Esteemed Samdech Preah Akka Maha Sangha Raja Dhibadei, Samdech Sangha Raja, Buddhist Monks,
Esteemed Excellencies, Lok Chumteavs, Ladies, National and Foreign Guests
Members of the Meeting and Compatriots,
Today is the auspicious 65th founding anniversary of the Cambodian People’s Party, initially called “Khmer Revolutionary Party,” that has history and brilliant tradition in serving our nation and people, maintaining goals and ideals standing on the people’s side, and sharing hardship and peace with our people in all circumstances. The Party makes efforts to overcome obstacles, sacrifices without hesitation for Cambodia to have its independence, peace, freedom, democracy, neutrality, and social progress. On a long path after its inception on 28 June 1951, the Party bravely led national liberation struggle against foreign aggression, especially saved people from the Pol Pot’s genocidal regime, while continuing to lead the country to great successes, ensuring national revival, existence, and progress.
We are celebrating this event in a spirit of deep respect for cadres, soldiers, and compatriots in every generation who fought determinedly in every stage for the supreme national courses, ascertaining that we have everything we do today and hope for the future. To further this invaluable heroic model, we all must be determined to defend our motherland, to safeguard long-lasting national achievements, and to continue to make more efforts to build the country to prosperity in independence, peace, stability, and national reconciliation, while preventing recurrence of the past tragedy and disaster.
In this auspicious occasion, we are expressing our profound loyalty and gratitude to the most revered Preah Karuna Preah Bat Samdech Preah Norodom Sihamoni, King of Cambodia, and Samdech Preah Mohaksatrei Monineat Sihanouk, the Cambodian National Heroic Queen Mother in freedom, dignity, and happiness, staying in the throne and as cool shade of every Cambodian people. We wish Their Majesties good health, strength, intelligence, and longevity, to lead the Cambodian ship to shore of progress.
Members of the Meeting,
Over the past 65 years, fulfilling missions to serve our nation, facing with complex challenges along with evolution and change of national and international situation, the Cambodian People’s Party has always been together with our people to overcome various major historical stages. We fought against colonialism for national independence, the war created by the Republic Khmer and foreign invaders from 1970 through to 1975, and especially the struggle to liberate the country from the regime of Pol Pot’s genocide by the victory on 7 January 1979.
With this victory, Cambodia shut its page of dark era and ushered in a new era of independence, freedom, democracy, and social progress. In a period of 37 years after the 7 January victory, firmly standing on principle of people’s democracy, the Cambodian People’s Party has led the country over incalculable obstacles and hardships to score major historical achievements, liberating our people from shadow of the past and making energetic, proud, and confident steps forward on the path of peace, democracy, and development.
Fear, tragedy, national division, and loss that our people had suffered in the past have ended. We are living in a motherland that is in full peace, independence, firmly defended sovereignty, and territorial integrity, respect of human rights, freedom, dignity of every Cambodian citizen, and national reconciliation under the roof of one Constitution. The whole society is making progress in every field, while the country’s prestige raises high in the international arena. These magnificent achievements have built up and strengthened spiritual and material bases for our nation in continuing to defend motherland and building its brilliant future.
Along with national evolution, to guarantee success in serving our nation, the Party has built, strengthened, and expanded steadfastly to respond to demand from one stage after the other, started from over two hundred members who survived killing by Pol Pot. The Party has up to millions of members now, and established its organizations at every local level to stay close to the people. Achievements in the Party construction and those of our nation have linked together and complemented each other in the process of building and defending our motherland.
The Cambodian People’s Party scored these successes thanks to its correct political leadership in every circumstance and condition; wide ranging support of our people, civil servants, and the armed force; strict discipline and serious working method; abundance of competent and conscientiously responsible human resource; and firm internal solidarity and unity. The two factors have helped the Party score successes and learn from the leadership of the Cambodian People’s Party. The whole Party must hold this firmly and make further efforts to achieve further achievements for our nation.
Members of the Meeting,
Successes of the Cambodian People’s Party in democratic elections, one after the other, national and sub-national level, universal and non-universal suffrage, clearly show that the people of Cambodia need CPP’s leading role in guaranteeing defense, promotion and realization of essential interests, and their sacred aspiration. Responding to confidence placed upon by the Cambodian people, the Party is driving active implementation of political platform, proclaimed to compatriots in the 2013 general elections, to realize positive results in all fields.
Guaranteed peace, security, and public order has created favorable condition for socio-economic development, people’s peaceful life. Process of democratic development, respect of human rights, freedom, and rule of law are on the right track. Every state institutions fulfill their roles and duties according to law with efficiency and responsibility. Every state reform fronts have continued make fruitful achievements. Along with this, political parties are conducting active political actions towards the fourth term elections of the communal councils.
This has clearly affirmed that Cambodia does not suffer any crisis. Effort by some persons to make noise that the country is in crisis or political tension was in fact a dishonest trick to deceive public opinion. In truth, it was personal crisis of a small number of people committed wrongdoings, and legal violation, foe which the court subpoenaed. They are not political issues. As other social organization, a political party should not link itself with individual who committed guilt.
As for economic sector, in 2016, the country would be able to realize a growth around 7.1%. Inflation will stay below 1.9%, while trade will improve because of speedy export compared to import. Foreign exchange reserve has increased to roughly 5,450 million US dollars, which could sustain imports up to 4 months and a half and prevent negative impacts from external crisis. Simultaneously, use of local goods has surged thanks to local and foreign direct investments, which create jobs and income for our people. In actual term, average income per person has reached 1,215 USD in 2015. It would continue to rise to 1,301 USD in 2016.
In a few months early this year 2016, Cambodian economic activities sustain growth led by service, industry, and construction sectors. Particularly, public financial management continues to increase effectiveness owing to the fact that collection of incomes from all sources has augmented, while procedure of expense implementation has strengthened. In the past five moths of early this year, custom duty has realized 763 million USD, or 22% increase. Income from tax has realized 708 million USD, or 21.68% increase, compared to same time last year.
Division of state expenses has been more effective through exercise of frugal and responding effectively to issues required attention. National budget expense has increased for the support of reforms and major work activities to increase public service quality, and investment on strengthening physical infrastructure for connectivity, competitive ability, economic productivity and sustaining growth. At the same time, we have increased salary and make payment timely through banking system for public officials, armed forces, and retirees.
In labor, in the first three months of the year, Cambodia has created 27,921 jobs in the country and for those who travel to work abroad. Workers’ minimum wages in garments and apparels have gone from 128 USD to 140 USD, while mechanism to discuss about wages for 2017 is underway. Overall, movement of reform in every sector is underway in a correct direction and providing fruitful results improving people’s livelihood.
Members of the Meeting,
The marvelous revival of our nation, started from 7 January 1979, was a “change” with the profoundest meaning in the history of Cambodia. It is a “change” from a nation that is seriously divisive, torn by war, to be one with peace, national unity, and land unification. It is a change from a death land covered with crimes committed by the Pol Pot’s genocide to one with rebirth, freedom, democracy, respect of human rights and rule of law. It is a change from a society of destruction and devastation to one with energetic progress. It is a change from a society that was insulted and isolated to be one with honor, equal rights, and equal footing with other countries in the world. These are logical and progressive change process in accordance with law of development of a nation. The Cambodian People’s Party has been leading these changes. It continues to exercise leadership for further change to guarantee national stability and progress.
Marching on, to realize tasks in the stage of people’s democracy towards stage of development in all field for every Cambodian people, the Cambodian People’s Party adheres to firm position in safeguarding peace and political stability as necessary condition for development and people’s peaceful life, while continuing to raise high the great banner of national solidarity. We are conducting these activities to mobilize national forces for construction and defense of the motherland under the Constitution and mottoes of nation, religion, and King. We are to prevent from happening activities that exert negative impacts on current peace and political stability.
In this spirit, the Cambodian People’s Party continues to adhere to dialogue culture with all political circles and society aimed at strengthening favorable condition for socio-economic development, standing by fidelity, national reconciliation, democratic principle, and rule of law. While doing this, they should understand clearly that no party or social organization or individual, no matter in what position s/he may be, is above the law.
Those committed wrongdoings, whether physical or legal entity must come before law because Cambodia is a state with rule of law and fully sovereign country. They must not remodel individual mistake to political issue and putting pressure on the court. This is an act of insult on people, state institution, and a dangerous adventure for the nation. At the same time, we hope that certain foreign circles, who do not understand the truth of Cambodian situation, will continue to make themselves informed properly to give support to the process of positive implementation of rule of law of Cambodia, while respecting Cambodian sovereignty.
The Cambodian People’s Party continues to promote reform in all fields defined in the Royal Government’s Rectangular Strategy – Phase iii, with determination to guarantee economic growth promotion, creation of jobs for our people, strengthening justice, social equitability, and efficiency of all sorts of public services. This is a process that requires endless changes to keep our country develop in a sustainable manner. We are resolutely against every political trick to change society through instigation of color revolution or other perfidious means, which would lead the country to losing peace, stability, national unity, and sinking in a new disaster. Peace, political stability, and achievements we have secured so far stemmed from loss of life, huge and invaluable sacrifices of cadres, soldiers, members of the Party and millions of compatriots. We will not allow anyone or circle to destroy it.
The Cambodian People’s Party fully supports efforts of the Royal Government in continuing to promote implementation of rectangular strategy – phase iii, strategic plan for national development between 2014 and 2018, and policies to their successes. They could be:
- to continue to develop sectors like industry, agriculture, trade, tourism, land management and construction, finance, infrastructure, etc., aimed at increasing productivity and value added. Mobilize financial recourse for serving financing need; diversify economic base and guarantee economic growth around 7% per annum. Continue to maintain a balanced exchange rate. Maintain inflation rate at a low level, while making effort to export.
- to promote national political implementation on jobs and labor for 2015-2025 aimed at raising high people’s living standard and their dignity. Implementing this policy, improve and increase competitiveness of Cambodia in attracting investments, while setting working condition in conformity with international norm and strengthening mechanism to determine minimum wages, guarantee benefits of workers and employees, etc.
- to continue to strengthen activities that support poverty reduction objective and equitable distribution of economic growth. For example, continue to distribute land through social economic land concession program and delegation of land use for people who are poor, families of handicap and deceased soldiers, and former armed forces members who are landless. Continue to implement policy to impose no tax on agricultural household land. Continue to link up lines of electricity for rural area aimed at achieving our objective to get every village access to electricity by 2020. Experience a more favorable condition from expansion of microfinance services. Continue to expand equitable fund and pay-for service on behalf of poor people to receive health examining and treatment services in health centre and state referral hospitals, etc.
- to continue to strengthen reform in public financial management aimed at promoting state income generation and continue to make on-target and effective rational expense. Continue to strengthen quality, extent and confident public services – both need and serving, for our people.
The Cambodian People’s Party actively joins with the Royal Government and other Parties in creating a favorable political environment for the elections of the communal/Sangkat councils in the near future in a neutral, free, democratic and peaceful manner – which are necessary conditions of the free and just election, on the basis of law, order and procedure of the elections. We also are calling on every Cambodian eligible voter to register to be able to vote as instructed by the National Elections Committee.
On this occasion, the Cambodian People’s Party underlines its stance as followed on South China Sea issue:
- The Cambodian People’s Party supports the stance taken by the Royal Government, declared by Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen on 20 June 2016, and the declaration of the Cambodian People’s Party on 22 June 2016 on the South China Sea issue.
- The Cambodian People’s Party does not support, and more so is against, any declaration by ASEAN to support decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in relation to the South China Sea disputes, which some countries outside the region have wire-pulled and pressured ASEAN members even before the court reaches a decision. The Cambodian People’s Party foresees this issue, and views it the worst political collusion in the framework of international politics, the result of which would lead to division among ASEAN members themselves and between ASEAN and China. Efforts of some countries outside the region to mobilize forces against China would bring negative impacts on ASEAN and peace in the region.
- The Cambodian People’s Party regards the South China Sea issues are matters between countries concerned on sovereignty, and not ones between ASEAN and China. In this meaning, the Cambodian People’s Party appeals to every concerned countries to resolve their issues peacefully together. Only countries concerned will be able to resolve this problem. ASEAN is not able to work on behalf of those countries concerned.
- There is this ASEAN-China mechanism to resolve issues through the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) signed in Phnom Penh in 2002. The Cambodian People’s Party calls on all concerned parties to implement justly the spirit of DOC, while ASEAN and China work together to achieve a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea (COC).
- The Cambodian People’s Party calls on countries outside the region to cease their interferences on issues of South China Sea. The Cambodian People’s Party also appeals to concerned countries and those with attention given to South China Sea issues to stop using South China Sea as bargaining tool or hostage in regional and international meetings for the results in recent years have been divisive. Cambodia had again, and again, become victim of South China Sea issue because of unjust accusations, and hopes that countries unconcerned will not suffer injustice as Cambodia did. Cambodia hopes that in the coming time, if the South China Sea issue is not going to be brought up for disturbance or as obstacle to regional and international meetings of senior officials through to heads of state and government, results of those meetings and solidarity spirit will improve. More so, there will be no declaration of attack or placing false on one another.
The Cambodian People’s Party believes that some disagreements among ASEAN members on South China Sea issue symbolize no division of ASEAN. ASEAN has so much more works to do than only the South China Sea issue. A matter like this does not happen only in the framework of ASEAN. In European Community, they also experience issues like Greek’s debt crisis, embargo on Russia, refugees, anti-terrorism, whether to stay or not to say as member, which, in a few days now, Britain decided to leave European Union in a referendum.
Members of the Meeting,
In this auspicious occasion, on behalf of Samdech Akka Moha Punhea Chakrey Heng Samrin, leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party and my own behalf, I appeal to the Party committee at all levels, officials and members, to maintain the Party’s great tradition of strengthened solidarity around the Central Committee. Please continue to advance with sharpened will to realize tasks of strengthening the Party and serving the people. I would like to express my respect and warm affection to compatriots who live inside and outside the country, whether they are farmers, workers, employees, traders, Buddhist monks, ordained persons of every religions, students, intellectuals, youth, civil servants, and the armed forces, for their unity and solidarity as a great Khmer family. Same respect and affection goes for their supports and active implementation of political platform and rectangular strategy – phase iii of the Royal Government to create new achievements for our motherland. The Cambodian People’s Party will always be with the people and continues to do everything for the people.
In this moment, I would like to express my profound thanks to friendly countries, foreign partners, and international organizations for making invaluable contributions to support the just course of the Cambodian people and continuing to strengthen and expand good cooperation with the Kingdom of Cambodia. Their contributions are indispensable for Cambodia’s peace, democracy, and development.
Finally, with greeting to the 65th founding anniversary of the Cambodian People’s Party, allow me to offer my best wishes to Samdech Preah Akka Maha Sangha Raja, Samdech Sangha Raja, Buddhist monks, and Excellencies, Lok Chumteavs, national and foreign guests, members of the meeting and compatriots the four Buddhist blessings./.