Selected Comments Samdech Moha Bovor Thipadei Hun Manet, conversation with the Cambodian community living/studying/working in Japan [Unofficial translations]


(1) Unity is the spirit of nationalism

People who live here, whether you are interns or students, we are gathering here to show the spirit of unity as Cambodians. We came from afar to meet and greet each other and to hear about the situation in our country. Today, as the Prime Minister, I would take the opportunity to inform you about what the Royal Government has done and plans to do for the country, especially the status of Cambodia-Japan relations, and for the Cambodians who are staying in Japan. The spirit of unity is in fact the spirit of nationalism. The word nationalism is to unite to build a nation and promote national honor. Together in the spirit of this brotherhood, it is called the spirit of nationalism. You don’t have to curse each other to be a nationalist […]

(2) Attendance at the ASEAN-Japan meeting confirms that Japan recognizes Hun Manet as Prime Minister

I am here to join other ASEAN leaders for the commemoration of 50th anniversary of the ASEAN-Japan Summit. The message is a sufficient acknowledgement that Japan recognizes Hun Manet as the Prime Minister. More than 2,000 people here send a message that Hun Manet is the Prime Minister of Cambodia […] why Japan and the United Nations invited Hun Manet to (the events that they are organizing). Is it (because he is) “an illegitimate prime minister” or on the contrary? […] democracy is a process that the minority respects the majority in accordance with the procedures set by the Constitution […] Hun Manet is the Prime Minister from the democratic elections in Cambodia […] where 8.2 million people voted to express their opinion and support for democracy in accordance with the Constitution of Cambodia […] and 6.4 million people voted for the CPP to give trust and right to the Cambodian People’s Party to appoint a candidate for Prime Minister to lead the country in accordance with the internal procedures and regulations and the Constitution, by which the National Assembly voted to support […]

I see that the (opposition) uses the repetitive method to mobilize (supporters) and that is to lure them. In Japan, (what the opposition do) to attract (them) is not a discrete but open way. First, they were attracting demonstrations against the head of the Cambodian government (by promising to help with the) asylum […] I have heard in the 1980s their propagandas that “if you want to seek asylum, just insult Hun Sen as much and bad as you can.” Now, they insult Hun Manet hard too […]; the second way of attracting supporters here is that they organize a lucky draw. If people come and join the demonstration on the 17th (December), they would stand a chance to win iPad and/or iPhone 15 by a lucky draw […]

(3) Demonstrators should think (a) what sort of expression would it be? and (b) blaming dynasty in politics could insult the host country

(People who are drawn to join the demonstration) should ask a question – (first) that you call me to the demonstration, what opinion should I express? Is it to recognize or not to recognize (the legitimate Prime Minister)? […] secondly, they say that the Prime Minister is a descendant (of the former Prime Minister). I said (they had better watch out where they say it). It may be fine in other country, (but) speaking in Japan, beware of (the fact that what you said is insulting) the host. In Japan, it is not uncommon for descendants of politicians to continue to hold political office, including as head of government and in the lower house of parliament […] as long as the internal procedures of the party, the government, the Constitution of each respective country are respected, that would be perfectly be legal […]

(4) In 2023, increase the level of Cambodia-Japan relations to a strategic partnership in all aspects

[…] (The importance of) my visit to Japan is, firstly, to participate in the celebration of the 50th anniversary of ASEAN-Japan partnership […]; and (secondly) to enhance the relationship between Cambodia and Japan […] which, in this year, marks the 70th anniversary of our diplomatic relations. The high point of the diplomatic relationship that we have achieved in 2023 is to increase the level of relations between Cambodia and Japan to the strategic partnership in all aspects – the historic relation at its high point […] Japan was a partner that helped us a lot […] in the 1990s, when Cambodia was negotiating peace, Japan also played a very helpful role. The hotel I stayed at now is the hotel that Samdech Techo used to stay at since the (political settlement) negotiations […]

(5) Before the end of 2023, inaugurated/will launch the construction sites of 3 major Japanese credit projects

As the head of the Royal Government in the seventh legislative term, what is the most important work is to continue to build on the Cambodia-Japan relationship, continuing from what the previous Royal Government under the leadership of Samdech Techo, the former Prime Minister (organized). We must maintain all the positive achievements of Cambodia-Japan relations and further expand the achievements between the two countries […] during my three months as Prime Minister, I have inaugurated some major achievements (using Japanese loans), the first is National Road 5 connecting our western provinces […] (secondly), on the 22nd (of December), I will preside over the groundbreaking ceremony to expand the port of Sihanoukville to increase its capacity as a deep-sea port with the potential to support the economy […] and (thirdly) on the 27th (of December), before the end of the year, another big project in Phnom Penh is to be launched – the wastewater treatment plant in Phnom Penh […]

(6) Every mission abroad promotes what Cambodia has

This morning I met so many groups. In general, in every mission abroad (I always focus) on the economic side which is to do the marketing (for Cambodia). Some people humiliate me as bragging […] whereas I meet a lot (of business groups) to promote Cambodia […] we have a product […] we have to go, meet and tell them about what we have […] if we meet 100 people, and 10 of them buy our products, it is a good thing that we sold 10 out of 100. As Prime Minister, if I do not meet and spread the word about the investments encouragements of the government to help them grow and attract more investments to create jobs for the people, how are we expecting to have (positive result)? I came for 3 days to meet more than 600 Japanese companies, 11 of which I have met face to face and through the help of JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization) forum on 19 (December), I will have a chance to meet more than 500 companies who will be participating directly, plus more than 300 online […]

(7) Marketing to connect the chain of economy, human, technology and investment capital

What is the benefit of doing such marketing? It was not to bring the benefit to the Hun Manet’s company […] but to connect the Cambodian and Japanese economic chain. The economic chain is to connect people and people, technology and technology, bring investment, bring Japanese technology. Our brothers and sisters in Cambodia, when they go to work in a Japanese factory, they have with them already the Japanese technology. Those who finish their work in Japan can also (bring) Japanese technology (to create) jobs for our brothers and sisters (back home). Our national economy is growing, and we are reducing poverty. The priority of the Royal Government of the seventh legislature is economic growth, increase employment and reduce poverty as three of the five priority goals […]

(8) Either nothing to comment or unable to understand

There was a monsieur who […] insulted Samdech Techo as an uneducated leader of the country. I learned to achieve my PhD, and he said I was a useless […] that my PhD was written for by someone. He could not acquire my thesis from school. I cannot bear his naiveness so I posted my PhD thesis on the Internet. Let him read it. It has been quiet. There are only two things. The first is it is a good job that he could not make it a point of attacking anymore, and the second thing is that he may not understand it. The first case may not be what it is […] and (probably it is that he) does not understand. I have said I did not want to touch the old monsieur. I am a researcher. Having someone to looking at and give feedback, no matter how bad, I’m happy (to accept) […] look at my thesis clearly and explain it to me. If I write about cows, please do not talk about buffaloes […] now it seems his followers (also have a habit of) despising others too […]

(9) Vingroup registers the import of electric vehicles for sale in Cambodia

Now about this VinGroup Taxi issue. Someone leaked information that VinGroup had signed an agreement with the government in October 2023. Does s/he know how about the story and act stupid, or is stupid but act as if s/he knows? If s/he is aware of thing but act as if s/he does not know, it is unrighteous […] let me affirm that they are two separate things. The first story is the enlisting of businesses to sell materials. Another thing is the business of opening (and operating) a taxi service. The story of selling company equipment, they have registered so that they are able to bring cars in for sale […] no one would make a fuss about that […] just pay taxes like everyone else […] whether the Cambodians buy it or not it is up to them […] the thing that people are worried about is the taxi business. At this time, the 7th legislature government must pay attention in helping people who are operating business of motorcycles and the tricycle taxi in the informal economy […]

We do not need to go find foreign companies to come and invest in electric vehicle taxis in Cambodia […] the Royal Government of the seventh legislature has set out a six priorities policy, in which we need to carry out urgently the fourth policy priority. I have already announced that I will help the people in the informal economy, including motorbike and tricycles taxi business […] the spokespersons have already explained what the VinGroup is about but there is still confusion, there are still distorted interpretations. Now I am sending this message live because it will reach tens of thousands of witnesses […] the government has issued a series of policies and arrangements to help people in the informal economy, including those who operate tricycles and PassApp in Cambodia […]

(10) Cambodia is not a landfill but a study and review of the socio-economic impact of all projects

Every legitimate company is welcome to invest in Cambodia, no matter from what country it comes, […] but it does not mean that the Royal Government approves all projects proposed by those companies […] before (giving permission to) each project, we had to study clearly what impacts they will have on our socio-economic condition. For example, if there is a request to invest in building a hydropower project next to the Mekong River, we do not allow it. Even if it would produce millions of kilowatts of electricity, we will not do it as it may cause damages to the environment. In the time of Samdech Techo, there were people who asked to bring computer waste and plastic waste from Europe to incinerate in our country. Samdech Techo flatly refused the request. Cambodia is not a dumping site/incinerator, no matter how much they offer. We have our choices – whatever that would harm the nation and the people, we do not do it. It is our right to decide. The government’s goal is to increase the economy, create jobs, not destroy jobs. We must give priority to the Cambodian people first. This is what I would like to clarify regarding VinGroup or this electric taxi service business […]

(11) About 30,000 Cambodians in Japan, about 8,000 to come next year

On the other hand, as far as job opportunity abroad is concerned, I would like to emphasize that what the Royal Government has done is no different from (what are done by) other countries […] to date, there are a total of nearly 30,000 Cambodians, most of whom are interns […] students and relatives who have families here and have lived here for many years. We are negotiating so that next year, we can expand (the number of interns) by 8,000 more to Japan […] taking into consideration of job opportunity abroad, we will continue to do it […] I thank the Cambodian interns, Cambodians living here, as well as our students who come to study here, for their playing a good ambassador role for Cambodia. I met many Japanese friends who praised us the Cambodians here. This morning, I met with a company where there are Cambodian interns. He praised that the Cambodian people are innocent, honest, industrious and diligent […]

(12) Eight assignments regarding Cambodians living/studying/working in Japan

Let me raise some issues regarding people working/living/studying in Japan to settle. First, especially regarding the cost of sending interns to work in Japan is still high […] the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training must discuss with the Japanese side to reduce the cost of sending services appropriately and acceptable to all parties at least 10% in this year 2024. If it is not much, it could then be gradually lower […]

On December 15, 2023, the Minister of Labor and Vocational Training met with representatives of OTIT (Organization for Technical Intern Training) of Japan, and proposed that the Japanese side should be pondering to set up a digital platform for sending from and receiving interns and specialized laborers to Japan, thus contributing to reducing the cost of brokerage services. The next day, we may have to bring that online […]

Secondly, … by the first half of and in the middle of 2024, the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training will establish a tracking system for the progress of the documents at each stage, both in Cambodia and in the recipient country to the stage of departure through mobile phones to let workers know where their documents are stuck […]

Thirdly, according to the Law on Technical Apprentices, apprentices cannot change jobs […] now the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training must work to push for apprentices to be able to change jobs to a level that does not affect Japanese employers. Try to create a little flexibility […]

Fourthly, due to the geographical factors in Japan, the distance to travel to receive services at the Cambodian Ambassy to Japan in Tokyo takes a long time and a lot of money. Also, visiting and resolving problems for the interns/trainees and skilled workers cannot be timely and cost a lot of money too in traveling. What is our solution? Now I ask the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to look into the possibility whether we can establish a Consulate General in Osaka in the future […]

Whereas the Ministry of Labor is to look into the possibility of arranging two more labor attachés to help. As a tribute to our people. Back in the country, we have half a million officials working to help laborers but abroad, we have less […]

Fifthly, it is difficult to get a new passport when the passport expires. This is also a problem in Korea […] for those in Japan […] I think as a first step, rather than going to Cambodia, you can apply (for a new passport) in Korea […] and fly to get it from Korea. It is a day round trip, return in the evening. No need to go to Cambodia […] let the Ambassador to Japan works with the Embassy in Korea to coordinate the identification work (with the Cambodian authorities) stationed in Korea […]

I have set a goal not to make it too expensive and too long […] in principle, we it will be ready in a little more than a month – five weeks as in Cambodia. Price in Cambodia 100 and in Korea US$ 118. The US$ 18 difference is the shipping costs. Well, as of now we can do this much to help […]

Sixthly, problem-solving and counseling mechanism for interns/trainees and skilled workers in Japan are not yet in line with the increasing number of workers. Therefore, the Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training must establish a Cambodian Workers Support Center in Kanagawa Prefecture and launch it in early 2024 […]

Seventhly, … regarding traveling. Now we had to go through a few transits. We will try to get ANA direct flights back. I will propose to include this work in the connectivity angle […] as we have increased connectivity with Japan, both in terms of highways, ports, and airways […], and

Eighthly, organizing a gathering event for the community of Cambodian workers and students who live, work and study in Japan has not been as frequent for them to meet each other. Therefore, the embassy and the working team in Japan have to organize (the Khmer traditional festivals such as) New Year and Pchum Ben in many places, especially in areas where many people and Cambodian people live and work […]

(13) The Royal Government maintains supports; works to protect and increase additional employment opportunities, and seeks Cambodian’s adherence to ethics

The government would like to thank and commit to firstly, supporting, maintaining and resolving any ongoing issues to help the people living, studying, working here in Japan as much and consistent as possible. Secondly, work hard with the Japanese authorities to protect and increase more opportunities for our people […] I am calling on those living/working/studying abroad […] to adhere to the code of ethics as a dignified citizen, a citizen with patience and honesty […] love each other, work well, make friends, respect each other with other races. People of all races are born the same. People are just born in different countries, different languages, different cultures (but) need to breathe the same, live the same, need to eat the same, have children, have mothers, have fathers. If we hate them, they will hate us too. It is better not to make enemies, but make many friends […]

(14) The on-going negotiation of the remaining 16% border settlement proves RGC’s steadfast stance for national interest Recently there have been a lot of criticism, especially those who incite children and people in the country to be extremist and discriminating. I must convince you all that as far as the national and territorial interests, I am also a Cambodian […] the remaining 16% border issue with Vietnam, (we will work hard) resolve it. You may know that why it has taken us dozens of years to negotiate and resolve the 16% border issue? If we do not think of it in the national interest, as some say, we would have abandoned the 16% of the territory since 1980, rather than to keep negotiating relentlessly. Our team negotiates in a non-retreat manner for the national interest. Solidarity with all countries in the spirit of respecting each other’s interests is a principle that we must do for Cambodia […]./.