Samdeck Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen made some comments during the bestowment of graduates from the Cambodian Institute of Technology (CIT) in addition to the prepared text and the followings are selected and translated.
I have just mentioned about qualifications as scientists – vision, conscience and intelligence and three bases for career development – real knowledge, experience and personality. I may need to make some comments in addition to what I have said in my prepared text.
Reemergence of Class Struggle
In very recent development of the situation in the country we have observed the danger of painting color on one another, whereas some notes have been brought for thought of class struggle and the idea of class demolition. As we approach the elections, we also notice that the ignition of class struggle after the end of the cold war era. The targets are the rich, investors, traders, industrialists but I am sure this theory would not go to victory as the one carried out under the Pol Pot time.
Sam Rainsy Party Defectors
More of the SRP members have abandoned their Party and joined the CPP. What I said in Kompong Chhnang was that I seek HE Sam Rainsy understanding of the gravity of the situation that he may have to alter his list before the end of the registration period. I have also begged him not to call these people rotten flesh or deem them as goods to be traded. I wish to say that I stand ready to take more of his rotten flesh except those in the prison and in pursuit by the court order.
Some of them who deserted the party at this time could not be replaced unlike at the time when HE Ahmat Yahya, Kol Pheng and Ngo Sovan did. In this folding situation, these people will be campaigned for CPP despite that are the SRP candidates. I wish the commentator – independent or non-independent – not to talk of them as tradable goods. What I have said was in defense of honor of those who have defected from the party of Sam Rainsy because when I got a call from the CPP authority of the defection, I was caught by surprise. I believe it when the paper work has come to me.
REC – Hun Sen’s ACMECS 2005 Initiative
Aside from this we have this piece of information by AFP on May 3 stating the Philippines’ concern on OPEC type rice producing and exporting countries proposition. A few days ago the Prime Minister of Thailand HE Samak Sundaravej raised the possibility of forming up the community of rice exporters. This is indeed not a new initiative. It is in fact my idea.
In the ACMECS (Ayeyawadi-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy) meeting in Bangkok in 2005, I proposed to members of ACMECS to set up an association of rice exporting countries with a responsively strong applause. Some already left their power, and Thaksin was the chairperson of the meeting. From Vietnam was HE Pham Van Khai, Bun Nghaing Vorakjit from Laos, and So Win from Myanmar who died already.
Our Trade Minister invited Ministers in charge from ACMECS countries for a meeting in Siem Reap and there was an attempt to decide on the association’s statue in its meeting in 2007. Vietnam proposed to postpone because the country has had to deal with some incidents. It was rescheduled to February 2008. In February, Thailand was still in political turmoil and did not have yet a Government. The Vietnamese side then proposed the meeting to be postponed till 22-23 April, after the Khmer New Year.
I then wrote to leader of the host country and other members that from April thereon I could not travel outside Cambodia because Cambodia has the elections to take place and also a new Royal Government to be formed. That is why I said it was not Prime Minister Samak’s initiative but Hun Sen’s since 2005. The idea enjoyed the support from all leaders attending the ACMECS meeting but they all are no longer in power.
REC – for Food Security
The proposed formation of Rice Exporting Countries – with the OPEC type that their production is uncontrollable at all but its aim is to contribute to provide food security. Cambodia has been approached by the World Food Organization to set up a buffer stock for regional distribution. When the region was hit by Tsunami, the WFP sent in planes to take rice from Cambodia. It would be a plus if we were able to set up a system of cooperation with countries having the possibility to export rice like Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar altogether.
Rice export from the five countries, I do not have the exact figure, could have been between 12 and 15 million tons and Cambodia still possesses its potential for more production. This will eventually contribute to providing guarantee for stabilized rice need in each country but also those countries in shortage of rice. REC should not be thought of making profit when there is shortage. REC does not hoard rice for price hike.
In ASEAN we have only two countries that does not produce or produce little rice – Singapore and Brunei. Otherwise others are rice producing countries, the Philippines also included. But what happens in the Philippines was that the country pays too much attention on biofuel crop cultivation on a vast area of land. President Arroyo is now diverting the policy to get the land for food crop cultivation instead. The US have used corn in processing biofuel for machines which with natural calamity the price of food price has come to a crisis.
In this regard I think that our friends in ASEAN should not be concerned about the setup of the REC because our idea was to contribute to food supply in the region as well as in the whole world. Cambodia is a small country but its producing capability has been two million tons of rice export for one-crop rice cultivation inside the country. We could double our cropping and our rice exporting capability could therefore double too. In Vietnam, they produce rice three times a year whereas Cambodia still performs one-crop cultivation.
Because when I talked about it the region did not face the food shortage yet so no one seems to bother but as food has had its shortage effect, everyone is feeling disturbed. However the meeting will take place only in October. Cambodia will try to speed up its formation of the new Government so as to depart for meetings of ACMECS in Vietnam, then CLMV meeting in Laos and Asia-Europe in Beijing. Though the formation would be hindered anyway, Hun Sen is determined to go but no more hindrance could be real.
We had been stuck in the previous Constitution’s article on the decision to set up the Royal Government and in the quorum required for convening the National Assembly session and the adoption of laws. Then CPP had 73 seats where as the quorum requires between 85 and 87. After the constitutional amendment, the National Assembly requires only 62, and CPP has 64 since 1998, instead of the above for those affairs to be taken care of. This is because they have taught me that every time they fail to get the most majority Party A swifted its alliance to Party B and put pressure on CPP. That would not work anymore./.