Scholarships for 40 Health Specialist Students
Along with the apology that I made about wearing no helmet (while riding a motorbike the other day for a short distance with a local in Koh Kong), let me bring you to the day that 39 years ago I rose against Pol Pot. It was a very dangerous time. Should I make a wrong decision, my soldiers and I could have been killed. If I were to command my army to fight and occupy Mehmot, Snuol, etc., we would be able to hold on for a week or so. Then no one could tell about our fate. We then decided to change our tactic from provoking them openly to conducting a calm withdrawal. In the age of 25 years old, I had so much suffering to see how people had gone through killing by the regime of Pol Pot.
We decided later that we could not be idle. We could not stay on with undisclosed struggle as we did since 1975 anymore. We must resort to armed struggle. It was a fortunate thing that we unite with other forces from Northeast region, Koh Kong, and Eastern region, to establish a people’s national liberation front. I wrote a letter for my messenger to send to my wife. Tears came into my eyes. Thanks to that day of tears that Hun Sen is here present with the people.
Please allow me to inform you that I have decided to set up scholarships for health specialist students. Tomorrow I will meet 40 students who passed their exams on top of the class in the University of Health Sciences and will continue their specialist training for another four years – one batch will study from 2015 through to 2018, and the second batch will go from 2016 through to 2019. The scholarships will be 120,000 USD per annum. It will be scholarships provided by my family. I am taking the occasion that I have become a leader in the national resistance movement to liberate the country to set up this scholarships offer. We will select only the one who made their exams on top of the class.
The ones made it to the second place will not be accepted and/or allow to take over the place of top-class students, who fail to take the scholarships. My daughter in law, who graduated from the University of Health Sciences, and had her Ph D in Public Health, will be in charge of this scholarships provision project. We may call it “Samdech Techo’s Scholarships for Top-Class Students for Health Specialists.” My objective is to strengthen career of health specialists for the future of our country […]
Works, Organized Implementation, and Dealing with Force Majeure
… Now I come back to talking about civil servant officials. They are ones to serve the people. They are not ones to boss people around. I do not demand much. I just demand officials to work according to law … organic law, roles and responsibilities stipulated by sub-decrees, which describe what the ministers’ jobs are. I have noticed that some ministers have come up with initiatives but need to have approval stamps from me. They should take the responsibility. I will soon write my instruction to those ministers that they are in their competencies.
People took to the streets with pictures of me and of my wife. If commune heads, district heads, and provincial governors work to serve people well, there would not be any problems. I wish they learned the Khmer terms for “responsibility,” which means admitted both wrong and right. Some officials would take everything that is right and would leave everything that is wrong to others. This sort of official is not fit for senior responsibility. They need to go for re-training. We also have to be careful with officials who would reprimand junior level and report to senior level for bad thing that happened.
I used to write lessons and teach senior officials about working and leading methodology. I had divided it into three stages. Stage 1, in order to get work done, in an institution or organization, whether it is civil society or political party, there needs to have a plan. Planning would show us the way forward. Without plan, no one would know where to go. Planning requires consideration on every aspect. One could not take a model from other country or from a book. One needs to know the difference of situation and culture. In Japan, they have this model of “one village, one product.” In Korea, there is this movement of new village. The two are not similar. They both are different from what we are doing in Cambodia.
Having a plan is like securing 30% of what needs to do. It is indeed one important factor as it is a roadmap for us. The Royal Government could secure success depends on how well they could organize their political platform and strategy. Every year we have designed it in the framework of state budget, and there is a five-year rolling plan, on which we examine every year.
Another 30% would be to organize implementation. If we have a good plan, and we leave it only in the drawers, without implementation, the plan is meaningless. We may spend five years to do planning. Without actual implementation, it is nothing. It is important to organize planning. We must make it a serious step to implement the plan. It is like in war. Troops would go out for an operation. We must have an operational plan, which commander would take care of which direction. How do we go about preparing our troops, ammunitions, and logistics? In work, it is the same. Building a bridge, one would have to start from foundation, UXOs clearance, etc. Taking actual implementation of the plan achieves another 30% on the way. Both make it 60%.
What are the remaining 40%? In every implementation of the plan, there always arises force majeure. This will show us the kind of officials one would be. There is no plan that is 100% perfect. In my life, I have spent most of my time conducting negotiations, for which I always had many different scenarios. I always foresaw what others wanted or had in mind. I did it with Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk, with Son San, and Khmer Rouge. I may remind you that there are two kinds of battle – a diplomatic battle, in which leaders go up front, and military battle, in which commanders would stay behind. In reality, Cambodia has just gone through protracted drought and people suffered from it. They almost had no water to drink. That is a force majeure and no one would have learnt about it before hand. We need to come up with solution to help people deal with water shortage condition.
Whether a country or a small unit, one must reckon that force majeure could have happened anytime. In family or as individual, one must expect something that might happen without advanced warning. This has clearly illustrated competency of officials, because they should not blame those in junior level and only report about it to senior ones. Good officials must probe a solution on the spot. It is true though reporting to senior level is important but one must not expect the senior level to act on his/her behalf. I wrote this lesson since 1983 when I taught on this subject of leading and working methodology to senior officials in those days.
Do not Be Ten-Leg or Pumpkin Seeds Officials
I wish our officials to follow what I called two-leg working manner, not a ten-leg manner. When I say ten-leg manner, I mean officials who would only stay in their offices – their two legs, plus four legs of their tables and another four legs of their chairs. I wanted you to work as two-leg official, which means you got to go out to do your job. However, some have also made it too far to go out and make affairs everywhere they go. Some even went to creating land conflict problem. When I say two-leg officials, I am expecting them to go out see how their work can best serve the people, and not to make more problems.
I also do not wish to see officials who make themselves “pumpkin seed ones.” I used to tell this story about a King who gave out boiled pumpkin seeds to officials to grow. He was doing that without letting them know for the sake of following their instincts. As time comes, the King asked them about the pumpkin. A group of officials said they had grown them in abundance but while transporting them for the King, the guards would not allow in. The King knew right away that this group of officials lied not to him but also had a bad intention of causing death to the royal guards. This is the first kind of pumpkin seed officials. This sort of official is indeed dangerous.
The second group said they did not grow them because kids took them away and lost them. Some even said rats had them. The King could not judge whether they knew of boiled seeds but dare not say it out. The King thought they could have a re-correction. As for the third group who sat in the corner, they said they did not grow from the seed because the seeds are dead from boiling. They spoke the truth. Finally, the King found the best officials.
Working as a Team
I wish to see that our officials are working as a team. We work in solidarity, with equitability and understanding of one another. We do not wish to see a democracy based on networks and links. We must work as a team. We must work in common responsibility. The Cambodian People’s Party has worked over 37 years to draw an experience of “sharing both sadness and happiness.” Yesterday, I went to Koh Kong province, and on to the Thai territory, to pay final homage to a person we worked with and are amicable with. For us, it does not end when he no longer have function and did not spare time to say farewell. That we have affection, the affection will last a whole life.
I wish to see that you do not obstruct each other. Whoever is capable in what he is doing, let us make way for him/her. We must be severe. We must exercise public function reform. We are doing a great job when we have made it a Ministry of Public Functions. We have reformed our salary grades from each with thirty stairs before to 14 for A, 14 for B and 10 for C. The salary stairs for D is no more. Following previous stairs, officials would spend their whole entire lives, 60 years, to get to the last ones. With the currently reformed ones, they would get there faster. They will move a stair up every two years. I hope ministers will look into this issue properly for those under their supervisions.
Two Questions for People to Think
I have two issues today to bring up for our people to think. They do not have to believe in what I will say but think about it. Firstly, political parties call for determining of the Prime Minister’s term and the argument was for younger people have better chance to come to that position. They also said in similar line so the poor will come to being members of the National Assembly. Just think if it is believable. They told our youth in every campaign their promise to make them important, big and nominate them as candidates for National Assembly members, or even ministers.
When the elections come, everyone must pay to have name in the candidates list. The one to stay on top will pay more and less for those who stay lower. Would the poor have money to pay? I wish political parties will keep silent on this or their reaction would tell what they are. Our people may think on this fact. There are only 124 seats in the National Assembly and another 123 more for reservists. We have millions youth. Would they all become members of National Assembly?
They will have to pay money. The ones higher in lists will pay more. Those standing lower in lists will pay less. Would the poor really have chance to get money anywhere to pay? Would you children of the poor have a chance to become members of the National Assembly? It is only for those who have money who could get to that. Those without money would not stand a chance. Please do not yet believe me. Think about it. Youth in the whole country would have to think about it. Would it be realistic in this sense when someone comes and promises that you will be a member of the National Assembly? Sometimes, that someone does not even have money himself … They started raising money even now.
This kind of demagogue thing should not happen in Cambodia. Such demagogue politicians should not be in Cambodia. It should end. Look, Funcinpec failed because of what. It was because of promises they made. They promised a district head position sometimes to ten people. When they could not get to be one, they were unhappy and angered. The Cambodian People’s Party never promised. We would just nominate ones whenever it is possible.
Secondly, they declared that if they win (elections), they would keep all officials in the current Royal Government and pay them even better. Is that promise believable? What do they think about people who help campaigning, and even paid for so and so positions? Some in foreign countries even sent in their money with anticipation to take positions of governors or ministers. They promised local helpers to be district heads, police inspectors, etc. While they promised to keep everyone in the current Royal Government, whom they accused of being corrupted officials, human rights violation, how could they fit in others? Think about it.
While promising to keep those who are in current Royal Government, what are they going to do with people who feed movement to send in people to guard you in Phnom Penh or collect thumb prints? As for thumb prints, there will be another serious issue. I heard one person had 82 thumb prints. It is an insult to HM the King. They cheated people. However, we will wait for specialists to see what they had to say. I must perform my duty as Prime Minister and will not allow instance that someone cheats HM the King. I must follow the rule. I hope diplomats will not say Hun Sen uses judicial system to solve the issue. If not using judicial system, what are we going to use?
Cambodian Position on South China Sea Issue
Let me talk now about Cambodian foreign policy. Today the Cambodia Daily wrote that “Cambodia Spoiled ASEAN Statement on Sea: Report.” (Samdech Techo read the text of Cambodia Daily). Let me now speak to the whole nation, friends and partners in the framework of ASEAN. Cambodia has taken its position from the beginning to firstly, use ASEAN-China mechanism to implement justly the DOC (Declaration of the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea); and secondly, make efforts between ASEAN and China to issue COC (Code of Conduct on the South China Sea). The third point is for countries claimants to the area must solve problem among themselves. ASEAN cannot measure land for them. It is unjust to say that Cambodia’s stance splits ASEAN.
Firstly, I am talking about importance of relations between China and ASEAN. They have hundreds of issues more than just South China Sea issue to tackle. The trade volume between ASEAN and China is so big and it gives enormous interest to ASEAN. China is a big market for ASEAN. Territorial disputes among concerned countries are not between ASEAN and China. In the 2010 ASEAN Summit in Hanoi, in a working lunch, I told heads of Governments of the ASEAN countries that we may sit around one table, but we do not eat the same food.
I made it clear that there are countries claimants and non-claimants. It is a true statement. When the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam visited Cambodia … I determined on a stance either we do not include this point of South China Sea or we do not issue a declaration. In a visit of the General Secretary to China, the joint declaration reads countries will resolve areas of bilateral concern, bilaterally, and areas of multiple concerns, multilaterally […] I will not just give my support without thinking of justice and our nation. The Summit in Phnom Penh failed to issue a joint declaration is not because of Cambodia. It was because they bullied Cambodia.
One country approached us for recognition of an island and another for recognition of its exclusive economic zone. Cambodia is not judge. Cambodia coordinated on South China Issue to keep solidarity and harmonization in ASEAN-China relations. They should consider that Cambodia played a good role. Two French Prime Ministers appreciated what Cambodia did. Some said it was because Cambodia was too close to China that the Summit could not issue a joint declaration or yield a COC. I may ask everyone in return, why countries chairing ASEAN in 2010, Vietnam, in 2011, Indonesia, did not do it? That Cambodia failed to do so in 2012, why in 2013, Brunei, 2014, Myanmar, and 2015, Malaysia did not do it too? It was because Cambodia is small. They bullied us.
I would not allow anyone to do so to Cambodia. I do not support one and neglect another. I just demand justice. I am asking every country not to use force or threaten to use force in South China Sea, and work together to achieve COC. More importantly, Cambodia appeals to every country involved to negotiate. Vietnam should negotiate with China, China with the Philippines, Philippines with Vietnam, etc.
More than a month ago, an Ambassador came to see me. I believe his country has instructed ambassadors to send similar messages to other countries to seek ASEAN’s one voice in support of decision of the court. It sounds as if they have already had some kind of scoop with the court. That is doubtful, in that case, if it will be just. Let me declare Cambodia’s stance that it will not make any joint declaration to support the decision of the court. It is the Philippines who sues China. Let the Philippines deal with it, why call for ASEAN’s support. What is more unfortunate is we do not even know yet what decision the court will make.
Cambodia will issue its own declaration. I discussed it with Deputy Prime Minister Hor Namhong and Foreign Minister Prak Sokhon already […] They would say Cambodia is not in solidarity with ASEAN. May I ask if when the Philippines decided to sue China it discussed with ASEAN … I have been patient and call back my ambassador. They walked off ASEAN mechanism. Cambodia will keep its stance on three points – (1) continue to implement DOC, (2) make efforts so that ASEAN and China achieve COC, and (3) concerned countries will discuss their issues. As far as the court matter is concerned, it is not issue for ASEAN. South China Sea is not an issue between ASEAN and China. They are matters for countries who claim sovereignty.
When we had problem with Thailand (on Preah Vihear) we did not ask ASEAN to support the court’s decision in The Hague. Why do they force us and place all the false on us. I find it unacceptable. I told HE John Kerry, on his visit to Cambodia, that one should refrain from pouring oil into flame and try to keep detent in relations on South China Sea. I told the same thing to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan when I was in Tokyo. I would not allow anyone country to pull it into confrontation with another. I am demanding only neutrality and justice. We will not stand with any declaration to support the court’s decision, which we do not even know what the decision will be. No matter what it will be and for whoever the favor will be, Cambodia will not join. It does not seem to be legal matter, but political.
How could they juts blame Cambodia? They should see if it is going to be a matter for a fight. Should they decide it is what damages will incur to whom? Trade volume between China and Vietnam is 30 billion USD. Cambodia and China stands at about 3 billion USD only. Vietnam and China have to stay together. They solved issue of land border already. The Philippines and China relation under (President) Arroyo was amicable. I hope the new President will find an amicable way to do thing with China. I am calling on countries outside the region not to interfere in South China Sea issue. Let us leave it to concerned parties to resolve the problem. Where there is bilateral concern, let them resolve it bilaterally. Where the concerned parties will be more than two, let them resolve the issue multilaterally.
They may think of what I said. Cambodia has nothing else to lose more than in 2012. Cambodia clarifies its stance now. Cambodia is not anyone’s puppet. If the conflict is between Vietnam and China, Vietnam and China will solve it. If it is between China and the Philippines, they both should do it. Vietnam and the Philippines also have problem with each other (in South China Sea), they should do it among themselves. The fact that they wrote Cambodia spoiled another ASEAN meeting concerning South China Sea makes us seem to be the one who break thing. I just warn you that Cambodia sticks to its clear role to make thing calm, contain conflict between ASEAN countries and China. Cambodia is maintaining ASEAN-China relations for common interest.
If Cambodia wished to make it hot, Cambodia would just accept the requests by two countries – one for island and another for exclusive economic zone. Tension would rise because Cambodian chairing of ASEAN. Cambodia may be small but it is an independent country and has a clear internal and foreign policy to follow […] there is a huge interest in the relation between ASEAN and China. We need to increase confidence from concerned parties and good cooperation, expanded trade and investment, as China has restored a “one belt, one road,” and the 21st Century “maritime silk road” that will provides wide ranging benefits among neighboring countries […]
Four Factors Why Cambodia Joined ASEAN
I may remind you once again why Hun Sen worked hard to join ASEA. There are for factors. Firstly, it is the principle of non-interference. It is a major one for us. Cambodia locates between two giant ASEAN countries – Thailand and Vietnam. If we do not join ASEAN, we may be isolated. Secondly, it is the community spirit. What is it? ASEAN works with consensus, whether the country is rich or poor, big or small, every member has one voice equally […] Thirdly, Cambodia would benefit from ASEAN integration because of economic construction, socio-economic development, and connectivity. Fourthly, ASEAN is a big diplomatic outreach to partners, ASEAN plus one, ASEAN plus three, ASEAN and Eurasia, ASEAN and UN. These are the factors behind our entry to ASEAN. We are not working to be a member in blindness./.