At the welcoming ceremony for the in-coming Co-minister HRH Sdech Krom Khun Norodom Sirivuth and Secretaries of States of the Ministry of Interior, Samdech Hun Sen made some comments which CNV selected and abridged as follows:
… Today is a great day for the Ministry of Interior for welcoming new dignitaries for leadership position. I wish to first of all express my sincere appreciation to HE Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng for the works he has fulfilled so far so as to allow me to perform my duty as the Prime Minister. In the past ten years we have come across many uncertainties especially when we implemented the Paris Peace Agreement. The country was not in full peace. The local authorities and the national police have joined together in providing and keeping security, safety, social order and most important of all the defense and provision of security for the general elections.
… The draft of the election law both at the national and communal levels have been organized in the Ministry of Interior before passing on to the National Assembly, while the election itself needs to be supported by local authorities, the national police and especially under the command of co-ministers of interior. I wish on behalf of the Ministry of Interior welcome the three new Secretaries of State for taking up their posts with five other Under-Secretaries of State. Also on this occasion I am taking into consideration what have been mentioned by Sdech Krom Khun Norodom Sirivuth and HE Sar Kheng in relations to what to do.
… Once again I would like to take this opportunity to highly appreciate the wisdom and courage that Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Rannaridh has shown in face of criticism in order to achieve what the people want. Samdech Krom Preah mentioned yesterday in Kompong Cham about what the nation really wants and what the real national interest is. Some NGOs have criticized the deadlock situation and do not like the formation of the coalition new Government. They have taken money from foreign sources to accomplish their work in Cambodia and also to criticize the Government in Cambodia. NGO is a setup of personal philosophy with foreign funding. As far as the Government is concerned, CPP and FUNCINPEC have 99 seats and represent the majority of Cambodian people, so we have a wider range of support. They forget that once they blamed the formation of the Government and the appointment of the leaders of the National Assembly and the Government, it is like they blamed HM the King because it is HM the King who issued the Royal Decrees.
… Concerning the coalition Government, I may advice that they should not think that the coalition would last only to 2008. In 1993, I once said that Cambodia might need a coalition Government at least for another fifteen years. It is now eleven years since then. As of now I could argue that Cambodia would need a coalition Government not less than another fifteen years. The proportional electoral system would give no party a chance of two third majority in order to lead alone. It is in this thought that I seek for the continuation of the traditionally good cooperation between the two parties from top to bottom.
… Efficiency is what we are after in the rectangular strategy. We exercise reforms in all fields because we are after the efficiency. Take for instance if one issue took us a week to process before, in search of efficiency it should be processed in just hours. We have successfully implemented this in the Cambodia Development Council (CDC)’s system of processing investment request. The same is true for the request for construction permission. This is a matter of public service efficiency. I request HE Im Chhun Lim, Minister for Urban Planning, Land Management and Construction, in close cooperation with the local authorities to find out the problem and to sort out the way to improve public service in the area of construction. Find out anyone in any capacity in relevance to the construction and has mounted difficulties for the people to process their requests so as to take appropriate measures. Public service efficiency is what our people need and we have to fulfill it quickly. We have to scale down to none the problem of bureaucracy.
… I also have a suggestion for the traffic police vis a vis the problem of charging money from travelers. I once placed an order on this matter but it seems to have reappeared. If this incident happens in a particular district or commune, the heads of the district or commune must be held responsible. The eight point orders seem to have been ignored, now I am placing an order again that all unofficial checkpoints must be removed. I wish also to see that the military police and the justice police are working together under the law that is prepared with the help of the French military police or else the French assistance in setting up a military police in Cambodia would be disregarded.
… One more issue I wish to have your attention is that we have to reorganize and make efforts in order to collect taxes as the Government’s income from taxes has gone down. We have taken strict measure to prevent problem of smuggling, as we have already curbed successfully the problem of tax evasion and exclusion. This has to be done as smuggled goods would in the end cause local company and investors bankrupt because the legally tax paid goods could not afford to be sold at a lower price as those smuggled.
… Today I have a case for the Ministry of Interior to handle and it is the case of organizing an armed force in Phnom Penh. I wish that all concerned parties and liberal persons to follow up this matter closely so as to refrain from claiming this case a political issue. It is not a simple matter in attempting to create another armed force in a sovereign country. This is a national security matter and must not be forgiven. I wish to appeal to those involved as we have their names listed here to report themselves to the authorities to reveal the issue and to sue for the money that you all have been cheated. I advise the authority to take good care of and to welcome them, and not to do them any harm. These people will be our witnesses. According to what we have collected here, they have attempted to choose forty soldiers in one Khan (district) in Phnom Penh. As I pass this matter to the Ministry of Interior, I would also urge the Ministry of National Defense and the general staff to also cooperate and look into this matter seriously./.