In addition to the prepared text, Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen made comments on various topics that are being selected and translated as follows.
I am so happy to be able to participate in three events in one – firstly, the 54th anniversary of the establishment of the Royal School of Administration (1956-2010), secondly, the presentation of diploma for graduates of the Preah Vihear temple promotion, attestation of 2009 training for senior and mid-level officials, and certification of 2009 training for officials of the Senate, and thirdly, the opening of the school year for the sixth generation of administrative officials and training of senior and mid-level officials for 2010.
I am so glad that the organizer has made it a meaningful event by gathering not only those graduated today and those who are going to take up studies in the forthcoming term, but also those who studied in the Royal School of Administration in the past. That Deputy Prime Minister Sok An, one of those studied in this school, took the initiative to set up an association of alumni of RSA, as is said by HE Ly Kim Sok, director of the RSA, is a good thing that will help sustain and guarantee solidarity among those educated here.
The RSA was established in 1956, when Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk was the Prime Minister of Cambodia after Samdech abdicated the throne in favor for his father, Samdech Preah Norodom Suramarit. In 1960 his father passed away. The country was being left without a king, which had prompted an insertion in the Constitution a creation of a new function “Head of State” which is life position. What I wanted to infer here is the RSA was in fact established at the time when Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk was Prime Minister and then Head of State and the School has in fact contributed to training of human resources for state management in the post independence-gained era.
HE Ly Kim Sok has affirmed that the establishment of the RSA was taking place when the French colony withdrew and there was a need for officials in field of state management. Some officials had been sent off for further education in France and in fact the French did continue to help the School ever since, except only in the period of the genocide. After the fall of the genocide, we reopened the School under the supervision of the Ministry of Interior, which by 1991, was separated into two – the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Security. After there was this provisional Government, the two – Ministries of Interior and Security – have become one again.
Aside from that, according to the Paris Peace Agreement, the United Nations Transitional Authority for Cambodia (UNTAC) was authorized to oversee five ministries – National Defense, Interior, Economy and Finance, Information and Justice. We then created the Ministry of Security that the late HE Sin Song was placed as leader. Later on we decided to place RSA under the Council of Ministers and I have involved in the establishment of the school from the beginning too. In 1992, with the French assistance, RSA was put into operation and training of government human resources has started. It is in fact my 14th time to be present for the School graduation ceremony.
My first presence to the School was as an honorary lecturer but I could not do that anymore now. I think that is the stage of development because I am getting busier and there have been a great number of capable lecturers already. However, I could maintain my presence here on a casual basis like today that some of the strategy and tactics could be selectively presented and explained. I sometimes had been moved with tears because of strategy and tactics.
As a leader it is difficult to get it delivered. Strategy and tactics are not to be made known to everyone and in every detail. However, hiding it or keeping part of it to yourself risks creating a confused matter for those under your leadership. There is nothing that you can do about it but to shed tears and wait till the time has come. Only time will prove if what has been set out is a failure or success. I may say that there seems to be no room for mistake as far as my strategy has been put out but it has been tough and painful for the initial part.
Take for instance, the win-win policy development and implementation. It was a fact that it was not in everyone’s agreement. There have three core issues in the win-win policy that, despite its simplicities, significantly influences national reconciliation process. Firstly, to guarantee personal security for everyone who break away from the Khmer Rouge and returns to the national fold. Secondly, to guarantee that they could hold on to their functions and businesses – which means they could go on to be what they are, soldier, police, district head, etc., whereas uniform and rule of the Khmer Rouge must be replaced with those of the Government’s, and thirdly, to guarantee recognition of ownership rights on movable and immovable properties. The three are the main elements that make the win-win policy a story of success.
Again as I said not everyone is of conformity to the policy or strategy that has been put out. Let me raise an example about this. My mother and my aunt disagreed with what I was doing at the time not at the strategy level but at least at the fact that I had to go into the Khmer Rouge stronghold. I have narrated many times about my mother and my aunt coming to see me in my room and saying me “Are you not afraid of being killed when you are going into the Khmer Rouge’s stronghold?” My answer to them was: “if death were to happen, I and a few of people in my entourage would have to take it, but if I happen to gain, the whole country will survive.”
It was in fact a life and death mission. The win-win policy has not been an off hand development or care has not been given for implementing it. I must say that it is a policy I formulated and led the implementation all by myself. Let me bring up an issue involving the military force adjustment. At the time when we have integrated regions of Samlaut, Ta Sanh, Pailin, Kamrieng, Phnom Proek, Sampeo Loun and Mealay, the general staff came to see me with a request to adjust the military forces and stations. They based their arguments on the fact that those areas were plagued with the former forces of the Khmer Rouge, which therefore required a readjustment.
They believed that if ever the war broke out again we could not control what happened there. They suggested that some of the former guerilla forces should be brought to Kompong Cham, Kandal, Takeo, Prey Veng and Svay Rieng provinces. My response to their suggestion was “no.” For one, it would be a contradiction to my declaration and I upheld my strategy that the forces must stay where they were. If we were to move them further inside the country, we would take them away from their properties that are in fact along the border areas. This would be a contradiction to the third point in the policy that we have to recognize ownership rights on movable and immovable properties.
Another area of concern is the fact that where we could find land in Prey Veng, Svay Rieng, Kompong Cham and Takeo provinces for them to settle. In case of war breakout, which I do not agree, if we leave them where they are, the war would be within the contained and/or in former war areas, but if we were to bring them further in, if the war breaks out, it would be spreading throughout the country. However, I have no doubt that war is not a possibility because our brothers have in fact disengaged themselves from the Khmer Rouge leadership and have been working with us in the process of merging their forces into the national armed forces, and also contributing to national construction. This is a matter of strategy. That is why I said the difficulty to have a consensus or common understanding of strategy sometimes moved me into tears. Time remains the only factor to prove the truth.
In the course of national reconciliation, hundreds of houses have been given to elements of FUNCINPEC and KPNLF. Some of the Phnom Penh government officials, who worked hard since 1979 through to 1991-92, the time when we had this Paris Peace Agreement, did not have proper houses to stay in as we set aside houses for officials of the other factions. Not only that they do not thank us for what we had done for them but blame and even accuse us of selling state properties. I was so angry and had to respond that in absence of reciprocation, they better return those that have been given out.
Because of this situation I was placed under pressure. Firstly, what can I do to help them settle inside the country? And secondly, because of the fact that I had to disaggregate those properties from the collection of the state or the Cambodian People’s Party’s so as to cater to those newcomers’ needs, I also created a sense of despondency among some people too. Moreover I had to face with denigration from the ones I have made good for. In one of my rebukes from Prey Veng province I said they should return houses I have given them to the state and I would register them as state properties thereof. No one returned it.
As of now I am so happy to see that our people come to a park before my house and practice their physical exercises and not just in Phnom Penh but also former battlefields like Pailin and Anlong Veng have now had their own recreational areas. All this is possible because of the win-win policy’s successful implementation. It is still a unique example that no other country has had it repeated yet. Some people said what has happened today is because of the Paris Peace Agreement. I accept it and I have in fact been one of the parties to conduct negotiation from the beginning, started from my December 2-1987 meeting with Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk at Fère-en-Tardenois.
I may step out a bit here to prove my involvement. It was because there had not been an agreement on a term to be used in the Peace Agreement, Japan invited me for a medical checkup and I since then had my Japanese-made non-natural eye. I conducted a negotiation from seven in the evening through to about two in the morning of the next day with former vice minister for foreign affairs of Japan, HE Hisashi Owada, who is currently a judge on the International Court of Justice and serves as the President since 2009, on a proposed removal from the Paris Peace Agreement of the term “prevention of the return of the genocide.” He said in fact Pol Pot is no different from the case of Saddam Hussein, only Saddam was not yet brought to justice at that time, and war criminal will have to be brought to justice.
Our position to run a sentence “prevention of the return of the genocide” in the Peace Agreement was not accepted by other factions and the alternative at the time was “prevention of the return of the past deed.” We were the one to propose the original sentence be placed in the agreement because we had to take utmost precaution. However, UNTAC spent two billion US dollars for its operation in Cambodia and its departure left Cambodia a country of two control areas or two areas with two different Governments. On-going negotiation in Pyongyang of North Korea, between one side those representing the elected Government in Phnom Penh and on another being Khmer Rouge’s Khieu Samphan and Son Sen, under the high presidency of Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk and Samdech Supreme Patriarchs, encountered the Khmer Rouge’s defiance. It must be remembered that it was the win-win policy that brought the guerrilla war to its complete end.
I have an advice for all of you on “the role of an individual in a collective”. Some of you who had and have taken up studies here have now become Deputy Prime Ministers, Senior Ministers, Ministers, Secretaries of State, Under-Secretaries of State, Provincial Governors and Deputy Governors, District/Khan Heads or Vice Heads should be reminded that individual could not survive on its own without interacting with a collective framework. A person may have his/her initiative and it could be implemented into reality only when there is action. If it were the family head to initiate ideas, everyone in the whole family should act in tandem. In an organization, whether it is a party or Government, initiative could come from a particular person and would be brought in for discussion after which implementation must be performed within the organization. Here it means the idea has been accepted and implemented collectively. The individual has a role in a collective, whereas it is the collective that brings about successes.
Let me have your attention in refraining from the mentality of being main actor or star as it may be a dangerous illness. This concept could be understood when someone feels that if s/he were to be not in a particular place or time, the country or ministry would fall apart. I must warn that one should not threaten with resignation as, when it comes to beyond unacceptable level, you may be allowed to resign as you like. I must warn you that no matter how capable you are as an individual, but without the collective support you will not make it anywhere.
That is why I believe in the fight against corruption. In an institution, it is not fifty or two hundred people are corrupt altogether. I am sure just a small number of people would do so. I believe that many people will provide us reports and would go all the way to work together with us, which is making me positive that we have the capability to fight against corruption. How many would there be corrupt officials in the army as well as in a civil institution? I am sure we could mobilize the rest to join us combating corruption. I am sure with the law in place and institution established, information will come and investigation could proceed.
I must urge everyone to place oneself as an individual in the collective and when you are being placed in the main acting role, you may have to keep lower profile or one may have caught a disease of being subjectivism, egoism, individualism and nepotism, all of which would not lead to a long lasting career. In my life I have come across numerous hardships. In between 1979-80, because I was 27, many called me the Minister with a milky smell, which means they thought I was too young for the job as other ministers were forty and above. As you can see it is that Minister with a milky smell that is standing in front of you today and that has crawled up from Minister to Deputy Prime Minister and now Prime Minister for 25 years and when the term has come in 2013, I would be Prime Minister for 28 years. I will run in the next elections too as the Party has already proposed.
Our experience here has started with just a few people who formed up an army, together with other movements to set up the National United Front for Salvation of Kampuchea on December 2, 1978, which later liberated the country. We have started the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with only three people but now we have come to better human resource availability. My individual role has been used among many others for the first time in the Cambodian People’s Party electoral campaign. In its eleven-point policy, CPP clearly stated that if it were to be re-elected, Hun Sen would take up the post of Prime Minister. This means that if people wanted Hun Sen to be Prime Minister, they had to vote for CPP.
Having said so does not mean the CPP made electoral success because of Hun Sen as an individual but because of all-out actions and efforts by the third-term that brought about the forth-term Royal Government. We are making efforts in the forth-term in order to go for success in the elections to get to a fifth term. In this instance I would urge our officials not to go against the people’s interest. To reverse from serving people to mastering them is a serious danger.
I hope that we will improve the process of screening officials for further training at the RSA and as we have been able to organize a special training program for 69 students from the Senate, because their entry criteria are not in conformity with those required by the RSA, we may need to organize courses like that for officials from other places too. It is time for our training to go to a profound level and our administrative system also needs to be modernized, therefore we must improve our know-how. A point so important to remember is that we are in the age of regional and world integration. We need to be well equipped with knowledge and know-how so as to match our working ability with partners who have come for cooperation with us inside the country and also when we go out for cooperation abroad.