Audio Message of Samdech Techo Hun Sen on the Political Functions Re-appointments [Unofficial Translation]


Venerable Buddhist Monks,

Excellencies, Lok Chumteavs, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear compatriots,

First of all, I apologize for my voice as I seem to be a little hoarse. This morning I had a golf session. After losing some calories, it is normal that it makes a hoarse sound. However, I have to convey this message especially to Excellencies, Lok Chumteavs, Ladies and Gentlemen who work within the framework of political affairs. There has been a great deal of congratulations from the people and all walks of life regarding my dedication from not holding the position of Prime Minister and giving the jobs to the younger generation led by Dr. Hun. Manet to ensure the sustainability of peace and development.

The congratulations of the compatriots show the need to ensure long-term peace and development. I understand that my great sacrifice is a sacrifice for the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation to ensure that this nation does not fall into chaos, instability, or power grabbing at gun points as it happened in the past. I am leaving in a situation where the CPP is leading/ruling with more than 82% of the votes, the highest ever in the history of the CPP, with only 75% and 74% at the commune election in 2022.

I would like to thank you for your support of my decision and consider that this is a national process that we needed to handed over to the next generation so that they can do a better job. However, I also grasp the concerns of the Excellencies, Lok Chumteavs, Ladies and Gentlemen in various institutions related to their future duties. Samdech Say Chhum, Samdech Sar Kheng, Samdech Tea Banh, Samdech Men Sam An, Dr. Hun Manet, Dr. Aun Porn Moniroth, His Excellency Keut Rith, and I have had discussion at my house, and we have decided to keep all officials who have already been appointed as Secretaries of State, Undersecretaries of State or advisors to the Royal Government, so that they will continue to do the jobs.

The ranks appointed by the Royal Decree are re-appointed by the Royal Decree, the ranks appointed by the sub-decree are going to be re-appointed by the sub-decree, and the ranks appointed by the decision of the Minister are also going to be re-appointed. I would like to emphasize that for those who hold public office, there is no problem, except for those who have reached retirement age. Public functions, such as the General Department, Deputy Director General, Head of Department, Deputy Director of the Department, Head of Office, Provincial Governor, Deputy Governor, District Governor, Deputy District/Khan Governor are not affected. Military officers of all ranks, military police officers of all ranks are not affected unless they are of retirement age and are required to retire by law.

For those who hold political positions that are appointed as Secretaries of State, Undersecretaries of State in the Ministry, they will continue, except for those who resign due to age or illness. The already appointed advisors to the Royal Government shall be re-appointed. For this appointment, the political office is divided into three levels, appointed by Royal Decree, from the level of Director General up to the level of political function. In terms of ministries, from the Under-Secretary of State and the Secretary of State are appointed by Royal Decree. The advisors are also appointed by Royal Decree, ranging from the Director General, the Under-Secretary of State, the Secretary of State, the Minister, the Senior Minister to the advisor who is the Deputy Prime Minister.

There are still advisors appointed by the sub-decree such as the Deputy Director General and the Head of the Department must also be re-appointed. In some ministries, some retirees are appointed to continue working, and there is a need for some officials to be appointed by the ministerial proclamation as deputy heads of departments and heads of offices. I have discussed these functions thoroughly, especially with Dr. Hun Manet, with His Excellency Aun Porn Moniroth, His Excellency Keut Rith, who are keeping the discussion going with me about the future process. In this regard, you may not worry about what is going to happen to you.

The only thing that needs to be reformed is the function of minister attached to the prime minister. In the past, a number of ministers attached to the prime minister – who have been working directly with the prime minister, (were appointed among those holding the position) as secretary of state. We leave it up to each of them to choose whether to remain Secretary of State or to be the Minister attached to the Prime Minister. S/he may choose only one. I would like to emphasize that the reform here does not affect many people. Some are secretaries of state in ministries, but there are also additional (positions as) ministers attached to the prime minister.

The Minister attached to the Prime Minister portfolio will be kept for two major entities, which I have told the future leader. It will be reserved for the Director General of Taxation and the Director General of Customs, both of whom will work on the one side with the minister, and on the other with the prime minister, who has to have direct control of the daily budget. This case is a must. For others, it is necessary to choose whether to remain the Secretary of State in the Ministry or to be the Minister attached to the Prime Minister. The is the only reform that has an impact.

I would like to reaffirm that all of you who have been appointed before will continue to (be reappointed). Please be informed that these Secretaries of State, Undersecretaries of State and advisors will end (their positions) on 22 August (2023) along with the end of the term of office of the Royal Government, and will also be re-appointed. In particular, the ministers who are no longer in office, including some deputy prime ministers, some senior ministers, and some ministers, including myself, before I am going to be the President of the Senate next year, have to sit as members of the National Assembly. Former ministers who are not members of the National Assembly may be appointed to serve as advisors to the Royal Government or to be nominated as senators in the future where possible. Others who are unpaid advisors, re-appointment is not difficult. It does not weigh (on) the budget (for) the position of those advisors with honorary nature for them to have easy communication with related authorities to help build the local development.

On this note, I hope that the future Prime Minister, the future ministers in every institution will continue to pay attention to the work to be done with the incumbent officials, the officials in the current position – so that they can continue to work without changes, unless the said persons asked to stop. This is a confirmation to address the concerns that has come to my attention so far. Blessings to all the Venerable Monks, Excellencies, Lok Chumteavs, Compatriots. Please be blessed with the five blessings of the Buddha. Thank you./.