Adding to the prepared text for the above occasion, Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen made a number of verbal remarks on recent political developments that the Cambodia New Vision is making a selection and translation as follow:
… At the same time, taking the opportunity of the celebration of the 64thInternational Children’s Day and the 12th World Day against Child Labor – 12 June, I would like to lay out a number of additional recommendation to the Cambodia National Council for Children, all concerned ministries/organizations, and all relevant authorities and parties as follows:
First, must pay attention to disseminate and promote the implementation of the rights of the child as stated in the constitution…
Second, must continue preparing the policy and strategy on children in order to integrate into the political platform of the Royal Government in the 5th legislature by considering the sector of children’s welfare as the priority agenda in the political platform of the Royal Government in the next mandate…
Third, must encourage mothers to check their pregnancy before delivery at the healthcare center and the health service provider must pay attention to take care of mothers, infants and children by providing 8 kinds of vaccination to the children, promote the breast-feeding and nutrition to children …
Four Major Issues of Priorities
As far as this matter is concerned, I would like to add what we have talked about newly claimed lands since we just provide land titles to our people, who have settled there so far. Land measuring has provided them with legal ownership rights and titles. In addition to these, we also discovered four major needs to address to ensure good living and working condition for them in those places. The four issues are – roads, water, hospitals and schools. Having said that I urge the Ministry of Health to review issues relating to health clinics and healthcare posts or centers in those areas. We urge more establishments of hospitals closer to their living places.
Reorganize Geography for Health Service Coverage
We should give special thought to the reorganization of the referral hospital in those areas. We used to apply this method in order to establish a referral hospital, there needs to have certain number of families. I am asking for a review of this methodology. If we continue to cling on to this method, we would neglect people in some areas, where, because of insufficient number, those criteria do not apply. It is on this count that I urge for a new thinking and reorganization of the method to provide people with health benefit either by density or geographical condition. We cannot go on applying the theory that, for example, we would have one referral hospital where we have 50,000 families.
In newly developed areas and some regions where they would not have that much of families or people, it would not be right to tick them off the plan. A review of this theory is required. Take for instance the campaign about breastfeeding. I would argue that raising people’s awareness of breastfeeding is one thing but people are able to feed themselves to feed their babies is another. I would urge more attentions on this issue as we are using foreign assistance to do this. I do not want to see misuse of those donations. I also urge donors to look into this matter since they will record the money as coming to Cambodia. However, because of inefficient use, there will not be progress and finger will be pointed to Cambodia’s incapable management and use of the donations. Cambodia should be entitled to inform its partners where their money should be placed – urban or rural areas.
Concerning this matter, young mothers now (in urban area) do not like to breastfeed their children. However, in rural areas, automatically they do breastfeeding and there is no need to tell them so. If they do not have breast milk, they may feed them with watery rice soup. It seems that they do not know that people breastfeed in the countryside. In fact, campaign should focus in the urban areas. It seems that there has been a rethinking on this matter for many people in the urban areas. They observe that children who are fed with infant formula milk powder seem to have less IQ than those who are breastfed. I do not frighten anyone but to have your attention that breastfeeding is essential. I urge HE Mam Bun Heng, Minister of Health, to pay attention to matters relating to breastfeeding campaign that I mentioned above.
However, the major issue here is reviewing the norm necessary for the establishment of a referral hospital where focus should be on not only people’s density but also geographical demands as well, especially in areas where our people move to resettle after they received land titles in either state’s land measuring or social land concession programs.
Fourth, must continue promoting the education quality of the children and try to increase the enrolment rate of the children and enhance the reduction of repetition and school drop among the children…
Insufficient Number of Schools
We have identified four major needs here – roads, water, healthcare centers and schools. When people decide to move to settle in a new place, they have only two choices to make as far as their children’s education is concerned – firstly, they keep their children with them and give them no school or leave their children with other people in places away from them to give them chance for education. I learnt all this from my VDO conference conversation with the youth–student volunteers in Uddar Meanjei province. They told me their observations on schooling in their area of operation.
I asked them what were their observations about how they raise their children and give them education before we offered them school building? They told me that they simply did not have school to go to mostly. Some did some study but not in a formal way. Some people even kept their children, between eight and ten year old, with distant relatives or friends in places where children can have access to education. Therefore, I encourage that a thorough thought needs to be planning for the next term to provide access to education for children in areas that we have provided land titles – whether from economic land concession, illegal land occupation or social land concession.
Education in Rectangular Strategy – Phase III
On another matter, as we have achieved sometimes now the fulfillment of the implementation of my declaration in Santuk district of Kompong Thom province to have at least one junior secodary school in every commune, we now move to working on creating more junior secondary schools in the communal level. I dare say that we will include this in the phase-iii rectagular strategy for the next five year term of office of the Royal Government. The number of junior secondary schools have now outnumbered the communes, if we were to include also the senior secondary schools. We now have 1,214 junior and 433 senior secondary schools, with which there are junior secondary programs altogether.
We have scored a great achievement on this front. We have moved the schooling up to junior secondary school to within people’s access in the commune. This is now different from before when there was one or two junior secondary schools in a district and two senior secondary schools for instance in the whole province. It’s in this thought that we now stop focussing on one junior secondary school for one commune and resort to providing more facilities and access to junior secondary school instead. Frankly speaking it is easier now to achieve it since we can make a junior secodnary school out of the primary school facility. However, it is still a matter of due consideration and solution for areas where people make new settlements as we need to build schools for every level.
There is no need to confine that there is one junior secondary school for a commune anymore. Take for instance, the commune of Peam Koh Sna of Kompong Cham is stretching on a long river bank, so there is a need to have two junior secondary schools. We need to add more buldings and classrooms to the primary school compounds and make them junior secondary school altogether. This will be incorporated into the third phase rectangular strategy for the coming term because we are sure that the Cambodian People’s Party is going to win.
CPP Will Win
It is no doubt to everyone that CPP will score another victory in the next election. No party would win over the CPP. I think the (representative of the) European Union may have received the poll results conducted by the International Republican Institute (IRI) too. We have obtained three figures one for the Cambodian People’s Party, one for Funcinpec and one for the opposition party. For the CPP, 79% of respondents claimed that Cambodia is on the right track. All conducted before the general elections, for the same question, in February 2008, only 75% of respondents approved, and in February 2013, only 77% of respondents approved. From 2008 to 2013, there has been an increase of 2%.
No matter how the opposition works on these figures, under whatever scenario they come up with, they will still be losing to the CPP.I have all the figures but I do not disclose and I let you brag. Polling is the most democratic tool in every country. In Thailand, various universities do poll regularly. You may find it a habit also in France or other countries in Europe. I may as well bring up what happened in Cambodia under UNTAC (United Nations Transitional Authority for Cambodia). In 1993, because of the fact that CPP was heading in every poll, UNTAC decided to stop providing information to the media and public. Would anyone like to have an election organized by UNTAC again? Why they do not disclose those figures? Why are they talking about demanding access for information, while they themselves do not know how to respect it?
Hun Sen Will Still Be Prime Minister in 2018
I am sure among diplomats, and they may have shared their opinions among them already, they are quite certain that for the next five year term to 2018, Hun Sen will serve as Prime Minister. There is no doubt about it. However, we see no objection to have Prime Minister in example since every political party has its own candidate for Prime Minister, President of the National Assembly, President of the Senate, etc. They may be Prime Minister in example of shadow Prime Minister. We are incumbent Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Ministers and Ministers and will be ones when we are re-elected.
It is quite absurd that they claim they win the election even before the election actually happens. If they can say they are the winner, why we cannot. No one seems to stop them so why stop Hun Sen. from saying so. In a meeting at the Cambodiana Hotel they talked about demanding right to have access to information. Then, they talk about holding confidential information of the poll. I wonder why there is a poll when they do not disclose it. On one side, they ask for information, and on the other side, they do not reveal it. They are looking to make benefit of making the best of anything positive, but hiding whatever is negative.
Exaggerations and Deceptions by Some Media
To talk about the media, some radios have been performing very nasty as far as their profession is concerned. They talked about me in foreign radios and I do not have to mention name. They never quote what I truly said. If they want to prove that they are professional, as you claim them to be independent and neutral, you may play on your radios what I have just said. I have led the country through world economic crisis, foreign invasion and natural calamity. I have stabilized the macro-economy and realized economic growth around 7%. All these are not simple matter. As Prime Minister, together with the Cambodian People’s Party, I have maintained the up-curve in people’s support.
I have said it loud and clear, should the people’s support (for the Cambodian People’s Party) goes below 50%, I will send out emergency signal and resign from my position. Now it is 79% approved (my leadership). You may know how to make calculation, though you may have a different formula. Whatever formula would that be, I do not believe the support will not be lower than the polled figure.
No Chance of Winning for the Oppositions
As I dare to point to the formulation of the political platform and the rectangular strategy phase-iii, because we are sure about winning the election. We will have more referral hospitals, health centers and health posts in newly settled and developed areas, and more junior secondary schools for communes. It is a reorganization of health and educational geographical coverage. As I claimed earlier, even you work on the three scenarios – 100%, 75% and 50% of voters go to vote – whatever way you will not have the chance to win. I have to put my rectangular strategy into preparation.
It is absurd that we have in the National Assembly politician who have two wives, who are also members of the parliament. That is morale of the opposition in Cambodia. It is incongurous that they all sit in the National Assembly. I did not mention name but if anyone were to respond, the person would prove to have done so.
Fifth, must continue to promote the welfare of the children who are vulnerable and must continue to implement the policy on substitution care for children, maximum standard to take care of children in the center, substitution care for children in the community, and legal procedure of power delegation to the sub-national administration in the work of children’s welfare…
Sixth, must promote the youth rehabilitation and continue to implement the education program on morality, virtue, prevention of illegal acts of youngster youth, and youth, especially the criminal acts of using drugs, violating the law, violence, etc…
Seventh, must continue to promote the comprehensive dissemination and implementation of the action plan on the crackdown of trafficking of human labor and sexual exploitation in order to effectively prevent and crack down the crime of human trafficking, especially on children by not allowing them to get away from the legal net…
Media for Children
As for the program for children, it is my advice that they set the time for them to watch before their bedtime. If they program it to be at midnight, kids are already in bed. It is more so when it comes to Saturday and Sunday. I would also urge that they make the best selection of what they want to show to the kids. I do not specifically mean any TV in particular but I am asking you to balance between commercial program and those for the benefit of bringing up the kids. They are my request only as I have no right to order them what they would do.
Eighth, must pose condition for the children to exercise their rights through national and regional forums…
Ninth, must strengthen the institution capacity and officials of the Cambodia National Council for Children in all levels in order to be used as mechanism to facilitate the Royal Government, ministries-institutions, city and provinces in implementing their works on children more efficiently…