In addition to the prepared text, Samdech Hun Sen made additional comments on the new developments in the Cambodian politics and clarified the Cambodian position on issue of Myanmar in the context of representation of ASEAN as of next year. Following are the selected comments.
… As usual when I am here I always talk about something that is not written in the prepared text and as I am an honorary professor to the Royal School of Administration, I may wish to take the last day of your study to give my advices. As is said in the prepared text works begin and finish by human beings, and I am sure you understand that our officials have clearly seen their roles for having their training in the school. No matter how good a plan you have, take for instance the rectangular platform, it would not be successfully implemented if we were to have no real human being to get it implemented. It is in this regard that we have been talking about human resources or to foresee efficiency for the achievement of real human resources.
… Could Angkor be built without real humans and they were nothing but unimaginably capable human resources. Let’s imagine that there were no machines, no topographical instruments, and it was built to our knowledge on no structural foundation. In addition to this, pieces of stones were mounted on top of each other with assembly of sculptures, some of them one arms is in one piece of stone, while the whole body is in another. Some stones might have been, according to some studies, pre-carved in Phnom Kulen and some in Svay Loeu. What could we conclude from this? This requires unimaginable human resources, as leaders and as implementers. They all have to work in a coherent manner which in the end brought about a huge temple – Angkor Watt.
… It is required also these days to have a coherent pace from one part to another, from one power to another and from one point to another. Take for instance we have reforms in the public administration, the armed forces, and the legal institutions. The three have to go together. It is inapplicable to conduct reforms in the public administration and the armed forces while leaving the legal institutions unattended. Actions, as you can see, start from human being. Therefore, it is important to be clear that one’s action has to consider the people’s interest on top of anything else. We all are in debt to the people, and are the servant of the people, not their owners.
… It is in this respect all reform efforts aimed at serving human beings or the people, or to get people as our target actions. In Khmer we have a saying that goes “the grains that bend down are fully cropped, while those stand straight are empty.” You may understand that when our actions are polite and friendly, you will have reciprocation actions in kind. As long as rebellious and unfriendly actions are taken, they would not be credited and appreciated by the people at all, like the empty grain. It is a need to understand that people respected you because of actions bound by duty rather than by anything else.
… In addition to all the above I may want to recommend that you try and perform your duty as an official of two feet and not that of ten feet – four table legs, four chair legs and two human legs. The ten-feet officials normally complain that they do not have work to do because so and so do not grant them access to the works. They all work by reports, but they never probe for them. If we talk about efficiency these officials, if not because of political prices, should be put together in one place and send them all to the Royal School of Administration for re-training. Sometimes they also create exaggerated information basing their reports on so and so papers. I also read the papers. They would not stand a chance to get close to me, and I would keep the money for building roads and bridges and water canals rather than paying them. But this is what we have to pay in the period of political reconciliation.
… What I have mentioned just now doesn’t refer to any particular officials but in general, whereas some of the CPP officials, who are very old and cannot lead so and so ministries, have been appointed my advisors, and they became officials waiting for works to come home rather than going after them. I wish younger generation not to follow this example. The Royal School of Administration is by all means the top educational institution, and those who finish the school are senior officials. In summary, the two-feet and the ten-feet officials yield different level of efficiency, whereas the latter would be inefficient and problem-making, from whom you should be keeping away.
… From my experience as a political leader for 35 years, what I could say is that when you meet one person, there might be a chance that s/he talks to you about someone, and you should know that you might be a subject of ill-talking by same person in his/her conversation with someone else as well. The best strategy for such a person is that you listen and not to talk to. And I notice that it is the Khmer nature as well to talk ill behind someone’s back. When I finish my political mission, I would go back to writing an addendum on the Khmer nature, because I notice that Dr. Bun Chanmol has not been complete on this matter.
… One other factor that you should pay attention to is that no works on earth that go as planned without being affected by unpredictable circumstances. Cambodia suffered flood in 2000 and 2001, and drought in 2002, while drought in 2004 has prolonged to this time of the year 2005. This matter requires competence of the officials at all levels being prepared to resolve unpredictable circumstances. In my teaching course as a lecturer on leadership methodology for 21 years starting in 1984, I advise that first of all a master plan is essential, and that is why we have maintained that the Ministry of Plan is to be part of the Royal Government. Without a plan, a good one, we could be strayed. With a good plan on the other hand we have scored about 30% of our achievements.
… As in recent development, on the radio’s cultural program I heard people blamed Mr. Ruom Rit and some even said Ruom Rit has in past apologized Samdech Hun Sen for his writing style and promised that he would no longer write anything anymore because of his absent mindedness. In the wedding party of my daughter, Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranaridh said a few times “why on earth does Ruom Rit attack me? I and Samdech Hun Sen collaborated with one another for HM the King Sihamoni to take the throne, but I was on the contrary blamed for wanting it for myself.”
… Let’s come back to planning. The rectangular strategy is indeed a roadmap for our actions and from now on we will have to focus on organization and implementation taking into consideration various factors together – human resources, finance, creativity, etc. As long as the implementation stage starts we aimed for another 30%, where both the planning and implementing stages make 60% in the process of getting things done. What about the remaining 40%? I call that the ability to address inevitably unpredictable circumstances. This is similar to the ways in which one would deal to resolve family related matters – sickness, accident, etc. This is a period of testing of competence of our officials.
… I would reiterate what I used to say about the Khmer term for “responsibility,” which literally means take both “wrong” and “right” for one’s own action. On top of that one should not take only the “right” while pushing the “wrong” to someone else. Officials who have not been responsible in their works they always do two things – first, blame those under his leadership and second, report problem to senior level officials, and I think this sort of officials should not be allowed to continue to be in responsible position. As for good officials they always take matter as their own responsibility, while taking all the shortcomings as their own.
… As for today we have an official visit of the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam in the Kingdom of Cambodia. After this visit, on April 1, Cambodia will host another official visit of the Prime Minister of Singapore, followed by the April-7 visit of the Prime Minister of Myanmar. From this podium I wish to declare to the public the position taken by the Kingdom of Cambodia on issue of Myanmar being or not being chair country of ASEAN in 2006. There have been rumors, and some press has taken it very far, that Cambodia would join the campaign to denied Myanmar’s turn as chairmanship of ASEAN for the summit in 2006 after the summit in Kuala Lumpur. On the contrary, Cambodian respects Myanmar’s rights to deal with its internal affairs and Myanmar’s chairmanship will have to proceed according to the alphabetical turn. No one could strip Myanmar off its rights as a member with equal status and right of ASEAN. Cambodia does not and will not join in any actions which would bring about a split in ASEAN.
… In the ASEM forum, Cambodia also took a definite stand that if ten countries from Europe were to join ASEM, three countries of ASEAN – Cambodia, Lao and Myanmar, would have to be admitted as well. Cambodia then sacrifices its chance to sit and wait for Myanmar so as to show solidarity of countries in ASEAN. A wrong move would result in a wrong action. Cambodia was once not admitted as a new member of ASEAN in Hanoi. Some member countries reasoned that Cambodia did not have the Senate, which was indeed a pretext for keeping Cambodia out of the group, and interfering into the Cambodian internal affairs. I am sure all ASEAN heads of states and Governments, as well as the General Secretary of ASEAN remember that very well. It was in 1997, when Myanmar and Lao were admitted into ASEAN, leaving Cambodia outside the group. In 1998, I led a delegation of the then newly created Government to Hanoi in the hope that Cambodia would be admitted, but were only to be denied because of the non-existence of the Senate.
… As Cambodia now is of equal status and right with other member countries, Cambodia is standing firm on the above position with regard to Myanmar. Who could foresee, it was Cambodia yesterday, it is Myanmar today, who will it be next time? If an ASEAN member could not be allowed to chair ASEAN, what else appears relevant? This move would bring about outside interferences in the affairs of ASEAN. I will sound this out to the Vietnamese leaders today’s afternoon since HE the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam is here for an official visit, and also will inform HE Prime Minister of Singapore upon his visit as well as to the Thai foreign Minister who will be here for a visit as well.
… The fact that I have taken this position does not mean that I am against any countries in particular. I present the Royal Government’s policy on this matter because there have been rumors that Cambodia would stay on the side of countries who campaign for denial of the Myanmar’s chairmanship of ASEAN. Let Myanmar deal with its internal affairs by itself, and let’s not contradict that with the ASEAN summit that is going to take place in Yangon. If the chairmanship of ASEAN is conditional with the release of so and so, same things would be applied with regards to other member countries.
… Talking about ending war, Cambodia is proud that it not only put an end to the war but also destroyed 12,000 rifles of all sorts. Fifteen of Cambodians will be sent to Sudan as observers, later another 135, and we are prepared to send 1000 de-miners to train and to clear mines, which is indeed the humanitarian mission. What I have said today is a message to the first Summit of East Asia in Kuala Lumpur. Cambodia would, if there will be a consensus, welcome the participation by India, Australia and New Zealand in a forum which turns from ASEAN + 3 to East Asia. Cambodia’s position is flexible in this matter because it is a matter of principle.