NICE TV: I have two questions. First, World Bank predicted slow growth for Cambodia because of Covid-19 in 2020. What would be the strategy to prevent and/or restore national economy? Secondly, which is more serious between impacts from EBA and Covid-19?
Thank you for your questions. No country in this world is safe and impacts-free, only how much and how far. We are not able to come up with assessment yet because we have no way now of knowing when Covid-19 will stop. However, Covid-19 has had impacts already on world economy. Every country is experiencing slow down […] I think there is a group of benefiters from this situation, besides those who produce medical equipment and supplies. They are those in funeral business […] I learnt from Fresh News that the family of a Cambodian who died in New York had had to pay 3,000 USD for cremation. I cannot verify if it is or is not true. Impacts on economy is huge […]
Normally three economic sectors are in play – agriculture, industry and service. Impacts have been real in industry and service but agriculture has had an opportunity. What I am saying is the evaluations by economists who studies impacts and benefiters (from this Covid-19). Agriculture will benefit from this situation […] I am not joking those in funeral business are making money too […] besides, medical and food industry are reaping benefits too. Industry involved in producing cars, airplanes, etc. are not […]
Cambonomist: What measures Cambodia take to ensure that Covid-19 will not have severe impacts on national productive force? What measures the Royal Government would take to help factories/enterprises to resume operations as quick as possible when Covid-19 subsided in the world, Europe, and in China.
Measures taken by Cambodia would depend on external factors as well. Impacts (of Covid-19 on) markets in America and Europe are causing problems not only for Cambodia but also countries exporting to them. It has felt those impacts already. Some countries have produced according to what was agreed but buyers cancelled their orders. They could not export. That is the impact. I think we have prepared for rapid resumption of factories/enterprises when situation returns to normal. However, as I said, it would not depend only on us […] we have plan to divert some factories/enterprises to produce for local consumption to replace imports. The Economic Policy Commission led by Deputy Prime Minister Aun Porn Moniroth, has had their hands on it […]
In this time of economic impacts, incomes – not only or Cambodia but for every countries – has dropped. Unemployment rate in industrialized countries is much higher than in our country. Yesterday, we have come to over 100 factories closing down operation because of lack of raw materials or buyers, and buyers who breached contracts […] the Royal Government, however, has taken strict measures to ensure that Cambodians are not starving. We are improving our rice stock, salt and instant noodle productions […] we can stop exporting them and keep foods for local consumption demand […]
Hang Meas: (1) the 150 Cambodian workers stranded in Malaysia, are they placed in isolation or stating at home? They may face with lack of food as they are fishermen and construction workers. (2) If people fail to abide by postponement of Khmer New Year holiday, will there be punishment?
As far as our people abroad are concerned, we are asking them to stay where they are for the sake of our nation. There is no other choice. It is not that I lack virtue. Yu may look at why every countries denied call of port of Westerdam, even in Guam, the US Island […] it was because the US thought of a bigger interest of millions of them in the countries […] we are asking them to understand the gravity of the situation and think about the 16 million people in the country […]. I think it is not yet as difficult as when we were under the Pol Pot’s regime. In Malaysia, I also think they would not let their people to die of hunger […]
As for your second question, we are not closing down the country. We are not placing curfew. There is no law to do so yet. However, we are begging our people to limit their travels and stay home. We do not have right to fine them […] some lawyers suggested there is no need for law on state of emergency. Without that law, fine is impossible. The Royal Government needed to have such law at hand. If things go haywire’, we have law that can enact order or exercise curfew […] I am begging our people for understanding and it is for your own good. People do not trusting each other anymore. We are afraid of each other because we could not know if the other person is Covid-19 free […]
For this strange disease, there is a need to have social distancing and it is probably the most effective way to protect oneself and each other from infection. We should sit far and between. Let me reassure that there would not be any fines but I insist begging our people to understand the difficult situation that we are in […] it is for your own good and each family […]
Thmey Thmey: (1) That Cambodia makes efforts to prevent Covid-19 outbreak while resolving economic problems for people, can we say it has been a new experience to help Cambodia self-strengthening? (2) Trade unions in Cambodia asserted that some factories closed operations and they had no ability to pay workers according to the formerly stated formula – 40% by factories and 20% by the Royal Government. What would be the Royal Government’s solution?
One must try to stand up right where one fell. We must try to stand up by ourselves. Every crisis brings about experience. It is not only for us to learn from it. The world also has to learn from it too […] for instance, Cambodia has to make sure now about what we must have in stock. We cannot overlook this. Some countries, we are not finding their faults with, are rich but they failed to have enough masks for their patients and medical staff. I am sure they are going to learn from these experiences. We also will learn lessons from this crisis and strengthen our ownership and responsive mechanism in time of emergency […]
As for the second point, it has happened like that. Yesterday, I just made a decision but I have not brought with me the paper. Previously, we asked the factories owners to share 40%, while the state will shoulder 20% more, for workers whose factories suspended. Now, factories said they are not able to cover the requested share. On this note, the state has had to give each worker 40 USD and the factories pay another 30 USD. This means anyone have their jobs suspended the state would pay them 40 USD, and the factories would add another 30 USD from their parts. We could not go to our goal of 90 USD. They could get only 70 USD (per month). However, workers are not required to enroll in re-training as planned […]
Central China Radio and TV: (1) this afternoon, the Chinese medical experts are returning to China. For their works more than ten days, has the Royal Government satisfied with their works? Would Cambodia have however more requests to the Chinese side to fight Covid-19? (2) China has realized major results in preventing Covid-19 and resumed its production, while engag9ing in international cooperation with many foreign countries. Would you give your remark on such international cooperation in the current circumstance? (3) On 30 March, Samdech Techo said Cambodia would halt exporting rice and paddy. Vietnam and Russia also declared halting export of rice and wheat. This has led to Chinese people purchasing rice, instant noodle, etc. in large amount for stock […] Has Cambodia any measures to halt exporting agricultural produce, such as banana, cassava, etc.,? What would be Cambodia’s measures about visa? Chinese investors are concerned about it.
[…] Let me take on your last question. I said that Cambodia would halt exporting white rice and paddy but we continue to export aromatic rice. So far, Cambodia exported to China aromatic rice only. We are going to export according to our contact of 400,000 metric tons of rice – the quota allowed by China. We observe that. We also export aromatic rice to the European Union. Let me reaffirm, exporting aromatic rice to markets in China continues […]
As for the second question, on international cooperation. China has been successful in curbing infection and preventing loss of life. No one could have expected such disaster. China has done it and become a country that provides assistance to more than 100 countries in the world. Many countries placed their orders (of medical supplies) to China […] Cambodia congratulates China’s efforts to overcome own difficulties and take victory on what happened in China. In addition to that, China assisted countries on the world with masks and medicines. It has provided 1,000 ventilators to New York. That has indicated a model of cooperation. This is no time of fighting each other but solidarity against Covid-19, which is enemy of humankind. WHO Director-General was right when he said it is time for no fight but for solidarity and cooperation to save this planet […]
On Cambodia-China relation, everyone knows what Cambodia and China have done together. I have no regret whatsoever in my political decision towards China. Some attacked me for going to China in time of infection and blamed me for not evacuating Cambodian students from Wuhan. As a result, everyone could see now, no Cambodian student fell victim of the outbreak. I have trust that our friend China would take care of foreign nationals as they would to their own […] I traveled to China with confidence […] it would not be in Hun Sen’s nature to affiliate only in time of happiness. We must share both happiness and distress […] besides my journey to China assured Cambodian students to stay on […]
As we can see now, China has provided Cambodia with civilian and military medical assistances. China state and private sectors sent us their contributions. Some said I kowtow China. Do I have to close flights and evacuate (Cambodian) people from China to satisfy their judgments? France, Spain, Italy, etc. needed assistances from China, why can I not? I am sure China would not leave Cambodia in distress without giving help. In fact, assistance had come to Cambodia even before (Cambodia had had its first case of infection). We have not even used supplies/tools from China yet. We still need them though. We have small number of ventilators. Please contact with the Chinese Embassy to ask them for more. China sent 1,000 ventilators to New York. We may need 50 more […]
[…] those involved in geopolitical policy development may want to think about it would it be a mistake to have relations with China. Would some countries call me friend only if I go against China? I have not and will never have to choose between China and the US or France or Europe. We are open to have contacts except the terrorists. As in the case of Kosovo, Cambodia would not give its recognition because it is a state separation from former Yugoslavia […] we do not encourage state division. We do not recognize two small states created by Russia in Georgia as well […]
[…] on China’s sovereignty, Cambodia respect China’s sovereignty as it respects own sovereignty. We implement one-China policy. Taiwan is a province of China. In 2012, Cambodia was rotating chair of ASEAN. Some had cause us so much trouble. They threw me a hot potato […] they placed South China Sea issue on our shoulder. I would not shoulder it. In reality, after Cambodia’s chair, which ASEAN member has succeeded on that matter? Unfortunately, they insulted Cambodia for its relation with China. They can have relation and do business with China why Cambodia cannot […] in Chinese, they say – “only in a long journey would tell the horse’s power” […]. I said in Stoeung Trang, Kompong Cham, in 1995, the Khmer saying – “a friend in need is a friend in deed.” What wrong does it make when Cambodia implements its policy of making friend with all in the world irrespective of political regimes, socio-economic status and races? […]
While the world is in trouble, the Cambodian-Chinese golden dragon military exercise took place as planned. May blamed us. Cambodia and China have not placed countries under state of emergency. Cambodia decided to go ahead with the plan. If any countries – the US, France, Australia, etc., would like to have military exercise with Cambodia, I would approve. We can still hold such exercise. We took temperature every day and finally no Chinese soldiers has Covid-19. No one of Cambodian soldier does too. At the same time, while the US military ship docked in Vietnam, how many (of their soldiers have) infected? […] why the US navy can call on port in Vietnam and we cannot carry through military exercise we have planned long ago? […]
In the context of Covid-19, they have dragged Cambodia into disgusted games of geopolitics […] my only suggestion is that we do not take anyone as our enemy. Even countries without diplomatic relations with Cambodia, we are not taking them as our enemy. We do not establish diplomatic relation with Kosovo, for instance, is because Cambodia does not encourage state division/separation. It is a message to Kosovo and Serbia for that matter […] let me reaffirm to you that the bond of friendship between Cambodia and China strengthened a step further. It is now a new stage after a setback. I hope our friend China will continue to help Cambodia […]
VOA: Two questions and one suggestion. (1) Relating to law on state of emergency, would in anywhere of the law stipulate as to what state would Cambodia implement the law? How serious would the state consider implementing it? In what situation, besides Covid-19, would the law be enacting? (2) The Constitution stipulated that HM the King would declare state of emergency. In case HM the King is absent, would acting head of state be the one to do the job in HM’s place? (3) Concerning your elaboration about military exercise, about ten years ago Cambodia used to conduct military exercise with the US. It was postponed three years ago. What should the US do to resume the exercise? I have a request for the Ministry of Health to give a press conference on a daily basis (about Covid-19).
Which media are you? VOA? You may have my question but there should not edit it. Since 1998, I never talked to VOA. I gave them half an hour or so interview, they replayed three minutes of what I said […] however, we have here today so many media outlets. Now I answer your question […] in what situation would Cambodia declare state of emergency? I think we would not need a state of emergency for Covid-19. The probability of using this law is only 0.1%. However, it is wise to have such law at hand. In case the 0.1% probability is turning to be the opposite, we have the law we needed […] the draft law defines each period of state of emergency no more than three months. In case of necessity, it would be a renewal of another three months […]
The point here is that we must not allow loophole in law because declaring state of emergency would have impacts on many things […] we look at a situation that words cannot ensure understanding, state of emergency is necessary and for a short period of time. Once the situation returns to normal, we would quickly restore the country […] as for the question on who to declare the state of emergency should HM the King is not in the country, according to the Constitution, I do not think acting head of state would be rightful to do it. That would be my understanding. I would leave this, however, to the Constitutional Council to interpret it […]
On point three – military exercise. It was just a matter of time. (We cancelled the exercise because) it was close to the elections. We asked for provisional break. Later, they have made it a different story. Now, they can come. Whatever exercise would be on, they can propose what to do […] they, however, must cover expenses. My topic of exercise would be to fight against terrorism and disaster management and rescue operation […] I would not require exercise on fight against Covid-19 as I am concerned about further spread of infection. Well, let them so a proper test and place in quarantine before joining the exercise. Let them come. They should not make it a pretext that Cambodia rejected the US military assistance or cooperation. Cambodia is ready. I approved it in my power without having to seek permissions from the National Assembly, ten Senate, or HM the King […]
VOA: We may place country under the state of emergency for Covid-19. How about in other social insecurities or rebel, would you foresee that Cambodia come to it?
We are talking about situation that are out of control […] I think your question has been directed by someone […] besides Covid-19, in other situations, would Cambodia also exercise state of emergency? […] it has been days now that some have attacked us on this matter. They said we disguise our move against political upheaval under Covid-19 to write this law […] once situation goes out of control, no appeal heeded the time has come for it. Let me put it plainly like this for the sake of understanding. Once we cannot find a common point through talking, the Royal Government’s appeal met with denial, there comes the state of emergency. Any country would do the same […] we have not had the law yet. We needed to have one. It would not be useful only for Hun Sen’s time. Whoever comes after me would decide if it would be useful to keep and use it or not […]
Your question picked on this matter. The law has defined what would be public emergencies – war, etc. Under Lon Nol, when the US assisted the regime, in Phnom Penh alone, there were times that they enacted curfews and/or martial laws. Why Cambodia cannot do it this time. Why do they say we disguise other motive under Covid-19 and/or to do so to shut up freedom of expression? Let me restate my point that the probability of using the law would now be 0.1%. In reality, as you can remember, I allowed demonstration to go on for nearly one year in Phnom Penh. Demonstrators must not infringe upon other people’s rights. When they expanded their scale to overthrowing (the legal Royal Government), even in absence of law on state of emergency, we could still bring the country back under control […]
I think that we should have a regular press conference to give updates on Covid-19. Donald Trump comes out every day to update on campaign against it. The Ministry of Health already issued its statement on a daily basis. I suggested that the Ministry of Health organizes a press conference on a weekly basis. They may decide on one particular day – Thursday or Monday. In case of urgency, they may do extra ones. As Prime Minister and Commander in Chief in the war against Covid-19, I will have to give briefing too. It could have been once a week now. There are more to talk about and I will meet you more […]./.