This is indeed the first Cabinet meeting of 2007 and is the continuation of what we have achieved from the past years. Before starting our agenda for today I wish to make some statement to the press who are present here in relation to some urgent issues. In fact the Cabinet meeting never makes such a press statement to the people but because rumors have been quite fast affecting the level of trust that Funcinpec has to bear.
May I make it clear to the monks, people and our compatriots that there has been a rumor spread by the press that Hun Sen ordered Funcinpec to withdraw its lawsuits over the issues of violation of trust and sale of the Funcinpec headquarter. Before my departure to Cebu to participate in the 12th ASEAN Summit there was an intermediary seeking my role of coordination leading to the withdrawal of the legal suits. There was an intention to write to me on that matter but I responded that there was nothing to be resolved that involved the Prime Minister at all because all legal cases are in the court’s jurisdiction.
Upon my return from Cebu, the Philippines, having reviewed all matters related we discovered that we have taken all measures concerned. As far as the preparation the upcoming elections is concerned social safety has been good and the remaining issue is the legalsuits of Funcinpec against its former leader and a number of its officials who have already been expelled from the Government and from the Party while they are now establishing a new political party.
In consideration of the fact that we have to provide safety and security for the forthcoming elections, I have thought of a number of options among many others aimed at reducing tension. Out of my respect to the leadership of Funcinpec I have proposed to its leaders HE Keo Put Reasmey and HE Deputy Prime Minister Lou Lay Sreng, Funcipec Deputy Head and HE Deputy Prime Minister Nhek Bun Chhay, its Secretary General to give some heed to my recommendations – for a reconciliation out of court system so as to bring about detente.
I have made it clear that it is a proposal for consideration and it is not an order. I thanked the leadership of Funcinpec for taking this proposal positively by stating that it will give its consideration on this issue in the next meeting of its permanent committee. In between 4:30 of January 17 to about 10:30 of the same day, I have done numerous things to resolve this affair. It is unfortunate though when I take up the conciliatory role, some have made statement that Prime Minister Hun Sen forced Funcinpec to withdraw its legal suits. I think this argument cannot be accepted and I wish to make it clear that what I would like to see is reconciliation for a calm atmosphere aimed at reaching out to a successful election.
As the legal action on violation of trust is a criminal case and this should be dealt by reconciliation out of the court house so that this could be a contribution to lessening issues relating to complicated matters in the court while withdrawal of the case itself cannot be undone. What is a misfortune here is the fact that some politicians have tried to benefit from the role of reconciliation while opening attacks on officials of Funcinpec and splitting the coalition of Funcinpec and CPP – whose officials are working together around this table.
When one says it is an order, first it is an insult to the Prime Minister for it is not his way of handling issue. It is a serious insult as he is also a leader from another political party of complete sovereignty. Second, it is an insult to the leadership of Funcinpec meaning it is a subordinate of the CPP and under the control of the Prime Minister, while on the contrary the leadership of Funcinpec has a fair wisdom and positive intention.
I have delivered to our Buddhist monks and people the current issues of concern and I wish to make a postscript on the reason why those officials have been expelled from Funcinpec. It is because they are so stupid in their actions again and again that its Party’s congress had to restructure its Party and leadership. I take the liberty of appealing the Ministry of Justice and Funcinpec to bring actions against those ill-intentioned politicians who have made use of these matters concerned and would urge them to continue their legal and court procedures to the end. What we want here is to see who is wrong and who is right.
I would request the Ministry of Justice to contact with the court in handling this measure as quick as possible. They may otherwise forget to think that though reconciliation may happen out of the court house, there will have to be some kind of approval from the Judges as well. The criminal case is not similar to that of the civil procedural case, whereas the latter could be withdrawn. In this respect I would urge those silly and ill-intentioned persons to stop using problems like these to cultivate own influence or frighten other people and harm the relationships between Funcinpec and CPP. I would urge those at the local levels to first think properly before giving their consent.
What I have stated so far is a clarification on issue which some bad persons intended to turn my conciliatory role into a political agenda of a handful of people who have been expelled from the Government as well as from Funcinpec. I would urge that this is a matter for urgent attentions of the press.