I am so glad today to have this opportunity to join with all of you to put into official use new buildings of the national military police in its headquarters. I hope not to keep our officers and troops standing for too long. Last night, I am sure, many of you could have stayed awake to watch the final football match, in which 100% could have betted for the French team to win. However, the Portugal team did. It was unbelievable. No one could expect outcome, as the ball is round.
New Buildings and Good Working Manner
On my own behalf and that of the Royal Government, I would like to express my sincere thanks and appreciation for the efforts made by commanders, deputy commanders of the military police in getting these achievements in place. What impressed us here is that the new buildings are standing on former commanding headquarters of the security apparatus in the regime of 1970s. I toured the buildings just now and noticed that it is a well-organized and equipped headquarters. I hope that there will be further contributions to equip it with modern and advanced materials and technology responding to the need for timely manner operations.
I would take this opportune moment to express my sincere thanks for generous people who have contributed together, with fund provided by the Royal Government, for the construction and equipping of these almost 5 million USD buildings. I hope that foreign friends would contribute further, especially technological systems to make the national military police advanced in action in the whole country … I have also noted progress in efforts to organize orderly working places at provinces, cities, districts/Khans, and various others. I hope this will further advance but we must keep in mind that along with well-built and organized workplaces, we need to do a good job.
Re-establishment of National Military Police/Gendarmerie
I wish to take this opportune moment to recall a souvenir of the re-establishment of the national military police or gendarmerie. Our gendarmerie has taken its establishments through various stages, except under the regime of Pol Pot that the country did not have gendarmerie in the country. Under the popular socialist society Sangkum Reastr Niyum (of Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk) they were referred to as military police, whose job mostly dealt with overseeing military. Under the Khmer Republic too, they did more or less similar job. Even under the regime of People’s Republic of Kampuchea or State of Cambodia, we also had military police whose job was mainly to overview the military.
Talking about its inception/reestablishment, we must refer to the late HE Sak Sut Sakhon, then adviser to the Royal Government, who helped with the preparation of the royal decree to reestablish the gendarmerie. HE Chhim Om Yon, also was doing his part to help with the term of reference, roles and duties of the gendarmerie, which is under direct command of Prime Minister, but depends on the Ministry of National Defense’s logistics for what they need in their operations. The reestablishment of the gendarmerie had gone through various staged started with command of General Keo Samuon, who already passed away, before he was transferred to military region III.
The gendarmerie was later under the command of General Kieng Savuth and then now General Sao Sokha, with remarkable progress made. I am so happy to see these progresses and I thank the Republic of France for assisting in the field of training of this gendarmerie forces since its inception. The Cambodian military police not only take command in the whole country but also take presence in a number of foreign countries, for instance South Sudan, for peacekeeping mission.
Sharing Condolence with the Family and Condemning Brutal Act
Please allow me to take this moment to share some of my concerns. You all know that this coming Friday will be the third year of my father’s demise. However, while talking about progress made by the national and sub-national gendarmerie, I would take this time to make some statements about national security matters. Yesterday there was an unfortunate incident relating to a brutal act of murdering of a well-known analyst – Dr. Kem Ley. It was a second time that we had come to seeing this kind of incident, which the murdering of Oknha Ung Meng Choeu was the first case. I would take this time once again, on behalf of the Royal Government and my own behalf, to express my condolence to the deceased family, and condemn vehemently such brutal act. I am issuing order for competent authority to seek for the persons committed the crime and those who collided with them, and take them to justice.
Impacts on Royal Government, Security Issue Must Strengthen
This is a serious impact on image of the Royal Government. Who would stand to benefit from such act? While the Royal Government was talking about peace and safety of the people, would this act not consider as act of defeating for us? The impact is so damaging. We must take action to resolve this issue, not only this particular incident, but also every incident that causes insecure feeling to our social security and order. Killings and armed robberies are on the increase and I make this a point so that the national gendarmerie and other competent forces will take duties to strengthen security for our country.
I would like to take this moment to appeal to our people to remain calm to allow our competent authorities and concerned ministries to exercise their duty to the full. You may ponder who would stand to benefit from such tragedy, who would gain, and who would lose. The Royal Government is surely to bear damaging impact, on one side from its inability to provide security for people and on another from that fact that some circles have painted the issue quickly as political matter. I hope people will leave the authority to work fully and seriously on this issue and avoid diverting this tragedy into political issue that could further trouble the situation. I hope politicians will not use this issue to instigate for national turmoil.
Three Measures Immediately
I would take this moment to set out a number of measures facing with the fact that there have been some serious criminal issues, either on innocent people, businessmen or even competent authority officers themselves. It requires a large campaign to re-strengthen our security. Firstly, we must take measures against killings, armed robberies to provide security to everyone – politicians, businessmen or innocent people at large … We must take every measure necessary to eliminate threats of killings, armed robberies and other forms. We must take a package of measures to resolve crimes issue in our country.
Secondly, every circle must join hands to deal with drug issue. Cambodia is not a drug producing country but drug travelled through it. It has also become a market for it. We all must join hands as the national gendarmerie and national police alone would not be sufficient to deal with it. People’s participation is the most important. I have received suggestions on my Facebook Page from people who asked that I take measures to help combat drug as so and so in their families have fallen into it. It was a constructive suggestion but people must also take their stand on the matter.
Thirdly, we must continue with control of arms and explosives – either when the forces are out in operation or those arms and explosives are in warehouses. We must take measures to forbid arms and explosives from moving around the country. We must try to seek for arms and explosives because they can be lethal to human lives […]
I am asking to myself it they not wish to defeat my record, when I talk about peace and people’s joy in time of peace and political stability. We all must not overlook this issue. We must try to forbid the horses from leaving the shed before they are inside. What happened yesterday or the one on Oknha Ung Meng Choeu were in fact an act of closing shed while the horses are already out. Everything in our country could turn into political matter quickly. I hope our people understand and refrain from going that way. The competent authorities are making efforts to deal with this issue to regain safety for our people.
Three Tasks of National Gendarmerie
… Once again, I congratulate the National Gendarmerie’s 23 years anniversary … I hope that the national gendarmerie who are present here and in the whole country will cooperate with relevant institutions in conformity to its roles and duties, which is to fulfill three tasks. Firstly, they are military police as defined by the sub-decree; secondly, in assistance to national police, they are keeping public order; and thirdly, they play the role of justice police to serve the court.
I am grateful and appreciate every effort, especially those of generous people for these huge buildings. I thank the foreign friends, especially Minister of State Security of the People’s Republic of China who is also present here. I will meet him tomorrow afternoon as in the morning I will have to take part in the Buddhist ritual for the three years demise of my father. […] Finally, for the 23rd anniversary of the re-establishment of the national gendarmerie, and the progress made by the military police in the whole country, I would bestow upon those involved once again my respect and congratulation […]./.