Selected Comments Samdech Moha Bovor Thipadei Hun Manet, at the inauguration of the Choeung Ek Wastewater Treatment Plant built with grant from the Government and people of Japan [ Unofficial translations]


Today, I am pleased to participate in the inauguration ceremony of the Choeung Ek Wastewater Treatment Plant in Phnom Penh, a project to develop a sewage system in Phnom Penh, a grant from Japan. The groundbreaking ceremony was presided over by Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, former Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, currently the Chairman of the King’s Personal Advisory Council, on February 22, 2022 […]

Third inaugurations with the Japanese Ambassador in four months

This is the third time that HE UENO Atsushi and I, in a period of four months, have jointly inaugurated the major achievements of the more than 70 projects in Cambodia resulting from the cooperation between Cambodia and Japan. We have a lot on the list for further works. Yesterday, HE Deputy Prime Minister Sun Chanthol chaired an inter-ministerial meeting with the Japanese side to consider further strategic cooperation frameworks, especially strategic projects to strengthen and connect our two national economies. I thank the Ambassador, embassy officials, and Ms. KAMEI Haruko, Director of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JIACA) in Cambodia, as well as the Government and people of Japan for their continued assistance and support to our people […]

History of Cambodian-Japanese people over 400 years old

(Diplomatic relations between our two countries) is 70 years old but the people of Japan (and the people of Cambodia) have a historical relationship of more than 400 years. According to research, during the Udong period, there was the presence of the Japanese people and we had a Japanese village in the Udong capital, and there were connections of many historical records […] (during the diplomatic relation of) 70 years, it was severed for a while under the Khmer Rouge and war, and we have connected this relationship again and ensured the sustainability of this relationship […] our relationship of these 70 years, although there have been some bumps, after this reconnection, especially after Cambodia achieved peace in the early 1990s, Japan played an important role in helping Cambodia, including its efforts in the (Cambodian political settlement) negotiation phase […]

Upgrading Cambodia-Japan relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership

The other day I called on the Emperor of Japan in Tokyo. The father of the Japanese empress was originally a diplomat, an official who played a role in facilitating peace talks (for Cambodia). “Let me tell you a personal story,” the princess said to me. “I have a personal relationship with Cambodia because my father used to play a role in the (peace) mediation.” As a result, from the dynasty to the Japanese people were associated with Cambodia. Therefore, from the Japanese royal family to its people, they have connection with Cambodia. Therefore, it is a magnificent effort to strengthen and further develop relations, especially this year, not only for the sake of the 70th anniversary, but also the elevation of the Cambodia-Japan relations to the highest level in history – a comprehensive strategic partnership […]

Wastewater treatment plant  a symbol of Cambodia-Japan cooperation to improve the environment

[…] We thank our Japanese friends for helping build this wastewater treatment plant for the benefit of the people living (in Phnom Penh). Today’s wastewater treatment plant is a symbol of the country’s continued development, as well as a symbol of Cambodia-Japan cooperation that will continue to improve. The construction (of wastewater treatment) here will help make the environment better and the comfort of the people better […] this is a special achievement of the wastewater management plan in Cambodia, which in the past the Japanese side also helped in the development of the master plan, as well as the implementation of various projects related to flood relief in Phnom Penh […]

Transforming Choeung Ek from the burial place of more than 20,000 people as an achievement to serve hundreds of thousands of people

[…] If we talk about Tuol Sleng prison and Boeung Choeung Ek, probably everyone imagines the skulls of the victims unfortunately killed by (the Pol Pot regime). If you look back a little […] and look around you, (you will see that there are) about 3,000 people. If you multiply that number by 7, you will get 20,000 people. Do you know what 20,000 people (that I am talking about) are? It is the number of people who were taken by Pol Pot from Tuol Sleng prison (to be killed) at that place […] the burial place of 20,000 people today has become a lively place where 3,000 people come to celebrate the achievement for service to the lives of hundreds of thousands more […]

These 20,000 people die for what reason? […] They died because of an incident that happened 53 years ago. The March-18 coup set war on our territory until the Khmer Rouge came to power and killed those people here. Without the outbreak of war in the 1970s, the Khmer Rouge would not have taken power and killed the 20,000 people […] if we were to look back, we would have learnt the history of this place, and disbelieved that such a place where 20,000 people were killed in 1979, inhabited by a mass grave, is a place of economic achievement today – a symbol of the lively relationship between Cambodia and Japan, a place that serves wastewater treatment to help the environment and the comfort of the people of Phnom Penh […]

The profit we get today is because (of the peace achievement) of 25 years ago when we ended the war and our economy (has been) growing positively (ever since) […] while talking about our present and future achievements, we also need to talk about defending those achievements so far realized and ensure further progress, not to let it slow down (like more than 40 years ago). We must absolutely protect peace […] if we look at the achievements here, do not forget to stop for a moment and look back as to what had happened here […]

Memorize history to know how far we have traveled and where we are

Some accused Hun Manet and Samdech Techo or the leaders of the Royal Government of talking only about historical facts over and over again. We talk about it so as to memorize history, to know where we have gone, so that we can be confident and proud that our Cambodians have come together to this point […] and in the future, as long as peace is guaranteed, and there would be no more division, this place will continue to develop. We, the Cambodians, must be proud and must protect this opportunity […] when we talk about achievements, we must also talk about caretaking, […] which means there is no more fighting each other, but building a country, maintaining peace, national unity, that we have achieved with difficulty […]

Japan helps Cambodia in the peace talks and in the reconstruction phase

In the process of finding peace, before we found peace and started rebuilding this country […] we must acknowledge and thank the contribution from our Japanese friends. The hotel where the Cambodian delegation (stayed) in Japan (since the stage of peace talks) is the New Otani […] and it has a history there […] during the period of rebuilding the country, our Japanese friends played a coordinating role. During the (peace) negotiations phase, as well as the organization of the SNC (Supreme National Council, we had) HE Yasushi Akashi, a Japanese, as the President of UNTAC (United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia), and for the first time, the Japanese army was sent abroad, after World War II, to participate in maintaining peace in Cambodia. The other day, I met General Watanabe, who was then the Commander of the Engineering Corps […] and he showed me pictures of him and his team working on a road in Takeo […]

Japan and Cambodia continue to support, strengthen and expand mutual relations

HE the Ambassador (of Japan) requested that the Royal Government as well as the people of Cambodia continue to support, strengthen and expand Cambodia-Japan relations. I would also like to request through His Excellency to the Government and the people of Japan to continue to support the cooperation and to strengthen Cambodian-Japanese relations even more […] if we are in good term with each other, we can build more and understand each other better […] once again I thank the Government of Japan for providing grant assistance for the construction of this water treatment project and for the provision of technical assistance in the use of related equipment. I agree with HE the Ambassador that the job is not finished with the construction, but it has (to make sure that the recipient party know how) to use or carry out maintenance to get the most out of it. If we just build it and leave it, in one or two years, it will be useless and will not be responding to our need. The construction (of the water treatment) here used the latest Japanese technology, so we need to have our technicians and engineers trained to be resourceful and to continue to use and maintain it properly […]

The bigger Phnom Penh grows, the more people reside, and the more important the clean water is

[…] Phnom Penh has grown (and there are now) more than 2 million or nearly 3 million (people). It will soon expand […] (here where) it used to be a lake has now economic activity, reside tens of thousands of people, families, schools, and jobs. Take for instance in this Aeon III super market, there are thousands of jobs […] there will be more economic activity in the area. Soon the residents in this area will grow to hundreds of thousands or millions of people here. In this case, wastewater treatment and infrastructure are needed to support people’s livelihoods […]

The Royal Government acts on disease prevention by growing economy, creating jobs, increasing income for people to have good nutrition

The wastewater treatment project here will greatly benefit the national economy, where the health of the people is the big task. Regarding the health of the people, we have set out many principles. The seventh legislature Royal Government focuses on strengthening the provision of social protection systems and strengthening services. Last evening, I had a meeting with (the Minister of Health,) HE Chheang Ra and the working group (to discuss) key measures to strengthen the local health sector, referral level health center – level one, level two, level three and prepare an action plan to promote the better organization of this referral health center, to provide better services to the people, better quality of medicine, better quality of materials […] and to increase the level of medical treatment capability for  the people. However, treatment is the last resort. As for the most important stage, the Royal Government acts on preventing people’s illness through efforts to improve economy, create jobs, and increase income for people so that they can get good nutrition […]

The percentage of people choosing to have kids will be smaller, the life expectancy will be longer because of medication

The discussion with (the Health Minister,) HE Chheang Ra (came to the issue that possibly) in a few decades, we will have more old people than young people because fewer people (who are still young) will choose to have kids […] in the future, the percentage of people choosing to have kids will decrease and the people’s (life expectancy) rate will be longer. Thus, there will be lower rate of birth […] (along with this) with availability of medicines, we can take care of the people’s health […] and prevent and protect our people through increasing nutrition to ensure the living standard of more people, […] if prevention does not work, we have to come to treatment stage. We need to improve the health system to make people healthier […]

Winston S. Churchill: “You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks”

A group of people, […] maybe less than 20 people, who wrote this piece and spread it on both online and offline media, attacking the Funan Techo canal project that we plan to carry out to serve the economic activities, and the water transportation of our people (between the rivers and the sea). The slogan of former British Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill during World War II is: “You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.” (Having repeating this slogan,) some said that I called them a dog. I did not call anyone a dog […]

Reporting the Royal Government borrowed Chinese money for the Funan canal project is a fabrication

Yesterday, (their writing and publicity in the press) came out saying that “the well-informed source, a senior official of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, who asked not to be named, whispered that the Royal Government has borrowed five billion USD from China to invest in the Funan canal, which that(?) official thinks are useless for the nation” […] they kept on discrediting the Government for not being responsible to have borrowed the loan putting the country in debt for building the canal […] all these (that they preached) are completely fabricated. It is not that they do not know. Samdech Techo has already confirmed that the government will carry out this project not with a loan, but in the form of BOT […]

(The point here is what they say) “according to a source from a high-ranking official who asked not to be identified.” It is a psychological attack […] (and) the press posted the story without knowing where it comes from […] I do not believe that there are senior government officials at the Ministry of Economy and Finance […] ignorant to the point that they do not know the difference between a loan implemented project and a BOT project […]

What I want to emphasize to the Cambodians throughout the country who are following the news on the Funan canal project that (what we are planning to do is) to combine (the canal) with other infrastructural projects that Japan has built, that are built with Chinese assistance, with the ADB loans, other banks and by ourself to connect the (transportation) arteries. Who do we work for? It is for the sake of our nation and people, to grow our economy for benefit to distribute to the Cambodians everywhere […]

It is a good thing that this group did not lead the country. If they were on the contrary, (the country will) melt (inevitably). To develop a country needs investment. Investment needs capital, or money, in other words. Part of it is the national money […] (part of it) we need from other sources […] to address investment, build infrastructure and create jobs. First, we apply for a grant like what we did with the project here. Second, we borrow at a reasonable interest rate so that we can invest according to our repaying ability, and third, invite both domestic and foreign investors to invest in private money (BOT) […]

All of them claim to be economists (and they see) everything not right (according to them). The Japanese grant provided (during) the Samdech (Techo) time (as Prime Minister) and they said the Cambodian government was a beggar. It was not right. When the government takes the loans, they say the government will not be recoverable from debt. As the government calls for foreign investment, they say the government allows investment and that the government will lose sovereignty. Finally, there would be no money to do anything. It is a good thing that our people had chosen Samdech Techo and the CPP to continue to lead the country for 40 years, and to put in place the correct policies […] (they blamed) me weak and a bébé(baby). They blamed me a dictator. Perhaps, according to their theory, there could a dictator who is still a bébé […]

I do not ask them to stop criticizing. It is their rights. But they should have ethics, and respected the rights of the people. That they impersonate themselves analysts and informants, they have to search for the true facts to share with the people, and they should not trouble people with their fabricated and fake news […] they have not been serving the people, and ultimately exploited the people by misinforming them for political gain, and frightening the people […] the government is not afraid to take responsibility for negative actions and facing with criticism. In the past, we learnt of many issues and we solved a lot of problems, like traffic accidents, land issues […]

By the way, I thank all the journalists who try to share information quickly, but please do that comprehensively, and if it is wrong, please correct it so that our people/readers/viewers (know right from wrong). Please do not go silent fearing of embarrassment when you know that your report is an incomplete fact. There must be a code of conduct that “if one does not tell a complete fact, one should make a correction.” This is the (professional) duty (of a journalists) […] I wish you all practice democracy, rights and freedoms with ethics and responsibility […] if one lies, one will hurt others. One slanders others, one violates the rights of others. Giving wrong information to the people purposefully, one violates the people’s right to receive true information about the future of the nation […]./.