Selected Comments Samdech Moha Bovor Thipadei Hun Manet, at the inauguration of Samdech Techo Hun Sen Bridge- Koh Yor and the gathering of workers of Neang Kok Special Economic Zone [Unofficial Translation]

CMF:

[1]

(1) 85.72% of Koh Kong voted for CPP leadership

[…] I thank the support of the people of Koh Kong […] in the whole of Koh Kong province, 83% of the registered voters went to the polls, of which, 85.72% voted for the Cambodian People’s Party […] this has expressed clearly the satisfaction and support of the leadership of the Cambodian People’s Party in the government led by Samdech Techo and provided an opportunity for the Cambodian People’s Party to continue to serve the people, including the people of Koh Kong […]

(With those suports, we are) striving (further to) firstly, to repay gratuitude to the people for their trust, and secondly, to be determined not to disappoint the people or for us to gain more trust in the future. It means continuing to have the trust of the people in all our terms […] we are not like the Khmer Rouge who came to power and took (the power) to kill the people. We give freedom to the people, making us their trustworthy and the source of warmth so that the country can grow […]

[2]

(2Demographically, the people in Koh Kong province grown from 80,000 to 140,000

[…] The Koh Yor Bridge is a clear example of the care (of the CPP-led Royal Government of Cambodia) for the people of Koh Kong province as a whole. Talking about the coastal areas, we have four provinces – Kampot, Kep, Sihanoukville and Koh Kong. This Koh Kong province has the most isolated geography […] At a young age, I ntravelled to Koh Kong province not by national road […] because the connection was difficult and in some places there were shootings […]

Although not as lively as in Sihanoukville, but compared to the past, Koh Kong is much more lively now. By the time we ended the war, there were about 80,000 people. As of now, we have more than 140,000 people and the number will continue to grow, since sooner as our economy grows, more of our people will come here to reside and/or for jobs. The province of Koh Kong has great potential, and the more people we have, the more lively the province will be […]

(3) Koh Kong develops thanks to the policy of ending the war and bringing about peace, full national unity and complete territorial unification

The evolution of geography has changed. Where there was war and division, we have redeveloped. It takes a lot of self-sacrificing effort. The most important thing is to set a clear policy […] the question is, what are those policies? Firstly, we have to have the correct policy, and secondly, it requires honest and effective implementation. Now, what policies can we do to make Koh Kong a tourist destination? In Koh Kong province, not only Khemarak Phoumin city, there are many places […] there are other touristic areas in Areng, Chi Phat, Thmar Bang. Now there are many different natural tourist sites […] the day before I went to inaugurate a hydropower plant, which was the site of several generations of fighting […] we have accomplished these so far thanks to the policy to end the war and to bring about peace, complete national unity and complete territorial unification […]

(4) Koh Kong is a hiding place for many generations of troops/regime

If there is no peace, one may ask if we would have unified the territory or if Koh Kong is connected (with the rest of the country)? […] Koh kong – under the Lon Nol era was a hideout for troops to fight against Lon Nol after the coup. It was a hiding place, where Samdech Pichey Sena Tea Banh, His Excellency Say Phu Thong and other important leaders organized and hid the troops to oppose the Khmer Rouge. Asked to prepare force for what? It was to resist or to rebel. It is therefore tantemount to a place of separatism and fighting. After 1979, that place was still a place of confrontation and where the Khmer Rouge were active […]

(5) In peace, many claimed activists to love/protect environment

If there is no peace in all those areas, one can ask if people could come in and go out? Now some people, both foreigners and non-foreigners, go in to perform actions pretending themselves to be environmentalists. When there were fighting, they dare not to enter? Why not protect the environment at that time […] without peace, can we unite the nation? Can we make Koh Kong a connected province like nowaday? There is a road but it cannot be used because it is mined and the road is not passable. There is favorable land, and there is water, but we could not build the port. It could not be done because no one came to invest. As for the present, I just met a lot of people from the Hyundai factory and from the cable manufacturer […]

(6December 29, the day of the end of the war in the history of about 500 years

[…] In 1998, we ended the 500 years of fighting (in history). Without the (win-win) policy, and no honest policy implementers, especially the leadership of Samdech Techo and the participation of the people, we could not have fulfilled it […] on January 1, from now on, the Royal Government issued a sub-decree making December 29 – the day that we celebrate peace in Cambodia and a holiday for our entire nation […] some have criticized the designation of the peace day as a national holiday for the “Hun” clan […]

I do not deny that the Hun clan welcomes peace. So this Peace Day is for all Cambodians who love peace and hate war, including the Hun family […] the Peace Day in Cambodia is a result of everone’s effort […] we must remember the history of Cambodia […] at least, we are reminded that today in 1998, before the present, how many of our people sacrificed to achieve lasting peace ending (the history of) 500 years of war. So this is a day that we must all remember […] if anyone is not happy about that day, the perosn does not have to release him/herself from work […] yesterday, Samdech Techo said that if they are not happy with that day, let them go and see the minefield, the remnant of a country at war and without peace […]

(7) There is nothing wrong with future generations remembering November-9 Independence Day, 7-January Victory Day, and 29-December Peace Day

As a country, a people, we need independence, sovereignty, survival with rights and freedoms, and living in peace and development […] we now live in sovereignty and independence. We have (the Independence Day on) November 9, when His Majesty the King Father Preah Borom Ratanak Kaod gained this independence from the French rule in 1953. We take this day as a holiday to celebrate our independence and sovereignty. What is wrong about that? There is nothing wrong […] the next generation for thousands of years will remember November 9, 1953 as Independence Day and try to keep independence and sovereignty […] and for January 7, 1979 is the day we survived and left the Khmer Rouge genocide. To whom did all this fruit go? They went to our people. So there is nothing wrong. In order for the children of our people, for decades to come, remember not to let it disaapear/not to fall into the genocidal regime again […]

(8) Did the Khmer Rouge kill the people? Has the National United Front for Salvation stopped the killings?

The Independence Day, the Victory Day over the genocidal regime and the day that we ended the war are in the interest of our nation and our people […] I have seen some ill remarks fro  those of them, in foriegn countrties, who had not been either living or going therough hardships under the Khmer Rouge time […] saying that January 7, 1979 was the day of the Vietnamese invasion […] I would just ask them […] firstly, between April 17, 1975 until January 7, 1979, did the Khmer Rouge kill people in Cambodia or not? ? (if killed,) how many millions died? […] even history books writeen and published abroad acknowledge that the Khmer Rouge killed people at that time. Not one. Not two, but millions […]

Secondly, did the National United Front for Salvation of Kampuchea, which was formed from December 2 until the ousting of the Khmer Rouge in early 1979, stop the Khmer Rouge from killing more people? Onc the NUFSK came in, it drived out the Khmer Rouge. The Khmer Rouge could no longer kill people. What does that equal to? The offensive of the NUFSK, backed by the Vietnamese voluntary army in 1979, stopped the Khmer Rouge from massacring and saved the lives of millions of people in the country. This is the reality […]

(9) Learning of the Khmer Rouge massacre, why the UN did not bring troops in to help?

From 1975-1978, and at the end of 1978, we had two options. Those who can help us were either in the west or in the east. To the west is the UN, and to the east is Vietnam. In 1978, refugees fled to Thailand, where the UN interviews confirmed that there had been killings in Cambodia. One may ask why the UN did not send troops to liberate (Cambodia or Cambodians from the atrocity)? […] whoever comes, would be welcome […]

The UN did not send troops in because of what? It is because of the UN law. The United Nations could not send troops into a country without the request of the respective government at that time. If the UN sends troops to that country without a government, it is against the UN law. So did the Khmer Rouge write a letter to the UN at that time (to ask for their presence)? They did not. So (help from the) west (is not available) […]

So, the only choice we had was on the Vietnamese side. We had only two options. If Vietnam ddid not come, we would continue to die. One may ask why did we rely on Vietnam and not on the United Nations. That was because the law at that time did not allow (the UN’s) entry […]

Another question is, even in the east, why did we need to rely on Vietnam for? Did we not have the resistance force there? […] we did gather about 10,000 men in the east, if not more in the west. If we rely on the force of our resistance patriotic forces, we could predict two possible outcomes. Firstl, the 10,000 armed resistance forces were to fight the Khmer Rouge, which had hundreds of thousands of troops and tanks […]

Secondly, if the 10,000 armed resistant force was not string enough, why not wait to build up to 100,000 troops. One may ask at this point if we would be able to get 100,000 Cambodians to flee to Vietnam atb that time. Would the Khmer Rouge let them go (to Vietnam)? Secondly, how many more years will it take to build (the resistance forces to match that of the Khmer Rouge’s)? If possible, ask how many more people will die from day to day, month to month, year to year under the Khmer Rouge before the resistance actually happned? […]

We see that on January 7, 1979, the NUFSK, together with the Vietnamese voluntary army, overthrew the genocidal regime of Pol Pot and saved the lives of the people. The action was necessary to respond to the needs of the Cambodian nation and because we did not have many options. It must be done at that time and must depend on those who help so that we can survive. This is the meaning of January 7, 1979. They may say whatever they wanted, but we just ask only the historical aspect, and they had to take historical fact to interpret […]

(10) The sovereignty of Cambodia is not controlled by any foreign forces

Today, January 8, one day after the liberation of the country 45 years ago […] some said that Cambodia lost its sovereignty. I just want to ask, in Koh Kong province, our administration, our police force, our soldiers, our civil servants, our commune level, our village level, our school, our teachers, are they under the foreign control? They all are not. Our sovereignty is not under anyone’s control. Before we became independent, we had a French governor. We have been independent and sovereign since then, and today we are inaugurating the bridge, and celebrating with our brothers and sisters who have jobs, a better life and striving to grow even more. What for? For us Khmers to be stronger, for us to hold firmer the destiny, our sovereignty, our independence […]

(11) Win-win politics is the People’s Day of Peace

Peace comes from (the partcipation of) many important acters. The person who guided the leadership is Samdech Techo, the core operator and leaders of all factions, in which, representing the Royal Government, was Samdech Pichey Sena, who plays a very important role […] today, I have worked a decree to elevate rank of former commanders – Phuong Phirum, Prum Pat, Ni Kan […] to thank and congratulate them, who participated in the operation (of win-win politics). Apart from that, the biggest participants were the people, the armed forces, not just the political or senior leaders, as well as the participation of the brigadier generals and their families of all factions, especially the former Khmer Rouge. In this regard, the day of win-win politics is a day of peace for all people and it happened thanks to the participation of all factions agreeing to stop fighting and unite to rebuild the country […]

(12) From the triangular to rectangle and to pentagonal strategy to maintain peace and development

Since 1998, after the end of the war, the Royal Government has set three phases (of reconstruction efforts). The first phase is the triangular strategy, which we laid out in 1998-2003, and was for five years. That time was in the phase of national unification and building of the country’s foundation. We focus on keeping the regained peace from going off again. At that time, no one knew that peace could last for 25 years today […] the peace triangular strategy promotes development, especially integration within the nation, and secondly, integrated Cambodia with the local economy and promoted the construction of livelihoods […]

Between 2003-2023 (the Royal Government introduced the) 20-year Rectangular Strategy (1st to 4th Phase) […] and now, we have a 25-year pentagonal strategy to prepare Cambodia for its high-income country level by 2050 […] since after the war, our strategy changed from triangular to rectangular. Our priority shifted from peacekeeping to strengthening human resources, water and electricity, and now technology included. There are some adjustments, but still are for two main goals – first, maintaining peace and second, more prosperous development for the people […]

(13) January 25 will go to solve construction stalemates and promote investment in Sihanoukville

On January 25, I have to announce a new and special policy program for Sihanoukville. His Excellency Kouch Chamroeun (the governor) may not have known this. I have ordered organization of this program in November to promote tourism in Siem Reap. Now, January 25, 2024, this is the year to encourage investment in Sihanoukville to solve some construction stalemate issues, and to encourage people to expedite it. I would inform the functionaries in the Sihanikville that they should not go anywhere as I will be coming on 25th (January) […]

(14) Six priorities works implemented

In these four months, the Ministry of Labor has worked hard and put into action the 6 points (priorities list) that have been set out – (1) Increase the minimum wage for 2024. At that time, at the end of August, […] the working group facilitated the negotiations, not one day, but more than 40 days […] where the union and employers representatives, and the RGC sat down together […] and on January 4, besides the increase of maximum wages for workers, I issued a sub-decree to increase the salaries of civil servants to be implemented from the second week and the contract officials as well […]; program (2) is the implementation of the social security regime for health care, voluntary contribution for relatives and dependents (to receive health care services) […]; (3) vocational training programs for 1.5 million young people from poor and vulnerable families. It does not matter what is on the paper, it matters what is on the ground. I announced the plan from August 22 (2023) to January (2024), what have we done on the ground? Just in the field of labor, we have done a lot on the ground […]; (4) the training of apprentices in accordance with the training […]; fifth, the implementation of cash support program for pregnant women before, during and after childbirth […]; and (6) the setting up of a team to evaluate the criteria to make the community safe for each workplace. A place for a harmonious family […]

(15) Hope the population of Koh Kong will reach half a million by 2033

Let us figure out how to help Koh Kong province not to have the smallest population. In 1998, (the Koh Kong province) had a population of 84,000 people. By 2023, we had 140,000 people. Hopefully, by 2033, we will reach half a million people. For the Koh Kong province, we are planning to strengthen some industries. In 10 years, it would be possible for (the population of Koh Kong to reach half a million) if the industrial economy in this place grows fast or people from other provinces come to reside and to work here. Let say 20 years or so more […]

(16) Four points for the Ministry of Labor to continue to implement

There are 4 things to work on. Firstly, make further efforts to (increase) the possibility of establishing community kindergartens near the working place of our workers […] the Ministry of Education has also worked hard to promote nutrition […] the government provides relief (to relieve the burden for pregnant women) before, during and after the delivery until (the child is) 2 years old […]; secondly, improve the dining area, restaurant in the factory […]; thirdly, strive (to pay attention) on the safety of transportation (of workers) […] and fourthly, to conduct tests to recognize skills. Some people have acquired knowledge and skills without going through a school […] we can have the relevant Ministry to issue him/her a certificate […] we can work on a formula to evaluate and provide recognition […]./.

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