… Let me make some comments in relation to the coordination between local authorities and the Cambodian Red Cross, which should be understood as public assistance. We have been proud so far to have seen a natural integration between those sub-national level authorities – communes, districts with mechanism of the Cambodian Red Cross. It is not an easy work to do but thanks to wisely appropriate thought in accordance with actual situation of Cambodia, the aim has been fulfilled. Because the Governor of each province is the honorary president of the CRC, the Governor’s wife and his deputies, have all become head of local CRC mechanism.
Thanks to this, in time of urgency and emergency, we look into the issue naturally from a common aspect and actions have been taken altogether. I have seen that in some instances, the Governor of one province is putting on the Red Cross uniform, where his/her action is in fact complementary to his/her other roles. I am therefore asking for the continuation of this working habit. It is worth mentioning here that there are instances where CRC has intervened. Whatever we can do to avert challenges and difficulties for our people should be welcomed and gaining our people’s confidence.
Because it is local authority’s responsibility to represent the Royal Government in the local level in taking care of people, it is a benefit when there is a CRC infrastructure with better resources in the community. The CRC has in fact raised some seven million USD, which it has been distributed to the provincial levels with a sum of between 20 and 30 thousands USD. The CRC at the central level has decentralized and de-concentrated its power to local levels so that actions could be taken without having to have order or instruction from above level.
This has in fact served as an example for the state institutions on issue of decentralization, whereby power is being given to local authorities as well as those ministries that have to delegate or relinquish power to their provincial representatives.
On another front, I have recently seen the latest report by HE Lim Kean Hor, Minister for Water Resources and Meteorology, vis as vis the flood situation in Cambodia. It has been suggested that the level of water in the Mekong River this year, compared to every passing year, is way lower than usual. Normally, the level of water in the Bassac River should be at nine meters deep, but it is this year only five meters. In this regard I would urge urgent attention that based on this fact and with the fact that there have been constant heavy rain in the upper part of the Mekong – China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand and a part of Vietnam, the rain flood could make a sudden move down to the Mekong part of Cambodia. I urge that this matter should be followed up on time and carefully.
One other matter that I wish to comment and perhaps also address suspicion among our partners is about the fact that as long as the husband is maintaining the Prime Minister’s position, it seems his wife is also retaining her position as the President of the Cambodian Red Cross too. It is now her fourth terms after Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk, the King Father called for an integration of the Cambodian Red Cross from formerly various factions into one. In fact I have seen that my wife has been working hard and tired, especially before the General Assembly’s session.
As for me, the point does not depend on me personally about the fact that I am becoming or continuing to be Prime Minister. One major factor rests in the decision of the Party but one other crucial factor rests with the voters. If they continue to vote for me to be Prime Minister, I will have to go on without specifying term. In the political games so far some has been trying to specify the term for the Prime Minister, and some even proposed that anyone will do but not Hun Sen. I think the “no Hun Sen” politics might be a failure because it is not me to decide if I go on to be prime minister. I will go on as long as people continue to vote for me.
As for my wife the case should be the efficiency of the work. Whether the Cambodian Red Cross as an institution could retain confidence and respect or not should be a critical issue. I have also had discussion on many occasions with regard to who could take over her role at this point of time and in this circumstance. It is not a belief that in her absence the CRC could not go on, but who would be able to maintain the momentum and efficiency of the humanitarian institution.
It is in response to demand from members that I have accepted to let my wife go on. I do not want to sit down for meal alone. In fact the CRC is doing the works in all fields, except military. Take for instance, in transporting food and utensils to Ratanakiri and Mondulkiri, other dangerous places also included, their agents sometimes had to stay in the forest because their trucks got stuck. We have more grandchildren now and it is time to think ahead of who should be a proposed candidacy. She is going on for the current fifth term, but what about the sixth term? Well, what I have said is not to protect our positions but to clarify it to those in opposition./.