Selected Comments Samdech Moha Bovor Thipadei Hun Manet, at the closing session of 2023 Review Meeting on Drugs, and Ninth Directives Setting and Dissemination Campaign for 2024 [Unofficial and translations]

CMF:

(1) Will not let Cambodia become a country of clean environment and social security

Drugs is not a problem in Cambodia alone. This problem exists in every region, even in countries with strict laws, where drug traffickers/traders are being executed, or superpowers with ability to spend billions of dollars a year […] it is complicated, growing and evolving fast. Having said this, one may ask does it mean that Cambodia should stop (its effort) working (in the fight against drug)? Does that mean we are hopeless? That is not the case. We have no other choice but fight against it. We cannot let Cambodia – in another 15 to 20 years – become a country plagued with drugs […] we want our district/country to be a place where our living condition is clean environmentally and in terms of social security […]

(2) Drug production and trafficking has become advanced, influential and interlacing internationally

[…] (Drugs trafficking and use) is a complex problem and even more complicated because the drug trafficking and drug production has become more interlacing, advanced, and influential. Previously (trafficking catered to) sale in separate locations. Now they have interwoven not only in the country but into the international system. We need to acknowledge this evolution. We have no choice but to fight it to […] ensure a future for our children/grandchildren and for the environment in our country […] among the five priority measures prepared by the Royal Government of the 7th legislature, the 4th key measure is to pay attention to strengthening the implementation of village/commune/sangkat policies, especially to reduce and eventually eliminate drug trafficking in the community […]

(3) The 21-December-2023 house-cleaning principle to dismiss those involved in/used drugs from the government

Both the superpowers who spend billions and the countries that observe death penalty for drug traffickers, they still face (drug trafficking issue) […] this suggests that it requires the participation of the people through education and guidance, and most important of all is home education. Parents advise their children not to use drugs. We have legal measures against dealers/producers (of drugs) but (we must also educate) consumers. In the law, we consider consumers as victims who need to receive education, guidance, rehabilitation and integration, need help […]

On December 21, 2023, I set out the house cleaning policy that the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of National Defense have been implementing so that our law enforcement officers, including the police, the army and the military police who happened to be involved in/using drugs, are expelled from the government […] I have just signed an order by the Royal Government to extend this implementation (measure to cover) those in the government too. This means that civil servants, the armed forces at both the national and sub-national levels, must be expelled from the government […] when they are found to be involved in/using drugs. This is an intolerable policy within the government […]

(4) Create and share a database of drug addicts and those committed serious mistakes

I have agreed to the request for the creation of a database. Please discuss this matter with the relevant institutions – the Ministry of National Defense, the Ministry of Public Works, from which the Minister, HE Hun Many, has made a list sharing data of those who were expelled from the army or government for reasons of drugs and committing serious mistakes […] we cannot allow such persons expelled from one institution to be able to permeate into another […] for the time to come, we are considering a code of conduct based on legal principles, national security principles, social security principles, individual rights principles and social benefits for these sorts of persons […]

Please think on a regular basis as to how do we need to take into consideration the legal aspect, the social aspect, the security aspect, the individual rights aspect, the community interest aspect, and combining them together as an appropriate measure. What responsibilities should there be after those persons committed (those crimes?). It is not just a matter of being fined and over. There must be (weight of crime) that with it the person will be more careful. However, the punishment will not close the door for life. We will think about what can be done so that the person can be reintegrated to some extent into society […]

(5) In the next 15 to 20 years, the drug issue will be smaller and disappearing from Cambodia

Once we have cleaned (this drug issues in) institutions, the area where the drug problems prevail will shrink to gradually smaller size. We can then replicate data and experience in “water-lettuce clearing” effort to other institutions/locations […] if we do not have a system in place to do away the water-lettuce, they will grow back and wrap us forever […] we put a barrier to prevent them from entering the area that we have already cleaned and placed under control by law […] so far, our crackdown effort is still peaceful. No weapons used against those traffickers […] we hope that in the next 15 or 20 years, Cambodia will not reach (such a situation). On the contrary, the difficult to eradicate water-lettuce metaphor of drug-related chaos will become smaller and smaller, leading to the disappearance from our land […]

(6) Database of drug-use persons helps guide and protect the rights of the peaceful community

We have had implemented the safe village/commune policy for many terms so far. We need to go further and develop a more effective and participatory approach and be more consistent in our implementation. Going forward, we will use technology to help. Asked if it is not too cruel a measure to jot down those who sell drugs, and/or commit drugs on the government’s list? Or is it not a way to abuse him/her and eliminate her/his human rights? On the contrary, indeed, it is the protection of human rights. Firstly, with what we know we are able to help and to guide them, and secondly, we are able to protect the greater rights of the community of people who want to live in peaceful life […]

(7) Do not allow growing marijuana for inability to control

Recently, a few people keep asking me for permission to investment in growing marijuana […] to serve the health sector. Whoever and wherever they do that it is their things. As long as Hun Manet is the Prime Minister (of Cambodia), I do not agree with this request […] a report in the United States, a powerful nation – many times greater than ours, some states that are allowed to grow marijuana later cannot control it – firstly, cannot control the use, since it is not only for pharmacy production, […] secondly, for a license to grow only 10,000 hectares, they never finish (harvesting) because they cut down the forest (to plant) more […] and thirdly, this marijuana is related to drugs […] for Cambodia, I would say that it is not profitable to invest in hundreds of thousands of hectares to grow marijuana to supply Canadian pharmaceutical companies. In conclusion, I would like to send a message to those would come from abroad to invest (growing marijuana) in Cambodia. It would be a waste of time flying in for that […]

(8) Drug use affects health, parents, families and community

Those who think that it is easy and profitable to do this business, please change careers. That is sin. They may use that kind of dirty money to take children and grandchildren out on holiday or to buy a good car. But how many people did that money hurt? Well, I just suggest that you think from a humanitarian point of view, from a virtuous point of view […] as for the drug use issue, do not think about where to use it so that the police would not know and be able to arrest but to think of it as an issue that affects our parents, our family, our health, and we must all participate […] the Royal Government has no intention of implementing the fifth approach (to take an operation) too often. The four approaches (reflect oneself in the mirror, take a shower, scrub off dirt, take treatment) need to be implemented frequently, but if without alternative, we are not afraid to practice the fifth one. We must solve together because it is a common problem of the people and all of us […]./.

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