Will South China Sea Issue Be Resolved in Malaysia?
I urge that HE Hang Chuan Naron, Minister for Education, Youth and Sports to review this issue of scholarship to be provided by the US first lady. ASEAN leaders now use my term comparing South China Sea to a hot piece of stone. It is not a hot potato. The difference is the heat in potato, after a while, will recede and people can eat it. As long as the hot stone is concerned here, it will be impossible. Sultan of Brunei and President of Myanmar said maybe Excellency could help bring down the heat of the stone in 2012. I assured them to reach lower temperature or not would depend on those countries involved.
After Cambodia, Brunei and Myanmar themselves were not able to resolve the issue. I will wait and see. After passing around, finally, everyone will see it is not an issue of ASEAN as a whole. It is basically the issue relating to concerned countries, despites the fact that there needs to have a DOC (Declaration on the Conduct of Parties) and COC (Code of Conduct) among ASEAN. Hot season is coming. The hot stone of South China Sea will go to Kuala Lumpur and Langkawi.
Infrastructure Investment Deduction, Increase Salary
We are putting into official use of the five floor building with 44 rooms. I would have your attention that before initiating any constructions, please keep in mind the place and building to be preserves and the long-term use concept of a new building. Land in this spot is the most expensive. We have aimed here to use more than 49% of current expense or about more than 6% of GDP (please correct what I said earlier – 5% of GDP) on staff salary. In order to keep macroeconomic stable, we will need to reduce expense on a number of investment projects like schools, hospitals, roads, water canals, etc.
As far as the payroll is concerned, education and health has a combined figure of about 130,000 staff over 180,000 staff in total. We have aimed to realize by 2018 a plan to achieve no less than 1,000,000 Riel salary. In some countries, for instance Greece, in order to improve salary status they lay out staff. First they did on staff of state radio and TV. They launched demonstrations. As we have some 110,000 teachers, we may increase their salary to at least 1,000,000 now if we were to lay off 5,000 teachers. If we were to do so, where would the 5,000 teachers go? We have allowed recruitment of 5,000 teachers per annum and the number is still not responding to the demand yet. We still have to hire contracted teachers.
More Than 30% Increase of Salary for CPP Staff
In April, there will be a general salary increase for the RGC staff and armed forces. Generally salary of staff of the Cambodian People’s Party is higher than those of the RG staff and armed forces. The reason is that these full-time CPP staff does not have retirement entitlement. I have sent a message to the CPP that since in April the RG will increase salary for staff and armed forces, it is important that CPP increases salary at the rate of more than 30% for its staff. Some parties, as far as I am told, promised to demand for a monthly salary of 160 USD for workers, but their staff received only 80 USD.
I send an SMS to HE Say Chhum in the morning and forward to people involved to help draft a decision relating to salary increase. I am sure other parties have their way of dealing with this for their staff. For CPP staff salary increase, I suggest to choose the model salary of the lowest payroll of teachers which will benefit the increase this time of 30%. The CPP officials, who have retired but continued to serve the party’s work, will benefit from both the retirement salary and that paid for staff plus over 30% increase.
Misconception on Scholarship
It is one major issue to pay attention to. Take for instance there is this problem concerning the HIV/AIDS project. HE Ieng Moly, National AIDS Authority Chairman, and HE Mam Bunheng may have remembered this. They came and assured us they would provide HIV/AIDS carrier with even rice. However, after sometimes they withdrew. They then asked us to replace them in providing rice. I do not understand, if they are committed to feed them, why they do not do it all the way through. Now, Cambodia is responsible in providing nutrition.
We have to provide 2,000 tons of rice per annum through World Food Program’s project to offer food to students. When they no longer continue the program, we had to replace them in doing so. This may have created misconception that WFP, not the Royal Government, is the one who provides them food. There is similar case in another organization called IFAD. Contribution has doubled. We support their programs but they have in return rested in our burden. Yesterday, Minister of Education, Youth and Sports wrote me a letter asking state scholarship for selected female students to study in any given state school.
I misconceived that the US would provide them with scholarship. Now, firstly, they are to be given access to any state school, secondly, they are to stay in any given hostel as they all are female students, and thirdly, Samdech will provide them with scholarship. Please inform them that my wife and I have taken care of this matter already. I think her campaign is good but, if the US is really paying attention on this matter, I may have the attention of HE William E. Todd that they should do it for ten, not six years./.