Selected Comments HE Kitti Tesaphibal Bindit Hun Manet, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, at the gathering of 18,000 factory workers in Takhmao City, Kandal Province [Unofficial excerpts and translations]


(1) Continuing to make sure that people are the target of RGC duties

I have the honor to come and meet people, especially workers in Takhmao city. I would like to thank His Excellency, Lok Chumteav, the leaders of the Senate, the National Assembly, especially the members of the Royal Government who attend in large numbers today. I would like to give the principle that if you have matters to oversee at the ministries or workplaces, you may not have to make presence here […] and may the protocol people arrange it accordingly. In case Excellency Lok Chumteav, the Ministers, could not make your presences to the gathering like this, please appoint a permanent Secretary of State or any leaders at the Secretary of State level to participate in order to handle the works and in case I have relevant questions […]

The Royal Government of Cambodia – both national and sub-national institutions, especially in the past 40 years led by the Cambodian People’s Party, has given priority to serving the people as a whole. The government of the seventh legislature National Assembly continues to lead without abandoning the tradition and the most important goal is to make sure that the people are the target of its duties, which is an important principle […] and just so that you know I am now a resident of Takhmao city as well […]

(2) To ensure people benefit and live better

[…] We are especially concerned about our human resources from the very beginning. We have scored results and it evolves forever […] the main principle is to ensure that people benefit and live better. As we are in the process of modernizing […] integrating in the world, we are also competing with other countries in the world […] competitiveness requires the competent people […] we have to think about his health, ability, knowledge, learning from a young age. We think of him/her from birth, prepare various policies for him/her […] born and continue to help enter kindergarten, primary, secondary school … from inception to birth, to education, to create jobs for them […]

(3) The 2023 election result – the voice message of the hearts that trust in the CPP

Believe it or not, as long as you continue to trust in the CPP, we will continue to lead the policy of serving the people, creating jobs and improving the quality of life of the people […] I thank our workers, their families and the people of Takhmao City, and throughout Kandal Province, who in 2022 and 2023 have sent a heartfelt message that they trust the Cambodian People’s Party led by Samdech Techo in building the country in the past and will provide opportunity for the Cambodian People’s Party’s new generation to continue to lead the country […] it is the national matter, and each citizen who strives to build their own future, strives to work honestly, increases capacity and income, contributes to the development of the national economy, build our commune village and help the nation […]

(4) Equity linked with social justice, where profits distributed to all

We help our people to have a (good) life by creating more jobs, setting up a more efficient leadership system in all areas, ensuring equity means that the profits are distributed to people everywhere, and those who are not successful et, the state must help. That is equity. This equity must be linked to social justice. Social justice means that profits are not concentrated on the few, but distributed to all people – rights, freedoms, livelihoods and all kinds of opportunities […] we must do these things with sustainability. We cannot make promise today and run away tomorrow […]

(5) Maintaining balance in labor market, creating harmony between employees and employers

We need to make sure that there is rice in a cooking pot. We can be sure of that only when out jar is filled with rice […] to develop policies to help the employment sector aims to maintain balance in the labor market, the work environment, care for both workers and employers to create harmony, because these two are a couple in creating jobs. By employer, I am not talking only of the owners of big companies, but even those of you who have a small business, like running a noodle shop with a few employees, etc. We have to think of everything. We need to pay attention to small and medium enterprises, and micro […] for whom have we – the Royal Government of the 7th legislative term – set out the policy … it is for all of you here, for your family, for your descendants […] for the people throughout the Kingdom of Cambodia […]

(6) Job creation taking into consideration both quantity and quality

Job creation is an important task that we need to consider both quantity and quality. Quantity must be calculated from the number and location. We need to increase the number of jobs, more goals and more sectors […] and push to reach the goals […] not just concentrated in Phnom Penh or Kandal province […] to create jobs, what do we have to think about? Not just quantity, we must take quality into consideration as well […] firstly, we strive to enforce the law to protect the rights and freedoms of workers […] we increase inspection mechanisms to help address informal work […] establish and promote policies to ensure the health system including food and the environment […] the Royal Government is committed to continue to increase the minimum wage of workers as well as civil servants as much as we can afford […]

(7) Spending to help people is never too much

Think of the cost (of transporting people to/from their residential provinces in times of national festivities) from time to time, the state spends as much as 600,000 dollars […] the cost of helping the people is never too much. Spending that benefits/reaches the people, – big or small – we do not falter, as long as it is necessary and reaching the people. We must release to them […] in time of Covid-19, we had only about two or three billion in saving, Samdech Techo (Hun Sen, former Prime Minister) suspended the construction of schools, roads, and place the money (in necessary fronts) to protect people’s lives without regret. The life of the people is the most important. Life is the breath and/or the land of our nation. It will not work well if we have only land but without people, and vice versa there is no people but without land. Though there is economy but without people as a pillar, we cannot be strong […]

(8) Implementing policies to serve 17 million people

I thank the people who voted for the (CPP, which brings about the) new government here. In Kandal province, 89.17% of the registered voters went to the polls and 83.55% of the of them voted the Cambodian People’s Party. To win one person’s heart is already difficult and to win the hearts of 6.2 million voters could not be easy […] people have voted to give the CPP a chance. We are now able to implement the policy. We need to implement policies to serve 17 million people, not just 6.2 million people […] people support the CPP and the leadership of the CPP, especially Samdech Techo, who was the head of the Royal Government, who, along with many other CPP leaders, have entrusted this new group to the helm of the country, serving the people, continuing their cause of serving the people that they had been doing for 40 years […]

(9) In just one week, the government already sets policies in motion

From the day of electoral victory, CPP did not take three months (to formulate what it will do for the people) but the following day or the first day in the National Assembly. (I have presented the political platform of the Royal Government of the 7th legislative term) before the National Assembly and to the people. Two days later, we set the principles in the meeting to prioritize tasks. As of today, the government has just been born for a week […] but we already have our policies and practices out in actions. Trust me. The Royal Government, which has received the trust of the people and the trust of the leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party, continues the cause of serving the people […]

(10) Help people in the informal economy to get benefits

What is the informal economy? Those of you work in an enterprise or you are an unregistered construction worker. If s/he sells sugarcane juice or s/he sells lentils, runs a motor taxi, a tricycle, we consider them people whose jobs are out of the system (informal economy) […] we think of helping them in the informal economy to get into the system to attain other benefits. If s/he is out of the system (in the informal economy), it is difficult to know who is who. We have a hard time grasping the data. If you do not register, we do not know who among you needs to help […] We have little money and we need to channel to the right target. (To get help to the right target is possible) only when we have (correct) information […]

(11) three measures to facilitate informal economy workers to join the formal system

We open the opportunity for informal workers to come register by setting out a number of principles, there is a guarantee of health care and other benefits … for instance free registration, no penalty […] firstly, we need to have some principles about facilitating the reduction of registration and filling procedural form and reducing the payment of other services […] and secondly, check the exemption of fines and debts at any stage […] and thirdly, check the tax incentives for voluntary registration. We may have to set a timeframe for them to volunteer. It would take a little longer time, maybe 5 years for them to feel good to join the system gradually […]

(12) Ready to meet the private sector in November (2023)

I hope that in November I will be able to organize a forum for the Royal Government to meet with the private sector. In all areas, there will be comments and suggestions so that we can review and resolve […] If we want to know about the business, we have to meet and to ask the traders who are doing it every day. That is why we (need to discuss with) the private sector […] we can join together […] to create a community of partners between the Royal Government and the private sector […]

(13) Releasing a US$ 100 million package in the field of agriculture

The introduction of a US$ 100 million agricultural budget helps ensure value and interventions for priority agricultural sectors – production and products, as well as the organization of farmers’ communities […] this community organization is important. We are striving for this community system to work […] there are a number of concepts (proposed) to implement the “New Generation Farmer Community” (or collective). It does not matter how to name it. The point is to make sure that it works. We already have farming communities across the country. We must follow up and help the community to as a partner to ensure it works. I would not talk more about deployment of agricultural technical officials. We are ready. We can start some this year. No need to wait. Yesterday, I approved sending 250 of them. At the beginning, we had discussed that maybe it would start in 2024 and 2025. Well, let us do it […] do not wait […]

(14) Steps to check the arrangement of the leadership engine

This week, a lot of interest has shown in the preparation of the Royal Government’s leadership, from the appointment of the Secretary of State, the Undersecretary of State to the appointment of assistant, advisers in ministries, as well as the advisors to the Prime Minister. There are various views and interests that I would like to clarify a bit […] in order to ensure the effective implementation of the policy, there must be an actor to lead the operation in the effective manner, and that is through the preparation of the leadership engine itself […] (and we) need to organize (in such a way) to maintain the strength in the leadership institution […] The basis of this arrangement is based on the necessary needs on the one hand […] and the mechanism of encouragement, is on the other […]

(15) Reappointments of old hands – a virtue in organization

The re-appointment of most of the officials who have been working with the ministries and institutions for many years shows that we do not abandon them. This is called the virtue in organization […] (and it depends on) the necessity. We think about needs, but we also think about efficiency […] not just incentives, but also efficiency […] I do not extend my hand into the (re)appointment of (officials in) the ministries […] but I call for consideration and thinking clearly. (Re)appointments are based on merit, ability and seniority of participation. Efforts to integrate and match old and new officials is important. The head of the institution is the center of internal unity. Old blood and new blood all are one blood. It is said that the young have the strength, and the old know the way […] (we are exercising) respect, regardless of age, according to the hierarchy (which will make us achieve) harmonization […]

(16) Reappointments encouraged but do not affect the common interests

In the past, we had offered positions as advisors, assistants, which are all political positions to give trust and honor to officials. We did well in encouraging them. According to the assessments, though, there are some side effects. From one corner, the side effect is the hierarchy of institutional leadership. Frankly speaking, we have deputy governors who also got the ranks equal to ministers. We have a deputy director of a bureau who was given her/his rank equal to the Under-Secretary of State. How would that work when we get to the meeting? […] we must have a surgery which will ensure that the incentives system continues, but not affect no common interests in the institution. I would like to seek understanding from Excellencies, Lok Chumteavs, ladies and gentlemen, who may be affected by this decision, but this would be an approach for reappointments adjustment […]

(17) Appointments of civil servants, national police/soldiers within the government framework with additional ranks status canceled

[…] For civil servants, national police officers, soldiers who are in the frameworks (of the Royal Government) that can obtain roles as advisors or assistants with ranks equal to this or that, we no longer allow it […] one option is do we have to keep it? […] it is good to have harmony […] but it is not good regarding the effectiveness of institutional leadership. Another option is not to allow appointments at all – civil servants, the armed forces – as advisors or assistants […] I decided, however, to take the third option, which is the win-win option. The appointment of an adviser and assistant to the Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister, the Senior Minister, or any other institution may continue for civil servants, those in the Armed Forces, but the individual has two options to choose one from.

If s/he – a head of department, wants an advisor/assistant role with a rank equal to a Secretary of State, for instance, s/he must be placed outside her/his framework. That means he is no longer the head of the department. He shall be promoted to the rank of Minister or Secretary of State (for the role s/he is going to play). If he wants to keep his portfolio (as department head), s/he could take only the role of advisor/assistant without equal ranks status […]

Second, for a person who is a member of the council or manages a private company or a person who has received the title of Oknha (as well), s/he can still be an advisor to the Prime Minister, an advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Interior, an advisor to the Senior Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister. Minister, but not to have an equal-rank status – like a minister or anything, because he already has the title of Oknha.

Lawyer or other freelancers – many of them, […] it is not possible to allow her/him that has the office of his engineering company to have a role as adviser to this or that with a rank status equal to minister for instance. It that is continues to be the case, what would happen to the discussion or negotiation? Likewise, this free profession has two options. The one who practices and the one does not practice. For instance, a lawyer, if s/he practices law, I am asking her/him not to have such equal-rank status as minister, a director general, and so on, not necessary […]

The new government of the Cambodian People’s Party leads the country not in a revolutionary way. We develop based on the existing base, reform and make some adjustments to be more effective […] so far, what had been done (in the past has been) effective […] it does not mean that it is not working. Our economy had been growing at 7% for more than two decades. That was because (the state apparatus) functioned well. However, we need to fix where it is not yet working properly to make sure it works better […]

(18) Will not dishearten Cambodians, both inside and outside the country

If this principle does not work, I do not dare to stand here. I would not say either if I knew it did not. We are thoughtful. We do not intend to lose the heart and the trust not just the 6,400,000 people, but for all 17 million people in Cambodia. Not only that, […] some Cambodians born in Cambodia but work abroad too […] Cambodian Americans, Cambodian French, […] on September 20, I will go abroad and I will meet with the (Cambodian) people there. I am expecting to see you. I have not been visiting the US for a long time. There are some people who are going to gather (to protest my presence) […] The Cambodia Daily and Free Asia said – “Mr. Hun Manet went abroad in fear of embarrassment.” Let me clarify – “I do not want the Cambodians to have conflicts outside the country. It is ashamed.” Not me alone but the whole Khmer nation is ashamed […]

(19) President of the institution as the center of internal unity

The head of the institution is the center of internal unity […] if the head of the institution does not stand as the center of internal unity, that institution is not functioning well […] reform is not easy, but successful reform takes four jobs. Firstly, a clear vision. (We cannot do thing) according to emotions. We think clearly to work efficiently and to keep the reputation. Secondly, there must be high commitment. If we are afraid to do it, taking one step forward and two steps back, (it will not work). Thirdly, there must be participation of all those involved, and fourthly, there must be some sacrifice for the common benefit. These 4 factors, I ask you to work together to strengthen the Royal Government to serve our people to the best of our ability […]./.