On December 19th, 2005, Samdech Hun Sen told the Press about issues of proposed establishment of the Ministry of Immigration and Nationality, taxation in urban area and the Cambodia’s growth, which CNV has selected some of the comments and translated as follows:
… I have received the letter of Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranaridh on the objective of establishing the Ministry of Immigration and Nationality. I have instructed the Ministry of Interior – HE Sar Kheng and Sdech Krom Khun Norodm Sereivudh, Deputies Prime Ministers and Co-Ministers for Interior, to observe three things in relation to the proposal. Firstly, is there a real need for the establishment of such a ministry for immigration and nationality in this circumstance? For me terrorism is more important than that and doing so would dilute the capabilities in dealing with terrorism. This is indeed what I have recommended to the two-party working groups to look into together.
… Secondly, I have raised a question whether the establishment of the ministry would divide our police force as it has to have a part that will work with the Ministry of Interior and another with the new ministry. I have emphasized between brackets that I do not agree with the idea of further establishing the ministries of national security, the national police or attaching the police force under the command of the Prime Minister.
… Thirdly, if we were to establish a ministry as such, how many laws and by laws have to be amended? Because for instance we already have a law that stipulates immigration is an issue to be managed under the supervision of the Ministry of Interior. I learned that HE Deputy Prime Minister Sar Kheng has assigned HE Nut Saan and Sdech Krom Khun Norodom Sereivudh assigned HE Khan Savoeun to work together on the issue. The discussion has come up with a reaffirmation of certain reason that there is no need for the establishment of the ministry for immigration as proposed. The group, however, recommends an option to promote the department in charge of immigration issue to the level of general department for immigration affairs.
… Having seen the report I have instructed that for the same reason of keeping our police force intact, I find the recommendation to promote the immigration section to that of general department unacceptable. I have clearly instructed to keep the existing structure. I have told HE Deputy Director Sar Kheng and Sdech Krom Khun Norodom Sereivudh that the Ministry of Interior should continue to further strengthen the department for immigration affairs. I think people who would like to be Minister for Interior should cease pushing for the establishment of the ministry at their will. It would by the same token increase our expenses. We should leave this matter to a suitable time.
… As far as issue of taxing on urban property, I acknowledged that there have been some requests from our officials to impose tax on property in urban area to cover expenses in infrastructural development. After my return from Kuala Lumpur, I discussed this issue with Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranaridh, after that I have instructed the Ministry of Economy and Finance to remove the chapter. It would not be too late to wait till 2010 or 2020 when our people’s living conditions improve. The three tasks to be strictly implemented for the time being is – 1) curbing illegal logging, 2) stopping land grabbing from deforesting activities and 3) suppressing the gangsters and crime issues. The tasks must be fulfilled constantly and I believe that if we could win over Pol Pot, we could also do the same in this matter.
… As far as issue of growth is concerned, I think I have scored four – nil against the World Bank. The World Bank predicted that Cambodia’s growth would go down and it has been proven to be different on the contrary. Now the World Bank has regenerated its growth prediction for Cambodia to around 7% this year. Take the agricultural sector into consideration, the World Bank predicted a growth of just 2.9% but we have scored the growth for this year up to 20% already. So and so organizations can say or rank us to any levels, but what is the most important thing for us is to make efforts to produce more gains when it is predicted that we make loss. What is frightful is that we make no gains when we are ranked high./.