to destroy the peace in my country) […]

(8) Cambodia must ensure peace and sustainable socio-economic development

You need to understand the (consequences) of agitation. Who would have thought that there would be a war in 1970, at which time Cambodia was nicknamed the Island of Peace. This island of peace has become a hotbed of war. Millions of tons of bombs were dropped on the heads of Cambodians. We cannot afford to be negligent. No matter who would say what. Cambodia must have peace to ensure the peaceful life of the people and sustainable socio-economic development […]

(9) Cambodian extremists called for sanction, stop buying Cambodian goods and no investment in Cambodia I commend former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and former Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. Both brother and sister had been Prime Ministers of Thailand. Despite being overthrown by a coup and unable to enter the country, the two have never called on foreigners to cut aid or stop buying Thai goods or stop investing in Thailand. Unexpectedly, the extremists in Cambodia are calling for foreigners to punish Cambodians, stop buying Cambodian goods and not invest in Cambodia. You will wait to see your own destiny. Opposition in other countries never killed their own people by demanding a stop to investment, a halt to buy goods, and/or to impose sanctions. The opposition in our country, would demand all of them wherever they go […]./.