Human Resource for Cambodia’s Development
Today I have a great pleasure to join with all of 1,362 graduates of the Panha Chiet University. I would take this opportune moment to express my sincere appreciation and thanks for every efforts made by professors and management of the University. The Chairman of the University board, Mr. Run Rothveasna, reported in his speech that we have made great efforts together on a long journey and what we have achieved today signified common endeavors – state and private, to work together to build human resource for Cambodia’s development at this point in time and for long-term need.
I have mentioned on various occasions that should there be no correct policy taken, participation from the private sector in the field of education, so to speak, we would have no means to absorb tens of thousands of students who graduated from secondary school level and are in need of tertiary education. People also have taken their parts of efforts by accepting fee-paying option for their tertiary education. Some, however, received scholarship from the state and other sources, including those offered to me by the Panha Chiet University (PCU) and I gave those to students in need.
Study Is a Continuing Process
I would like to take this opportune moment to express my sincere congratulation to all graduates today – bachelors and masters programs, for turning themselves into human resource for the present need of development as well as further education. Study is a continuing process and without an end. Things evolve and change endlessly. That requires close and relentless monitoring. We have made efforts to do works but on instance of a negligence of endeavor to study and research, one could become a conservative as one loses touch with the situation.
I have come across such officials who have parted away from where we stand, not in front of us but behind. Some have taken their roles as advisors or assistants but they do not even know where things are now. Some advised me as if we are in the 1980s, for instance things about road connectivity and new settlement in certain area. I wish that advices or recommendations be in conformity to the present situation. Some suggested Cambodia should do this or that as they do in the US or Japan or France. These people went to another side of the extreme … I would just insist that students, officials and armed forces to monitor evolution of the situation because it will help them deal properly and in a timely manner with whatever situation that may happen.
Being Conservative Is Dangerous
As we are celebrating the graduation and diploma presenting ceremony today, I would take this chance to appeal to students of all levels to continue to make efforts and increase capacity by any means, not from only what you have learnt in school. With internet access, people can download knowledge and improve their understanding of things. There are also computerized libraries with so many books available. Should anyone neglect efforts to increase knowledge, s/he would soon become a conservative and it would be dangerous. We could compare it to a big piece of rock preventing small plants from growing. I am calling our people – both the young and old, to make studying efforts […]
Resolving Rice Price on Mobile
Lately I took a trip of 1,250 Km by road from Phnom Penh through Kandal, Prey Veng, Kratie, to spend a night in Mondulkiri. After wrapping up our works in Mondulkiri, on National Road 76, I headed to Ratanakiri province, where I worked and stayed for one night. I left Ratanakiri after lunch and headed to Stoeng Treng. I did not return to Kratie. I crossed the Mekong at Stoeung Treng and travelled along the road that is going to be National Road 9 to Preah Vihear. On NR 9, I did not travel to NR 62 to connect to NR 6 but travelled through the district of Rovieng to see a number of preserved zones. I had a chance to try Khmer noodle there. It was coincidental […]
Along the trip, I had a chance to see things and hit on a number of lingering issues that are waiting for solutions. We studied the problems together, made decisions and took solutions on the spot and many problems resolved. I exposed myself to a bit of rain when I stopped by the secondary school of Kon Mom, on the trip between Ratanakiri to Stoeng Treng, where all of their secondary school level students passed their exams. All 22 of them passed. They are great. This has suggested that standard of education between those in urban and in rural area is not different.
While being on mobile, rice price issue happened and I had to resolve the matter. I have followed up the matter for while and some even teased that I played with my phones. In fact I have to keep up with situational development concerning prices of rice and many of those information came into my phone. Senior Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance, Aun Pornmoniroth, led the meeting to seek immediate, medium, and long-term solutions, and most importantly the immediate step. I had to check with the paper and gave my instruction in there. We then had to take photo and send to the Minister of Economy and Finance. Everything was possible thanks to the availability of electronics and internet. It is good to have e-government.
High School Graduates to Take Entry Exams for Primary Education Teachers
Once again, I would like to bestow my sincere appreciation to the steady efforts of the PCU and its generous offer of some 346 scholarships since 2010 to me to provide to those in need. I am so happy and share this joyful moment with families’ members of the graduates like their spouses, parents, and/or children. I wish to take this time to clarify a few things. I am preparing to have a meeting with 405 top-scored high school graduates, whereas in the first year of educational reforms there were only 11 people and over 100 students last year. Last year, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports allowed A, B and C scored high school graduates to become teachers automatically. There have been some protests from some students who scored D and E.
Considering their demands, I have discussed with the Minister of Education, Youth, and Sports, HE Hang Chuon Naron. I would urge the Minister to reconsider the decision with other leaders in the Ministry. We have the need to recruit some 3,000 teachers a year, after we allowed recruitments in the last six or seven years of 5,000 teachers a year. I am asking the Minister to think about responding to their demands. I just share this thought in advance in case the Ministry would not allow the A, B, C scored high school graduates to claim teaching careers automatically. They should not be concerned about taking another exam.
Water Festival’s Boat Race to Happen
This year, no matter how low the water will be in the river, we will have the water festival’s boat race event. Yesterday, water level in Stoeng Treng dropped low to 8.61 meters. However, the water level this year is better than the year before … On my way back I stopped by Prek Kadam and saw that water flow into some lakes and reservoirs through canals. The 16th typhoon approached Japan causing some depression leading to change of atmosphere for low ICTZ area. This will prolong rain over Cambodia until end of September. As for the Mekong basin area, from 21 through to 25 September, rain will continue to pour in area of Laotian Pakse and below […]
Allow Nobody to Destroy Peace and Social Order
As for political matter is concerned, I just wish to affirm that there is no such thing as political crisis in Cambodia. As you can see, graduates celebrated their diploma presenting ceremony and high school graduates are preparing themselves to go to University, people are registering for voting rights. According to latest report, the National Elections Committee has registered over two million voters as of now. If the country is in crisis, could we have done all this? Please do not make personal case as political and do not consider it legal right of expression. I warn again that a political organization cannot prevent (legal action of a) personal wrongdoing. Culture of dialogue is for issue under the competency of political party or the Royal Government, where they will discuss things […]
Cambodia is not in political crisis and there is no such thing as internal crisis. Individual with court matter must proceed with the case with the court. It is not competency of political party or the Royal Government. I cannot interfere in the court affairs unless the court reached its final decision. Then the matter will come back to the Prime Minister. While the law allows Prime Minister to request for royal pardon, I would also have a look into the issue … The Cambodian people are in need of peace, political stability, security, and social order for development. Someone from lower Cambodia wrote a comment to my Facebook page mentioning that one side had the army and another side had people. I am saying that what the person said was wrong.
Normally, a ruling party has more people’s support. It has the people’s supports and those of the army and administration. I would earn them not to threaten calling for a demonstration to put pressure for a negotiation. No way for that … There is only one place to go – the National Assembly. That they have abandoned the National Assembly, where else could they meet? It could be a wonderful place to get things sorted out. Shaking hands with each other there, people could get their matters to light and solve them […]
Distaste Foreign Interference in Internal Affairs
I wish to make it clear that foreigners may not want to poke their noses. I would not go all the way like the President of the Philippines did but I tend to think we are two of a kind. I have put it this way. He is older than I am. It is I then who had to liken myself to his. He distastes foreign interference in his country’s internal affairs. He blamed preaching about human rights and held human rights responsible mentioning about the US soldiers killing his people. He railed his anger at the Secretary General of the United Nations over his remark on his fight against drug ring. Well, the President of the Philippines had his right to speak before anyone else as he is going to chair ASEAN next year. Stepping out of the meeting, he showed me his paper and said “let’s go for wherever international conference together.”
It Is an Order
While I was in China, they threatened with demonstration in the country. Fresh News reacted and I posted one more on Facebook. It is an order and I have envisaged that some would come out and say – “Hun Sen threatens.” It is not a threat. It is more than a threat because it is an order to eliminate whoever would destroy security and social order …If an individual committed a mistake he had to serve what he did before justice. That is end of the story. There is no need to bring everyone else to his/her problem. Well I must stress this as it falls on what they called “Black Monday.” The one staying in France raised his voice about demonstration everywhere. Well, let them come. I order to deal with them wherever they are.
While you claim rights to demonstrate, why do we not have the right to respond? Someone have rights to support the opposition party, there are people who have rights to support the Royal Government too. It was they who started first to threaten with demonstrations should there be no negotiation … The Royal Government has every rights to order military exercise at all time. One day I need to know how responsive was the forces – infantry, navy and air. I had ordered from Singapore. We got it together in about 36 minutes … there is no threat in nature. We must get ourselves prepared and ready. What if there is going to be a terrorist act. We need to get our force together in no time […]
Fall of Rice Price
Fall of rice price or food price happens not only in Cambodia. We should notice that many developing countries have been competing with similar products, while developed countries have none or less number of competitors over theirs. Everywhere I went I checked to see what TV brands those countries used, for example. As far as TV is concerned, from two to five star hotels, they all use Korean TVs. We developing countries are competing with each other over similar products. Within the Mekong Sub-region or ACMECS frameworks, every country produces rice. Thailand has ten million tons, of which at least two million tons needed to sell out. Vietnam sells some millions tons too. Only the Philippines expressed its intention to purchase a million ton of milled rice. Myanmar exported rice too. Laos is self-sufficient […]
So far, I have made efforts to expand market for Cambodia’s agricultural products. Initially China bought nothing from Cambodia. Later, they bought 100,000 metric tons of milled rice from us. Not long ago, Premier Li Keqiang declared China buy in addition to the previous quota another 100,000 metric tons. Cambodia has therefore sold to China a sum of 200,000 metric tons of milled rice. That does not mean China does not have rice for consumption. China on the contrary has a big rice stocking. However, because of our good relations and helping friend feeling, China increases import quota of rice for Cambodia … This time of year is in fact not a harvest season but because of our farmers’ efforts, and the Royal Government’s investment in irrigation system, plus better technology, the country is able to produce more and harvest at this rainy time […]
We disbursed urgently an amount of 20 million USD, plus seven million USD from the Rural Development Bank, to purchase some 100,000 metric tons of rice. We have jacked up the price of rice to stay at 840 Riel per Kilogram or 840,000 Riel per metric ton. That is how much we could do at this stage to stop intermediary traders from lowering the price of rice. We must make information known to our people. It seems the news travels slowly. There seemed to have some congestion. According to HE Ke Kim Yan, Deputy Prime Minister, the area that our people have harvested is reasonably big.
Banks Should Help Farmers in Difficulties
… Some people advised us to group our farmers together and call them production group, not collective farm, so that they could protect and bargain the price or keep rice in stock if they have too. As for now, people sold their rice in wet. We do not have enough silos to fry rice. Our silos have limited ability. We are calling on all concerned parties, beside Oknha Phu Puy, like Canadia and others with silos to dry rice, to help deal with this task. We will delegate capital to them to purchase rice. From a country that we had to depend on other for rice for consumption, we have now become a country with surplus rice in search of marketing absorption […]
I am calling on all banks that the state has undertaken 50% risk for them to provide loans to companies that purchase and process rice. I am placing an appeal to microfinance institutions to exercise understanding for people who are in hardships because they may not have ability to pay you back. They could not sell their rice at all or sell at a recoverable price. Please do not take harsh measures to sue them to court to confiscate their homes or lands. In addition to this, I am asking for prolongation of payback time, or if possible, to charge no interest or reduce interest for them. I am intervening only on behalf of those who have borrowed for cultivation and for other purpose would not count in […]
Medium Term Measures – Expanding Rice Market
In the medium term, I have been working with Chinese leaders and our officials are working with the Chinese counterparts to seek a 300 million USD loans for a drying silo, warehouse and rotating capital to purchase rice. We do not have sufficient fund. I hope that our farmers understand. The Royal Government continues to expand its market search. However, please understand that we needed to compete with Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, and even India for that matter because India has a big stock of rice between 30 and 40 million metric tons […]
… Some countries approached us calling for a friendly price, about 100 USD lower than price available in the market. They also proposed payment by installment, while we also are short of money. That is why some would ask why do we not export to Africa? We did find out and those countries are in difficult financial state. Some countries asked for up to six months installment if they had to buy at a market price, instead. If we have money, we could have done it […]
… I reckon that our farmers have the necessity to sell their rice urgently to pay back debt, to cover family’s expenses. However, I hope that some families could be able to keep it and wait until the right price returns … For matter about rice and agricultural products I would not hesitate to act […]
Calling on Millers to Purchase from Farmers
… I urge the twenty million USD to go swiftly to millers and they should purchase whatever amount of rice possible and at the appropriate price from farmers, respecting the ASEAN Free Trade Area framework. We also allow import of rice with a 7% import tax and 10% value added tax. I hope our traders and people are using local rice rather than importing from abroad. What I am saying does not bother principles of the World Trade Organization and AFTA. We must deal with both inflow and outflow of trade […] We will need to make further investment on processing because selling out rice incurred losses of broken parts, rice brand and husks. I am calling for more investment in processing in Cambodia for rice and other crops. We have made great efforts to expand market for rice. Lately, there is a company from Guangxi invested in a rice mill in Cambodia and now people in Guangxi consume about 10,000 tons of rice per year from Cambodia […