Selected Comments Samdech Moha Bovor Thipadei Hun Manet, to workers in Khan Meanchey and Khan Por Senchey, Phnom Penh [Unofficial translation]


[…] On the occasion of the 19th anniversary of the throne ascension of His Majesty the King of the Kingdom of Cambodia tomorrow on October 29, on behalf of the Royal Government, civil servants, and the armed forces of all kinds, as well as the people all over the country, I would like to bow down to and to pray for the Preah Ratanatray and the sacred objects in the world to bestow upon His Majesty their best wishes of good health, strength, intellect, and long life to live as the cool shade for all Cambodian people forever […]

(1) Provide training for people to participate in economic activities in all sectors

In this seventh legislative term, the Royal Government continues to implement the political line of the Cambodian People’s Party set out from the previous terms […] not only in the garment and textile industry, but also in agriculture, tourism, banking, and other sectors […] the Cambodian people must be the owners (of their destinies). (We need to train) so that people can participate in economic activities in all sectors. We cannot work only in the garment sector, and leave the banking sector, high-tech industries, electricity, or cars production for human resources from other countries. We need to train our children […]

(2) health, capability and ability are three priorities for the Cambodian people

Today we have here some 900 pregnant sisters […] maternal health, child health, people’s health is a priority in the consideration (of the Royal Government and it is related between) health, capacity and ability. (In terms of) capability, we are talking about education and training from an early age […] in terms of health, we are preparing to offer assistance from before birth to post-delivery stage […] and in terms of ability, we are talking about accessing to jobs. We enable people to have the right to seize the opportunity to live on their own […]

(3) confidence to the CPP to continue to serve […] the CPP strives to the best of its ability to […] maintain peace, stability and increase opportunities for our people

[…] Allow me to take this opportunity to thank the workers as well as their families for trusting and giving the CPP a chance (to continue to lead the country) through the July 2023 election. (Brothers and sisters) voted overwhelmingly for the CPP […] on behalf of Samdech Techo, former Prime Minister and President of the Cambodian People’s Party […] and other Party leaders, I thank you and deliver a message to the people, workers here, as well as those at home that as long as you give confidence to the CPP to continue to serve […] the CPP strives to the best of its ability to […] maintain peace, stability and increase opportunities for our people to grow more prosperous, strong in family and in personal life […]

(4) In 2009, the poverty rate was 33.8% and in 2019 down to 17.8%

Comparing to 10 years ago, we can see that the living standard of our people has improved differently from before. In fact, the poverty rate has been reduced by almost half. Taking the (poverty rate of) 33.8% in 2009 into consideration, (it was a great achievement to have decreased it) to 17.8% in 2019, or before the Covid-19. This is what we have gotten from the data of the World Bank. They are not data that Cambodia collected and/or collated itself. The World Bank experts came and did the assessment. We have had a (self) verification (based on data) evaluation from multiple sources […]

And soon we will prepare a pension system […] which means that what will you get when you get to the time of retirement? In the past, we had to save money ourselves from what we needed for daily life. Now that we have this pension plan means that we are helping you save money. When you reach the age of retirement, in addition to the money that you save yourself, according to the state policy, this program in collaboration with the private sector, we have put together a package for you […]

(5) The state strives to maintain commodity prices

In Cambodia, we have striven to maintain commodity prices. There have been some increases in prices, we admit, but we have restrained numerous of them, especially electricity […] we strive to expand availability of the electricity from renewable and hydropower sources to ensure (that we have enough energy to respond to demand). If we rely only on coal and imported natural gas, once there is a conflict in Russia, the price of fuel in Cambodia, in Singapore, in Thailand is fluctuating […] I am calling on the landlords not to increase (their rents too high) or it will affect our workers since their salary has gone up meagerly […]

(6) Most of the 2 billion dollars/year income from 9,590 factories in Phnom Penh goes into the people

The legacy of all achievements is proof that the Royal Government led by the Cambodian People’s Party in all legislative terms has been on the right path of development to improve the lives of the people, especially the lives of workers. In fact, Phnom Penh alone absorbs an average of US$ 2.10 billion a year from 9,590 factories/enterprises, where there are some 665,000 workers by 2023 […] (The revenue of) US$ 2 billion goes into the pockets of the people. (We have always moved the ceiling of) taxable salaries. This means that if the minimum wage goes up, we raise (the tax ceiling higher above the) wages. For example, if (the taxable salary is) US$ 150, we raise (the wage tax ceiling to) above US$ 150. The state determines that (the tax ceiling applies to salaries/wages from) US$ 200 (for example) […] we (move the tax ceiling) to help the people. In that case, the sum of US$ 2 billion in revenue (from factories/enterprises in Phnom Penh), most of it goes into people’s pockets […]

(7) Development is to turn what is not useful into wealth/benefits for the nation and its people

Let me talk a little bit about development. There are so many perspectives on development. Some say that the development at the time of the CPP leadership only makes the people miserable. Now, what is the definition of development? I say (it is about) making people richer […] (for instance,) development means making a place worthwhile. A place where it used to be a lake with few people to live by, or where it used to be a forest that only a few survive on hunting, has transformed into one valuable place […] if the place is bought up and they establish an enterprise, create a market, a school, or something, where many people can have jobs, have a living – that is called development. So, development is to turn the less beneficial thing to be advantageous and/or beneficial for the people and for the country […]

(8) Being narrow-minded the cause of never-ending defeat

Yesterday, on a foreign-based radio station, I heard a politician analyzing that Manet’s policies were developed only for the powerful in his political party. Now, let us figure out if this language is a narrow-minded or a broad-based perspective […] they aim to mean that what I am doing is for a handful of factions who have power and/or are rich. Well, I (am) focusing what I am doing on a clan of 17 million people. The powerful are the people. They have power, they give the CPP rights and chance to lead the country. I just comment on your word and elaborate on what and for whom I am doing. They accuse me of working for my clan, where there are the rich and powerful only. Let me tell you, you are being narrow-minded. Such narrow-minded views like yours that puts your party on the path of never-ending defeat […]

(9) Hun Manet’s clan is Cambodians working together for peace and development

[…] As long as there are people who come to join the Royal Government, (the opposition) considers them traitors and accuses the government of not providing opportunities for the educated. However, as the educated used their skills to work (with the Royal Government, they are) said to have betrayed the ideals […] (let me respond to them that) the clans of the Cambodian People’s Party are all Cambodians who work together to maintain peace and development of the country. The one with real power is no one else but the people […] 6.4 million people (equivalent to) 82.30% of the eligible voters in the whole country, have given their hearts, powers, and opportunity to the Cambodian People’s Party to continue to serve them […] it is the people who are the real power […]

(10) Encouraging local business persons to pick up major investments

We are working to create more jobs for our people, and we do not only depend on foreign investment companies, but also those from local companies. I am encouraging that. I tell local business people that I want to see companies of own Cambodians and they make investments in major sectors. We work together. We do not prohibit foreign investors. But we need to create equal momentum and especially encourage the business persons in the country, big, medium and small, to be successful […] the people in the country that has been with us since 1979 […] and the oversea Cambodians who came back and work together […] we warmly welcome them […]

(11) Interpretation to defend CPP policy, the truth, right and trust of the people

I have an obligation to interpret (the fact about what those politicians have been falsifying us about) […] in defense of the Royal Government, protection of the hundreds of thousands of officials who work for the benefit of the people. I do not let you talk (at will). I must defend the policy of the CPP, which has led the construction (of the country) for many terms […] to protect the truth, the right and most importantly the heart and trust of the people, who have made their choice on the CPP to continue to lead the country to serve the people, (and to ensure that) they have not made a wrong choice […]

(12) Eensuring the benefits for people in “drop by drop fills the bucket” formula

I may convince our people that no matter what the economic situation may have become, even if the Royal Government has not had the ability as good as some countries in the region or the United States, we keep up the effort to ensure the benefits for you in the – drop by drop fills the bucket formula. We will keep on with that. What we needed to do now is to take care of this bucket so that it does not break, or overflowed with, and to maintain peace, stability, development, good investment environment, and protect existing investments in the country. All of these is for us to grow together, be able to create jobs, bring in other technologies for the sake of making more money, and be able to increase your salary and benefit […]

(13) Setting a high goal to drive effort

A country grows when each person of the population grows […] a country with a low, medium or high income does not depend on how many high-rise buildings there are in the country. It depends on each worker’s salary, which means income per capita. They divide a country’s income by its population. Even if the country or the city has high-rise buildings, billions of dollars in revenue, but people do not have income, that is not an indication (of a well-off nation). It is the standard of living of each person, or GDP per capita that counts. If we want Cambodia to be a rich country, we must work hard to ensure increase of the salaries and incomes of people from all walks of life […] the UN Secretary-General says (to me that) Cambodia seems to have set a high goal. Well, in our lives, if we do not set high goal to drive effort, (will there be effort?) […]./.