Selected Comments Samdech Moha Bovor Thipadei Hun Manet, at the meeting with workers in Prey Speu area, Khan Por Senchey, Phnom Penh [Unofficial translations]


(1) The more children and the healthier they are, the stronger future for Cambodia

[…] The more children, we have, and the healthier they are, the future for Cambodia will be stronger. We need more people. In the 500 years of wars, the number of our population greatly reduced, especially since the 1970s. Many people died of fighting during the Lon Nol era between 1970 and 19775. Between 1975 and 1979 (of the Democratic Kampuchea era), about half of the population were killed […] as of now we have gone from the remaining 5 million to some 16 to 17 million […]

This is the 10th meeting (with workers that I have) for 2023. It is my last meeting (for the year). It is not the last program to meet with the workers though. We will meet again a little later. We say we can meet at least two more rounds in this term […] but within this interval, it does not mean that we do not meet and/or the RGC does not pay attention (to social affairs and labor). Negotiation must continue to have an increase in salary every year. We must continue to exercise the six principles […] and 4 points to be done from 4 to 5 years in this term, such as organizing nursery, preparing the dining place, inspecting the transportation system, etc. for workers […]

(2) People are born to do jobs; growth, employment and equity are for the people

The employment sector is related to the livelihood of the people. We humans are born to do jobs, whether in agriculture or else, even at the time when humans were homo sapiens, not yet living as a community, the tribes, etc. they had to go hunting for food to make a living. Now that we modernize, our work is organized into different sectors, and we have here the concentration of industry, a bit more modern, but we still need to have (jobs) […]

(Of the pentagonal strategy’s aims to achieve) economic growth, employment, equity, efficiency and sustainability […] from the first to the third objective is related to our brothers and sisters (workers here) […] growth is to promote the economic base for growth […] all sectors depend on the (second objective to have a) large job creation. Third, what does equity mean? Distribute all fruits to the people, especially the poor, to improve their livelihood, and reduce poverty […]

(3) Setting the goal high, striving to achieve it to bring more benefit to people

We may want to think about those children who were born in 2023. By 2041, they will be 18 years old. (We have to think about this). At that time, they will need to have good jobs and better incomes than their parents […] we have to make sure that the next generation of Cambodian children will develop and prosper. Some say that the government has set a goal (to turn the country into a high-income country by 2050) an imagination. Yes, it takes imagination and setting direction for us to make further efforts. If the government does not set the 2050 indicator to become a high-income country, and instead sets a moderate goal, it will be easy. No effort is required. However, we have to set the goal high, and strive to achieve it to bring more benefit to people […]

(4) Maintain positive achievements and strive to expand new ones

The policy of the new Royal Government is, first of all, to maintain all the positive achievements that have been built in the last 40 years by the previous Royal Governments led by Samdech Techo and other leaders. We will maintain stability, peace, and keep them from disappearing. We will maintain the free market economic system, and reforms that we have achieved so far. Second, we will further expand the achievements to (1) improve and repair the remaining problems that are not yet good enough; and (2) create more positive points for you […]

(5) Stationary and mobile vocational training modules considered

You can trust me that what the government has been thinking will become a reality – it is not what I announced, but what we will have to show to the people. In the next two to three years, we will be able to prove the actual results […] the vocational training programs (have been organized) for 1.5 million of children of poor people, including those who may want (to have vocational training). The Royal Government organizes this training program in a flexible manner. The training program can be carried out on the spot and, if possible, in a mobile application. Sometimes in one province we have only one school. It will be difficult for people from far away districts to make time to join […] we have to bring (training to those who need them) […] it must be flexible that either people get training on a set location or we bring the training to them, and to work with the private sector (to organize that) […]

(6) Training with the approach to “finish learning, to acquire know-how and knowledge and to have a job,” while applying those learned skills

Hope they take up this opportunity that offer a variety of skills as a start. We will continue to adjust according to the approach of “learning to finish, learning to know and to have a job” by using the right skills. In an economic zone, where there are more garments, we should focus on providing skill training relating to the sector, and should not go to training on how to make aircraft or repair aircraft engines. For example, where there is a factory that assembles vehicles, we must orientate our training to serve that industry […]

(7) The private sector is the main actor to provide employment

We have four types of actors here. The first is the state. It means that the Royal Government (can be compared to) the owner of a company. Second, the private sector. Third, NGOs/associations. The fourth is (workers) themselves. (Actor) 2, the private sector, is very large. our country is small. The state cannot have half the country’s population as its civil servants. We have a population of 16 million, so we cannot have 3 to 4 million civil servants […] on 13 November, the new Royal Government held a four-hour government and private sector forum to discuss various issues that we have been responding to the private sector’s requests as well as concerns of the people, to encourage and provide favorable benefits to all sectors, aiming at encouraging the private sector to creates more jobs for our people […]

(8) Phnom Penh is growing and expanding, Kampong Chhnang will no longer be a passed by area

Phnom Penh is getting bigger. Kandal is always losing (land to Phnom Penh). Phnom Penh is growing and expanding. Kampong Chhnang and Kampong Speu – bordering with Phnom Penh – are also worried as it grows […] it’s okay. No matter where, it is all in the Cambodian territory. The matter is it is growing. We do not want Phnom Penh to grow alone […] and tomorrow I will inaugurate National Road 5. In Kampong Chhnang province, we will soon build a 50C road that links Kampong Thom to Kampong Chhnang […] sooner, Kampong Chhnang is (no longer the) passed by area anymore. Some provinces like Pursat, used to be a passed by place for travelers between Battambang and Phnom Penh. Now that Pursat province has become an industrial area, where there are a few car factories – in our efforts to move jobs closer to the people […]

(9) Make people more prosperous, create and strengthen job options, salary and benefits

Each province grows providing us with two benefits. The first effect (is when we step out of the plane) we will have more to catch our eyes than just Phnom Penh as before […] which means that the lives of the people are prosperous. Secondly, we have been successfully moving jobs to the grassroots […] and not just about the type of work, but in each location, we are working to promote and strengthen job options. More than 20 years ago, we had only garment factories and low level (skills) […] now, the skills of (workers) have been improved to be able to produce brand goods locally […]

(The RGC has been making efforts to) strive to attract investments to create more jobs and to formulate policies that improve the salaries (and social benefits and employment) (in which employees enjoy) the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and the pensions benefits. We have got factories and enterprises, but the most important thing is that you have to give back (so that) together, we can seize this opportunity in peace and stability […]

(10) Trade unions to fulfill its professional role, do not do politics

The trade unions should perform their roles according to their profession, which is representing workers. They must not under the name of a trade union gather people to do other work, especially politics. It is not a profitable thing for the country. If you work to represent the rights of workers, you just solve the workers’ issues. Do not disguise under this unions and mobilize our brothers and sisters to do something else that is wrong, and it leads to problems. If you want to work as a representative of a topic, make it straight. If you want to work on human rights, organize an NGO to play a role for human rights work. If you want to protect the environment, organize a civil society or organization to protect the environment […]

(11) CPP policy makers are realistic, not quick and dirty, and living with the people

Before the election, we have set out a policy for the people telling how wea re going to serve them. People see the good policies that we laid out and see clearly who formulate and put those policies in place – they have learnt and known that these policy makers are realists, not snatchers, and have been living with the people always, especially in the difficult time of the Covid-19 […] thus, they have decided to tick the ballots to give CPP another chance to lead. So, in order to implement the goals in this term, we have to fulfill the setout policies and measures in a way to fulfill the contract hired to work to serve the people […]

(12) Stay up late at night to respond to ministries and institutions and forward hot issues to concerned authority to take actions

Every day, (that I have been staying up) late at night is because – firstly, I have had to respond and issue leadership principles to officials in ministries and institutions, and secondly, follow up and scree certain issues (on social media) and send them to (those involved) to take actions […] the day before, I told (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction) His Excellency Say Sam Al about the fact that we have to come up with a master plan for urbanization for the future. We must figure out an set in place which areas are for residential and which are for businesses, and what type of businesses in what area too. It is not that we forbit every business […] even the win-win politics is based on mutual respect and impunity. Law enforcement must be gentle, flexible, but firm […]./.