In addition to his prepared address to the graduation of the senior and mid-level officials from the Royal School of Administration, Samdech Hun Sen made the following selected comments.
… I learned that this course has gained a great deal of knowledge. According to my own observation, not only that the students have been granted an audience with HM the King and Samdech Preah Reach Akkemohesey, but they also have lectures given by a number of institutions. The President of the Constitutional Council, the General Auditor was among some of the leaders who gave exposures and lectures to the course. I was not able to do so before but I am doing it this final day. In my prepared speech I have requested your attention on the issues of leadership methodology in relation to planning, organization of the implementation and the ability to face with unexpected situation – which are all very important in the cause of fulfilling our tasks.
… With regard to the four partialities due to love, hatred, ignorance, and fear, I would recommend that you all make efforts to refrain from falling into any one or more of these. Not only they are to be avoided among the administrative officials but also the jurisdictional officials in their judgment. Since this is a cordial discussion before you all go back to your daily work routine, I have a few points to share… Some of the points I am to mention just now are in fact not worth speaking with the senior and mid-level officials since you all are at least forty or a little less. But with my appreciation and respect, I think I should share some of them with you. It is in fact the advice from the old days but sometimes I think it is important when one gets to the top level and forgets the basics instructed by older generation.
… In Khmer we say “taking responsibility,” which literally means in Khmer “being responsible for the wrong and the right actions.” So first of all our officials should be clear that in whatever actions they take they have to be responsible for both wrong and right. They could not claim all the right actions, and disclaiming all the wrongs. When we are placed in a position with responsibility we have to take the wrong first and before anyone. Sometimes the junior officials committed wrong actions, but the fact that they did so, we have to recognize, is because we are lacking capacity and ability to instruct and educate our junior staff. So we could not escape from “being responsible for the wrong action.” Some of our officials like very much to claim all the right and very often than not they claimed them all until the real actors have got nothing. But once something is wrong, they like to run away. Remember! One may run away one time but his political career will be final. So our officials in leading position have to have the sense of taking both wrong and right.
… One other Khmer saying goes “sharing both happiness and hardship.” May I appeal to all officials that they have to remember that they not only share happiness with the people but when our people are in hardships we have to share with them. Running away is a dangerous action. If you all could share the most of hardship with our people, you may all live with them for a long time. No matter what difficult situation you may have, the people will always think of you. Let’s take one of the great Khmer heroes for example – Oknha Krola Haom Kung. He was tied around the chimney of a ship (by the French colony) but he is still remembered even it happened about one century ago. Why? It is because he had shared the people’s hardship. But if one hails the people’s happiness but disappears when they have hardship, those ones could not be identified as friends.
… We used to have many officials who formerly ran out of Phnom Penh because the Khmer Rouge approached the city and stayed and enjoyed their lives outside the country while the Khmer Rouge occupied the country. But in the present they are back and they are making noises with their neckties on. We did a great deal and deserved no appreciation at all. Though the cock does not crow, the sun is shining still. We have built schools, universities and various others achievements after the fall of the Pol Pot regime. They were not born after these people came back to the country. We are in fact joyous to see our people survived the killings by the Pol Pot genocide and settled abroad and we also wanted them to return making contribution to the national construction and development. But they should take some understanding on those who resided inside the country and should not blame them as if they did nothing positive for the country. So if those residing inside the country are all devils, what could have Cambodia been?
… Yesterday we accompany the Buddha remains to the Preah Reach Troap mountain. May be I should recalled about this a bit. When we came into the capital (in 1979) we found the Buddha remains only at 4:30 pm. In 1979, Samdech Heng Samrin, Samdech Chea Sim, HE Say Phuthang, HE Cha Rieng, HE Nguon Nhel, the late reverend Um Sum and I conducted the search in the current Municipal Bank. The late reverend Um Sum used to accompany HM the King to accompany the Buddha remains which were placed at the Sakya Mui Stupa (Cheddi) in front of the Rail Station. We opened box after box until the last one to be opened and the late reverend Um Sum found the remains in it. We then brought the Buddha remains to place in the stupa in front of the railway station. Later on HM the King and Samdech Preah Reach Akkemohesey, joined by other top leaders, relocated the remains yesterday in the newly built stupa. This point has clearly indicated that we have fulfilled many tasks.
… So I reiterate that we have to share both happiness and hardship with our people. In face of constant changes of nature in the form of flooding, drought or other incidents, we have to be prepared to help our people. First, we have to take both wrong and right consequences, and share both happiness and hardship with our people. I suggest that you share more of their hardships and less of their happiness. Take for instance some people said it seemed that we did not see Hun Sen in our place for a while. Yes because those places have happiness already – their rice is harvested and their children have got schools to go to. So I have to divert my time and attention to other needy areas.
… One other old Khmer saying goes “full grain rice bends down, empty grain rice stands up.” This should be understood as an advice in relation to the virtue and moral of the officials. Officials or whoever behave rudely they would not be responded with appreciation and love. What I wish to advise our officials of all ranks to be disciplined, friendly, serious in their works. Our people do not like at all the arrogant attitudes. I heard some people make wordplay with some egoistic person. Some people blame others for not addressing his/her ranks as Excellencies, Oknha, etc. Let me warn you that the acts of arrogance would suit you only a period of time and would not attract love and appreciation from the people at all.
… I wish to speak about, and it happens almost anywhere in the whole wide world, educating and rearing children. Some gangsters consist of children of some of our officials who depend on their parents’ power and put pressure on other kids. Take this number into consideration. We have over 100,000 officials, 100,000 military officials and about over 50,000 police officials and if these 300,000 families educate their children well, not to misuse their parents’ power and influence, we could say that our society would reduce to a great extent negative phenomena in our society. Listen to my song about “life of pagoda boy.” It tells about the fact that there exists this problem of those who are poor being looked down upon by those who are rich. I had mentioned this topic once I went to close the annual conference of the Ministry of Interior… Sometimes one thinks one loves the children, but by doing so one hates them. Take the case that they let their children have guns and go out to shoot and kill other person – it is nothing but a punishment of own children. These are my advice and not lecture so we should all refrain from creating such problem but concentrate efforts in serving our nation and people…