Aside from the prepared text, Samdech Hun Sen made some comments in relation to issues of pornographic films and photos and drugs that caused heated debate in the local press as well as reactions and requested for immediate response from the Ministry of Women’s Affairs. CNV has made the following excerpts:
… My prepared text has provided already recommendations for both health institutions and graduates but as of the present we have seen some problems developing into confronting issue in our society. I wish to mention herewith two issues that are closely linked with morals of a nation. Before going into that discussion I wish to state up front that all sciences – no matter for what purpose they may be – if lacking proper morals management, would bring about disaster for humanity. Take for instance those who proliferates nuclear weapons for mass destruction, those who produce chemical weapons, and those who produce drugs are none other than people with profound scientific knowledge, but without morals in their professions.
… May be I should start with drug issue, which to my knowledge has evolved from one form to another. One may asks how come it has so developed with an effect to cause addiction among users. They may be people with high scientific research and knowledge – perhaps some of them did their study in medicine as well. I am of high opinion that morals in profession is the key to eradicate problem as such.
… The UN General Assembly will discuss issue of community development and I have scheduled to attend as well. Drug has become a major topic in relations to human trafficking issue. I noticed that rich countries blamed the poorer nations on drug related issues. We have here a correlation between producers and marketplace. To my understanding as long as the market exists, which means there are still users’ demands, the producers will keep on producing it. They would not do it otherwise. You all may have heard of drug fight in many countries in Europe or North America, where drug from Columbia in bulk had been captured. I feel it is absurd that some rich countries seems to be lecturing poorer countries on drug issues, while in their countries, drug use is unbelievably high. I mean there is a high demand for drug in those countries leading to increase of production of the substance.
… As far as human trafficking is concerned, there has been a case of sexual abuse issue that the Government has been lambasted without any reason. Taking this issue of porno films into consideration, I wish to openly ask which countries are producing them. I do not see poorer countries are producing them but those rich ones. But I see the poor countries that are suffering their consequences. Madame Minister for Women’s Affairs requested the Government intervention in putting an end to the issue of porno films. Whatever actions we take would be just fanning the smoke, while leaving the fire going on. To put out the flame, those countries producing pornographic matters should be told to stop.
… In Europe or America, 99 out of a hundred hotels have got what they called pay channel. The pornographic presentation in those countries or pay TVs has been unimaginable that one may ask — if it wasn’t sexual abuse, what else could it be? I am of the opinion that what we have been trying to do is fanning the smoke rather than putting out the flame and those countries should not advise Cambodia of what they could not do to eradicate in their countries. It is very unfortunate that in the UN General Assembly each speaker is allowed only five minutes or I would have taken more time to lay bare the issue. I am of the opinion that big or small each country is equal in arguing this matter out or else they may rank Cambodia to a lower tier.
… I may say that it would not be a matter how low you would place Cambodia in any ranking systems because the country used to be bombarded, to suffer from genocide and uncountable punishments. No rank could ever be lower than all these. What may be the most important thing for us is to make efforts for our own sake. It is worth doing work by ourselves rather than having our work proposed and done with some unnecessary assistance from outside. I often called the attention in the Cabinet’s meeting that we should strengthen own efforts and mastership of our nation. I would say any minister who depends on foreign expertise on trivial issues should resign from their positions. Otherwise assistance from foreign countries to Cambodia will keep on being registered in the amount of aid while not a penny of it really goes to the people of Cambodia. I have rejected some proposals by some ministers who told me were prepared with help of so and so, and would cost so and so.
… Let’s now turn to domestic issues or self-reliance. In the recent past there has been a turmoil relating to the editing of porno photo that is made available through telecommunication devices. The country is in dying need of water for irrigation, of resources to combat HIV/AIDS and TB infections, despite the rate has gone down a bit, while problem is further complicated by pornographic issue. This is what I suggested to Minister for Women’s Affairs to call those actors for some kind of brainwash. The Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and the Ministry of Information should keep their eyes on the issue.
… Let me take this opportunity to recommend to authors and editors of all shows to refrain from making scenes that are too sexual showing or improperly dressing. Some editors responded to me that some of those scenes were illustrating life in the old age when people were not wearing to cover themselves properly. Some young stars, however, have picked up improperly-dressed show as their ways to become-super stars. So first of all it started from authors or editors themselves, and then the permission from the Ministry of Culture. Therefore, I wish to request the Ministers of Culture, of Women’s Affairs and of Information to look into this problem. I am of serious conviction that they would not be able to show if the Ministry of Culture does not issue them a permission.
… The issue has diverted our attention from getting ourselves ready for SARS, bird flu and flood. If we are of the opinion to put an end to this issue we have to pursue the matters to those producing it, powerful countries included. We do not give them advice but seek their cooperation. When we are talking about Khmer culture, I wish to have your thinking on the fact that there is no such thing as cultural invasion, but the acceptance of our own accord. Take for instance pornographic shows have not been imposed by any particular country but we have accepted it because for users it is new and for sellers it makes them good money. It is indeed a danger for our society because it may be one of the root causes for spreading AIDS and poverty while consuming resources and times for providing treatment and medicine for HIV/AIDS infected people on the one side… In relation to what I have just said before about massive destructive weapons, I wish to distinguish that some of the researches on that front have also been for the sake of peaceful needs for energy and not for mass destruction…