Removing Old Ones, They React; Keeping Them, New Ones React
…The question is when they win elections, who do they bring into workplace? They are ready to chase out those who are currently work and blamed for being devalued in a message “keeping current officials and pay more.” In this case, for supporters who sold out their cows and oxen, buffaloes to support the Party, how can they get jobs, since the old ones will go on? According to law, any officials below the rank of provincial governors, commanders in chief and general director of police, general departments are public function officials. They will need to keep working in their functions. In this case, if the current officials are to stay, what happened to what they said about people with devalued education and quality lacking? What is more problematic is that they have fooled around with promises of at least ten people in one district for the position of district governor. They promised positions of police inspectors, military commanders, etc. to everyone. I just wish their supporters to figure out how they get a job when current officials will retain positions. (Opposition leaders will find themselves in a situation) between Scylla and Charybdis. Would they mess up with (Commander in Chief) Pol Saroeun? (Police Chief) Net Savoeun? They then had to face with consequences of their promises. They may want to keep their message going, while “keeping current ones, new ones cannot come in; removing current ones, they would react and keeping current ones, new ones react.” Should they keep current ones, (they already said that these people) are devalued. Most of the people working in state or companies are locally educated. How many of them are educated abroad?
In My View, Local Diploma Valuable for Cambodian Children
… Though some have disgraced local education and diploma, in my view, the diploma that you have received now and I am handing out to you with my hands today and in the past are valuable for Cambodian children.I do not understand politicians who send messages dishonoring not only people who have studied in the country but also efforts made by their parents or spouses for their course of education. As always, at the time of graduation, graduates have gathered together with family members and friends for taking photos and presenting flowers. It is an honor for the family, parents, relatives, superintendants and you yourselves. However, those of you have been disgraced for endeavoring for educational diploma of no value as they said it. That said they meant people in the whole country, including those who voted and worked for them, without any value. I wish our people in the country and those who are with the opposition think whether they should stay on and serve them, while they considered them of no value?
… Such insult deals a serious blow to national education institutions, which has made so much efforts since the time when we applied the theory of “those who know more teach those who know less, those who know less teach those who don’t.” We then had come to teachers training course of twelve years general education plus two years more of pedagogical training (12+2). For those who teach at junior or senior college, they have to have a bachelor degree plus one year of pedagogical training too. Those who teach at the University or any other tertiary education institutions have to acquire a Master or Ph D degree. How many of those professors have achieved their Ph D from abroad? Among officials of the Royal Government, the armed forces, and the eleven thousands teachers, how many of them have studied abroad? Do they mean those teachers and professors trivial? The message of insult was disgracing educational institutions and students who completed their studies after 1979 as well as those of you who have received diplomas today. I just have your attention for a serious thought on this political message …
Salary Increment for RGC officials, Workers
… We all have seen efforts of the Ministry of Economy and Finance in exercising payday of the month of September in the fourth week and another payday of October in the first week. In just two weeks, we spent a large sum of money. However, the Riel currency has not devalued. In the Cabinet’s meeting, I have instructed Minister of Economy and Finance to view the payday of October and figure out of we should wait until the fourth week of November to exercise another payday or do we reschedule the next payday to within the second or third week of the month. We have taken this point for consideration because many of our officials would have spent their salary over the Phjum Ben days already.
It is similar to last year when our people normally spent a lot during the Khmer New Year time. Last year, we had the payday of March followed by an early payday for April for the sake of Khmer New Year. As for next year, I must let you know, we will exercise another salary increment in April before Khmer New Year too. There will be a payday of March and an early payday with increment in April. We have to guarantee that we have cash to do so. The minimum wage of our workers will also go from 127 USD to 140 USD, including other advantages. In Myanmar, worker’s minimum salary is 67 USD, in Laos 80 USD, Bangladesh 75 USD and even lower in Nepal. In just months ahead, Cambodia will bring the minimum wage to 140 USD. Some factories may weigh option of leaving Cambodia for other countries where the labor cost is lower. However, we will work harder together to keep those factories in our country…
Three Factors Bring Joy to Phjum Ben Days
… This year’s Phjum Ben days had left the city of Phnom Penh quiet. HE Pa Socheatvong, mayor of Phnom Penh, after returning from abroad before Phjum Ben days, sent me information that Phnom Penh was so quiet. Three factors bring quietness to Phnom Penh during this religious festive season. Firstly, peace allows people to travel anywhere they may like without concerns as in the time of war and divided rules by four factions – the Phnom Penh government, the Khmer Rouge, KPNLF and Funcinpec. Our people can go wherever they wish to and they had no need to ask permission from anyone. Peace is a fundamental factor. People must protect it. We will soon celebrate the commemoration of the 24th anniversary of the Paris Peace Agreement. Either today or tomorrow, I will post in my Facebook account some facts about it. I will take the liberty to explain some points to people about the process of Paris Peace Agreement.
Even though I would not be able to clarify every detail in Facebook but we all must not forget what the Paris Peace Agreement wished to have achieved and UNTAC (United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia) failed to do so. UNTAC’s withdrawal left us a Cambodia of two different rules – one side was with the Phnom Penh Royal Government and another side along the border was under the Khmer Rouge. The two fought until 1998. We applied the win-win policy from1996 through to achievement in 1998, when integration of the Khmer Rouge forces underwent. There was then visit of the Khmer Rouge leaders – Khieu Samphan, Nuon Chea and others, to Phnom Penh. So, peace in the country is the primary factor for our people to travel anywhere and everywhere.
… I took a rest and played with my smart phone. I came across a photo of me and my wife when I was 19 years old and she was 17 years old. I posted it with a statement: “would these two young fellows have the ambition to become Prime Minister?” It was in the time of war. Life has it that finally this young lad has become Prime Minister for over 30 years. Would you imagine that I knew myself that I would be a Prime Minister? I would not even know what the position would be. However, political situation drove us to a time when we could not reverse but go forward. The Australian TV asked Manet if he would take over from his father. Cambodia is a democratic country. There is no such thing as succession. A democratic country, elections will decide. Take for instance, even successor to the throne in our country, must go through a vote. HM the King has no right to assign successor to the throne. The one that will choose the King is the Throne Council. Some said it was Hun Manet, or Hun Manit or Hun Mani, who would become Prime Minister. If it worked that way, why would there be elections? My son already set the record clear but I just add a tip to end this saga.
Secondly, good infrastructure allows people to make their journey possible. Our country has so many rivers and tributaries. It is easier for cultivation as we need water for irrigation and seasonal silt but we have to face difficulty in traveling, which we need more bridges. Take for instance for the river of Prek Tanaot, we still have to build more bridges. As we now have infrastructural connectivity around the country, people can travel wherever they need to. Although in some areas, roads have not yet completed construction or have damaged somehow, people are still able to get to where they need to go – like their native places or pagodas for their ritual ceremony or tourist destinations.
Infrastructure not only serves daily socio-economic activities but also festive seasons, where exodus of people from city to their native places occurs. In the past, we had this issue of traffic jam at Neak Loeung crossing of the Mekong river on national road 1, especially at the time of New Year and Phjum Ben. That is no longer the issue anymore because of the Tsubasa Bridge helped by Japan. In the time of Samdech Techo Hun Sen, many bridges were built … Japan built three major bridges – Kizuna, Tsubasa and Jroy Jangva I. China also built many bridges – the Se Kong and Mekong of Stoeng Treng, Prek Tamak of Kandal, Se San, Prek Kadam, Jroy Jangvar II, which will be inaugurated on 22 October. For Tonle Bassac, China built a bridge at Takhmao and is building another at Koh Thom. Two more bridges will be built in the upper stream of Mekong at Kratie and Stoeng Trang of Kompong Cham.
Thirdly, people have income that pay for making journey. If they were to have cars but no money for gas, they would not be able to journey either. Even if they use public transport means, they would not be able to do so should they have no money. People have secured income for travelling. However, one sad issue is the fact that for every festive season – New Year or Phjum Ben, rental transportation means overcharged the normal prices. Some people who know my Facebook address wrote to me about a service rental van that took off all seats and jacked up the price. I found it unbelievable. In New York, when it is time for the United Nations General Assembly, the price has gone up hundreds time. The fuel companies have also lowered their prices. They should not jack up again. When the price of fuel goes down, fuel companies argue they could not bring them down because they still have previous stock that they bought at a high price. They keep the price. They promised to bring the price down when the new stock comes in. However, when they hear that price of fuel in New York and London goes up, they jack up prices in Phnom Penh right away while they have not bought new stock yet. That is a point that there does not seem to be listening to each other. I will take my time to meet with them myself. I have Minister of Trade calculated the price for me. Local fuel companies are easy to reason with but those from abroad would say they would have to report to their bosses. That is why I have the intention for our people to take up bigger businesses.
Threat of War Is Imminent
It is for this wish, politicians threatened to set up a court to try (whom they called illegal business people) when they win elections. Business people have been threatened with a trial should they win elections. Internal war would be there to occur. Why (do I say so)? In between 1974/75, Pol Pot claimed to bring Lon Nol, Serik Matak, Cheng Heng, In Tam, Sostene Fernandez, Long Boret, Hang Thunhak – seven of them to trial. Finally, Pol Pot gave the whole country a trial. They send out messages that should they win elections, they would set up a court to try illegal business people. The question here is would they abandon existing judicial structure, law, etc. (Judging from what they say) they would do so. They would set up a new court and new law to try them. The second question is who would be the plaintiff? It is easy to know who the defendants would be. Would the plaintiff then point fingers at anyone as what happened under Pol Pot? If it would be so, war would be imminent. Why would they have to wait until they win elections to proceed with the legal matter? Why can they not sue those illegal business people? Sue them to the court now. I would bet war would come. It is not an intimidation, try and figure it out.
Rain Missed Mekong Basin, Seasonal Flooding Low, Rainwater to Retain
…From the river of Lancang in China down to the Mekong that runs one part in Myanmar, thousands of Kilometers in Laos then Cambodia and Vietnam, rain missed the Mekong basin leading to flood level at its lowest level in fifty years. Rain also came in an unstructured manner. Too much rain at the later part of the season caused trouble to rice cultivation of our people. Rain continues to come. The concern here is that the Mekong River’s seasonal flooding is low and cannot fill our reservoirs along the Mekong, Tonle Sap and Bassac rivers. This has caused trouble for those who grow dry season rice. People residing along the rivers also had to encounter difficulties as they depend on flooding for siltation, which is good for their cultivation. Without the Mekong’s flood, they do not have silt, grass would not die, soil is tough, insects do not die and there will be shortage of water for dry season rice. For one part, I am calling on our people to make effort to preserve rainwater in their rice fields. They had better enforce their levees and embankment. Secondly, I already told Minister of Economy and Finance to work with Minister of Water Resources to follow things up with provincial authorities. Provinces with reservoirs should figure out possibility of pumping water from low level flooding area into them. We had better start soon to benefit from the fact that water is still within reach to those reservoirs. We depended on both rain and river for flooding into our reservoirs. Now, those reservoirs are not flooded. Since the flooding water is close by, we should pump it into reservoirs for people to grow flood recession rice. We must use some state budget to purchase fuel for water pumping machines to intervene filling reservoirs. Normally, after the celebration of Phjum Ben, people are working on their cultivation of flood recession rice and dry season rice. Whether we will be able to do it or not will not depend completely on the Ministries of Economy and Finance, but active participation and initiatives of local leaders such as commune chiefs, district and provincial governors. The Municipality of Phnom Penh must also get ready for the water festival. We will celebrate it no matter how low the flood is. Returning from China yesterday, from a bird-eye view, I notice clarity in the water of the Mekong River at Stoeng Treng. The fact that the Klang Hai fish appears, it is a sign that flood is no more./.