Question 1: […] the late King Norodom Sihanouk left a legacy of national unity for the Khmer people, while Samdech Techo left a legacy of peace […] what does Samdech Techo like to see this new generation of leaders left for Cambodia in the next 5 or 10 years?
Answer: Thank you. This is a good question. If we talk about the King Father, we are talking about independence, his greatest legacy to the nation and the prosperity of the 1960s. In terms of the current legacy, they like to talk about the peace and stability that this generation keeps for future generations.
You have asked the question “what do I want to see will be left by the new generation of leaders for Cambodia? I want to see two main points. First, I want to see the next generation continue to maintain political peace and stability. The second thing I want to see is to realize Cambodia’s endeavor to leave its status of the least developed country to become a high-middle-income country as planned, and to reach a high-income country status. The poverty rate, if it does not reach zero, is kept to a minimum. I want to see this generation of leaders are striving to do these two jobs.
To reiterate, we leave them a legacy of peace and political stability. We also want them to maintain peace and political stability. The other wish is for them to achieve the goal of leaving the least developed countries status to become middle-income and high-income country as planned. The poverty rate has to be reduced to zero or at least kept at the lowest possible. That would be the legacy we want.
In addition, we would like to see (new) things happen in addition to the previous achievements that we have realized, including changes in the social environment. The higher the level of education of the people, the better the governance, the anti-corruption and the inactivity of society must be cleansed. That’s a difficult burden for the new team to take over. The jobs are not that simple. Having said all these, you all can understand deeply about independence that the late King Father and the previous generation had regained from France for us. We want the next generation to have peace and political stability, but we also want the next generation to keep what I have just said above.
Question 2, Fresh News: It is Van Saray from Fresh News […] I would like to express my deep gratitude to Samdech Techo for sacrificing so much to bring Cambodia out of the ashes of war and bring Cambodia to peace. I have two questions.
The first question is – closely attaching to the national destiny for more than 40 years, clearly, there are many happy and unhappy stories in the political life as the Prime Minister. What I want Samdech Techo to tell us is the happiest thing in that political life? Are there any unhappy things Samdech Techo’s political life?
The second question – in the political battle, since the overthrow of the genocidal regime of Pol Pot, came many politicians who were overthrown by Samdech Techo. Until now, it cannot be denied that Samdech Techo still has a political opponent abroad, who is constantly exchanging words at each other. That Samdech Techo has decided to put off your national buden, would Samdech want to see this opponent do too […] but so far, he does not seem to have dropped it and continue to wage war with Samdech’s successor.
Answer: Thank you so much for appreciating my efforts. Leadership is always a thing about satisfaction, frustration, or even disappointment. What would be (my) disappointments. I do not talk about satisfaction, because even we are sitting for one full day, I would not have finished talking about it. Disappointment has got the point. First of all, I should say that my last disappointment is that Cambodia, which used to have a stable (economic) growth at more than 7% per year, has had is economic growth movement disrupted by the Covid-19, thus recurring the poverty rate that we have already reduced to below 10%.
Nearly US$ 4 billion in savings that I aimed to spend in building infrastructure in Cambodia without relying on foreigners was lost. (We had to) deal with Covid-19 and feed the people. It thwarted the plan. That is one of my biggest disappointments. At the same time, we regret that the lives of 3,056 people lost in such a short time, even if the country is in peace. War had killed many people, but we cannot save our people from this abyss (in peace time). That is my regret. There are some other disappointments, but they are not that disturbing. The big disappointment is on the fact that while the country is moving forward, we had to waste our savings that we reserved for infrastructure development, and acceleration of the economy and reduction of poverty. This was my last disappointment.
Just now, Mr. Saray asked if my opponent had been defeated by me. There have been many such comments that Hun Sen’s political opponents were defeated by Hun Sen. I have never defeated anyone. I have only one belief that no one can defeat anyone except that person defeats himself. It should now be time to stop saying that Hun Sen always do away his opponents […] think about it. What did those who were my opponents in the past do to me? I dare to say that only Hun Sen can defeat Hun Sen. Why do others think that Hun Sen got rid of them? It is (because they are) too weak, too stupid, and administering incorrect actions. They cannot blame Hun Sen because of that. Those who lost (their chances) are not Hun Sen’s issue […] I do not talk about any particular opponents. If s/he wants to argue with a child, let her/him do it. There is now a new prime minister. If s/he wants to argue with the Prime Minister, let her/him argue. I do not have to talk to such nasty people.
They want me to retire. I have not yet retired. I have said that already that I have not yet retired from politics. I remain President of the ruling party. It is known to all that in the proportional electoral system, the political party is the entity with real power. However, that power is not to force the Prime Minister to sign, or to do this or that. They have their own leadership approach, such as submitting a political platform to the electorate, and that political platform is presented to the National Assembly today. Party’s political platform has now become the political platform of the Royal Government. On this note, I have not yet retired from politics, I just do not have my executive portfolio […]
Needless to say, I knew that their son had contacted (Hun) Manet to congratulate him […] his father had insulted my brother-in-law on his death. People should know that once the person passed away, one (should not) continue to make more bad karma with. That said, this person’s son sent a message to (Hun) Manet to express his condolences (over my brother in law’s death) while his father was discriminating against (Hun) Manet upon taking office. Their son sent a congratulatory message to (Hun) Manet. I do not have to mention name […]
Question 3: With respect, Samdech Techo, my name is Sereywat from EAC News. Today, HE Kitti Tesaphibal Bindit Hun Manet was elected by the National Assembly as the Prime Minister together with the formation of the Council of Ministers. As I have observed, among all of Samdech’s children, they are Cambodian human resources who have had education and knowledge, and have the character of leaders. What are the factors that motivate Samdech to encourage His Excellency Hun Manet to become Prime Minister? Thank you very much.
Answer: Thank you very much. I have said that in my whole life and in my family, even though we are poor, we have worked hard. I myself went through pagoda life because of the lack of school at that time, forcing me to leave my family when I was 13 years old. When I became a father, there were no significant assets for me to share with my children. My main thing is to train them. Property can be wasted, fire can burn or be lost by any means, but if we give them knowledge, no matter what the situation may turn, even the fire cannot destroy it.
Generally, my kids have all the graduate and postgraduate degrees. You mentioned that they have knowledge and character as leaders. But why I orientate on (Hun) Manet? Manet has the highest level of education among the children and has received the most love and respect from the people. His chances are higher. He is the eldest child. Of course, we do not think of who is the eldest or not the eldest in my family. I am the third child, for instance, […] my second brother was the provincial governor. He later chaired the National Assembly’s commission and died last year. As for the first brother, his ability was limited to the Secretary of State. As the third child, I am the longest-serving Prime Minister in the world.
Someone commented that there was competition between my three sons, especially Hun Manit and Hun Many. I think maybe in their family they have had such competition that incite them to think about my family as they do in theirs. That is not the case. My two sons, Manit and Mani, would not accept any position if it was higher than Manet’s.
Manet is recognized (in the family) and in society as a whole. Some of the more than 82% of the votes cast for the Cambodian People’s Party are Manet’s votes, because when we campaigned, the Party nominated Hun Sen and Hun Manet. It is well known that Hun Manet is the successor in line. It is clear that, first of all, the role of the party, which has more than 6 million members, with leaders at all levels that is the core of attracting votes. The second is myself. Third, it is Manet. All three factors combined, the CPP received more than 82% of the vote.
In terms of how we do it in the family, after the father, it would be for the eldest son to be responsible for the family. That is really a sure thing. Unless the eldest child is addicted to drugs or is unable to do anything, the job is given to the second or to the third child. We do not favor this to that child. We have equal love for every child. We must know though this is not a family issue but a national issue. We need to find someone that people can accept. Command the army, command the armed forces, command the general administration with great responsibility for the nation. That is my answer.
Question 4, PNN: […] So far, the new government has started to function officially (as) Samdech has (planned). Many people want to know how much trust does Samdech – as a long-served and deep(-experienced) leader – have for the youth leaders of the Cambodian People’s Party led by HE Dr. Hun Manet?
[…] There have been many posts on social media about the composition of the new Cabinet. Is the composition of the new Cabinet exactly as advertised? If so, why did the new Royal Government create a Secretary of State in charge of border affairs? Thank you.
Answer: If we do not trust them, do not give them the job. I have a short answer – if you do not trust them, do not give them the job. This is no small matter. It is the national issue. If we do not trust them, do not let them do it […] you may ponder here […] I still have the strength to do this job for another 5 to 10 years. My voice is still loud. Manet’s voice is not as loud as mine […] there is a part of the matter that […] new Cabinet composition that are young, they are speedy and will be faster than those of us in the previous terms. As I said, on August 3, there were only three or four ministers who could work with me online after 10pm or after 11pm. As of now, I think the whole Cabinet will work better together […] for this age, they can be faster than we do. That is one side. On the other hand, they work faster than we do in the context of digital economy. We are now entering the digital economy stage, so I have high expectations on the one side of their physical and mental ability, and on the other side their technological capabilities that will accelerate the pace of implementation […]
In the age of the digital economy, we look at the capability level (of new members of the Royal Government) which will make the pace of our digital economy moves forward. Regarding the second question, the composition put together and released in the February 2023 is not the last composition. You can spend some time learning about that composition.
[…] Regarding the establishment of the Border Affairs Secretariat, in the past we had a border committee, […] which was previously under the government. The Prime Minister is the Chairman of the Bounder Committee, […] previously established by the Royal Decree. Now we want a long-term institution, which is no longer a committee. It is true that the Prime Minister or the top leaders must be held accountable for this, but documents or minutes related to negotiations, border poles postings, etc. need to be prepared and documented. The Royal Government has 28 ministries and two Secretariats of State – the Secretariat of State for Civil Aviation and the Secretariat of State for Border Affairs […] we are now incorporating that committee, both human resources and documents/documentation, into the Secretariat of State for Border Affairs […]
Question 5, Thmey Thmey: Please allow me, Leang De Lux from Thmey Thmey to ask questions. In the 5th and 6th mandates, as the head of the Royal Government, Samdech has set out five approaches: “bathing, scrubbing, mirroring, treatment and surgery.” In the seventh legislature, as you are no longer the leader in the Royal Government, but Samdech is still the President of the ruling party. From this forum, would Samdech call on all CPP officials who will work in the executive and legislature to implement the five approaches, or Samdech has new guidelines beyond that.
Answer: Thank you, Mr. De Lux, for asking this question. I think the new government will continue this approach. In my understanding, these five approaches are an indispensable requirement for our governance and development. The CPP also has internal consensus on this work […] even on the facts, we have examined, we have done, but we just did not write it out in theory. Mirroring, bathing, scrubbing, healing and surgery are all methods that need to be done, even if not in theory […] I believe our officials do not stand still. They can find ways to solve more problems by promoting the implementation of these five approaches to make it more effective […]
I will continue to be the President of the ruling party for all CPP officials to continue to implement the five approaches, because abandoning these five approaches means that we do not know where our weaknesses are. If we do not go to the mirror, do we know where the stain is on our face […] we have to take a shower and brush it off. If there is a disease, we treat it. If treatment does not work, then surgery is needed. That approach cannot be abandoned. Abandonment of this approach is tantamount to a failure or even dissolving a political party. Whether the Royal Government takes it or not is one thing, but I call on all Party members to use this approach inevitably. I do not force the Royal Government to accept, but recommend every Party official to do it, personally and institutionally.
I knew about this because this was a preparation. It does not mean that the elderly did not participate in organizing. There were two scenarios previously. One scenario is that the older generation would goes on for a period of time before giving it to the younger generation leaders. Another scenario is for the young generation team to start right away. Therefore, I have a part in developing this pentagonal strategy, including accomplishing some tasks before the new term arrives. For example, what is the level of salary increase between 2024 and 2028?
The policy makers have identified three options. Let me tell you about this document, this topic, I need an hour and a half to choose which option is best […] before I drop this lift from my shoulders. The institution in charge needs to act immediately. Therefore, as incumbent Prime Minister, I must decide to choose a good formula that can be carried […] some sub-decrees have been signed into force. The new government must urgently implement some tasks, such as social protection. We leave it to the new Cabinet to decide, but (before leaving) we also share responsibility. I just put down (the lift) a few hours earlier […]
Question 6, Troyang: […] I am Reach Rattanak, the reporter of Trayang press. My father, the commune chief of Thmor Kor commune, in Lvea Em district, ask me to deliver his words to Samdech, if I had a chance to, – “though Samdech left the Cabinet, but the spirit of Samdech is in the whole village, in the whole commune, and in the whole district.” Samdech talked about the affairs of the nation but not much about personal affairs. After the core work as a member of the National Assembly and as the Party President, and next year as the President of the Senate, will Samdech spend time to do other things […]
Answer: Thank you very much. I think I should not answer this question to leave you in wonder. Please send my thanks to your father. Of course, even though I am leaving the executive power, my spirit is still with the people. I believe that people will not hate me, and if I go to the commune, they would invite me for corn on the cob, and I will be happy with this kind of life. That is the way when I was young and when I was in the military. On the issue of employment, although I have left the executive, I have not yet retired politically […] As a member of the National Assembly, I have to come to the parliament from time to time. Most often, I am coming to vote or provide support for legal matters. I certainly do not criticize the government, because I used to be a government myself […] but I do not praise the wrong they did. Of course, the work in the legislature or the party is not as busy as the work I did in the past […]
You asked what I will do next. My big task is to write about what happened that we all know. I do not wish to die and take with me the secrets. I already have what I said in the video clip for over 40 hours in transcription. But there are parts that I have to provide more detail. Therefore, I have to do the work related to compiling documents of the story that happned from June 20, 1977 until now and on. I have to do. No one knows me and knows my work better than I do. I have a responsibility to do that so that the next generation know of my leadership and working methodology. This is my priority.
The second task, I think, is that I must help raise awareness for CPP officials through conducting courses. There have been a series of courses organized for CPP officials in the past, but I did not have time to give them some lectures. I think I will introduce in the next session on three subjects. First, materialism or dialectical materialism, which is key for analysis. Second, historical materialism. People who have no knowledge or connection to history are always wrong. I will give them all the experience and knowledge I have to share in theory. Third, the leadership and working methodology. I plan to organize short- and medium-term training courses for party officials […]
The next thing is social work. I will not give it up. The orphanages where I used to sponsor, I will continue. I will go on sponsoring monthly to universities. I continue (to do) with what I can. I will not give up this work. My wife continues to be the President of the Red Cross because she still has the ability to do this work […]
It is too late to bring grandchildren around for a walk. I am a different person. If I have time, I read books. I read news. I may go swimming in the sea, but who can swim in the sea for 24 hours? Just over an hour is enough. Most of the time I sit by the sea, I read books […] now I use IPad a lot […] I have many e-books in it […]
I will continue to strengthen my volunteer lawyer team to defend the poor. Now, His Excellency Ky Tech, who is my lawyer and the leader of my legal team, cannot perform his duties as a lawyer due to (functional) incompatibility. However, he continues to lead my legal team. This is a work in progress. In short, I do not do executive work or command the armed forces or command the civil administration, but I keep doing everything else […]
I would take this opportunity to confirm to all who fake my Facebook profiles or my TikTok to please stop immediately. Do not force me to take legal action […] they have used my name faking their pages to comment on so and so profiles. I have become someone whom people have mistakenly seen as improper […] I wanted to know from Facebook too. A few days ago, someone attempted to kill my son. What policy would Facebook carry out? Did Facebook know about it? In the past, I only said that I were to give so and so to choose between the law and the stick, Facebook used it as a reason (to shut me down) and I had to give up […] I knew pretty well that they planned to cause trouble to the elections. I threw it away, but the people in admin took it […]
Question 7, Koh Santepheap Newspaper: My name is Kouch Naren […] I have two questions […] First, as the father of His Excellency Hun Manet […] I want to ask Samdech to express your feelings as a father […] for the second question […] Samdech Techo will become President of the Senate next March. So how many MPs does the CPP still have to change? Thank you.
Answer: Thank you very much for this question. For me, Manet […] (is the son that I) used to be sad with. This child has a miserable startup in life. I was separated from this child since when he was only seven months old (in her mother’s womb). Yesterday evening, the film – “Son Under the Full Moon” aired the episode where Manet traveled to Phnom Penh. In this whole episode, I cried because it hurts me that this child was so desperate. This child was born and raised by a widow who fed him at the time when people all over the country had their hard time. It really happened that way […] my wife told me with tears in her eyes about him wanted a piece of bread at the Neak Leung ferry, […] and as his mother she had nothing to buy for the child […]
Named as a child of the traitor to Angkar (the Pol Pot’s organization) from birth […] he (Hun Manet) has now become Prime Minister. He was the pitiful child among my five children, but he did not disappoint me. He worked hard until he got enough knowledge to lead Cambodia. In Cambodia, we have many Ph D degree people, but there are not many like Hun Manet. We have doctorates in economics, politics, this or that, but the point is they do not have military knowledge like Hun Manet. This is a special point of Manet. As a father who sees his son’s misery and does not want him to be sad, as his father I did the best I could to give him opportunity for knowledge and training he may need […]
This poor son has become a source of pride for his father, who traded his life for the survival of the people, traded his life for the peace of the country, traded his political life for reforms. I am proud and hope that my child will take care of all the achievements, especially the well-being of the people […]
I would like to remind you that the new Minister of Information is an orphan. We do not just line up in the Cabinet children of senior officials. In the Cabinet, there are every sort of people in the composition as long as you have the capacity. If my child were not up to the task, there would not be appointment either. Now about the National Assembly. In the past, we needed a competition and mobilized human resources. Now, our senators are all in their 80s. That is why I appeal, and have prepared, a rule that a senator candidate has to be 74 years old and below. At the age of 74 years old, upon finishing the 5-year term, they will get to 80-years old […]
I would be at (the Senate) for only one term […] according to the consensus (in the Party) so that I would not be cut off from the work of the state. I was required to return to the work of the Senate. Samdech Say Chhum has resigned and will not run for office as he is now 77 or 78 years old […] in the past we lacked people. Now we have many. This is also a way to reform the CPP. However, working for the party, one does not go into retirement […] we save the elderly to develop a policy framework to help guide the country […]
I have one thing to avoid doing and I that speaks openly […] if they (the new Cabinet) do not ask me for advice, I will not give advice […] if they asked, I would to ask them in return “how would the Prime Minister solve such a thing?” They would tell me what they would do. “If you think you would do it that way, why not just do it?” – I would way, […] if we continue to hold their hands, one day that we are not here anymore, who will hold their hands? […] In terms of battlefields, diplomacy and the military are different. Militarily, soldiers would go to the frontline, commanders would be behind. In diplomacy, the commander would be in the front, whereas the soldiers are behind. Therefore, they need to have enough knowledge to do the job and to remember this point […]./.