(1) Religious and Sectarian differences Are Not Obstacles to Common Goal
This morning, I am here to join the 6th Interfaith ceremony against human trafficking, this evening, I will receive HM the King, and tomorrow, I will go to Siem Reap to meet with the people there. However, I am happy to participate in this ceremony after a two-year hiatus in 2020 and 2021, as Samdech Krala Hom Sar Kheng made the report just now, as we were attacked by Covid-19 so hard that even the Ministry of Interior at that time was marked as the red zone, and we required all institutions to have only 10% or 20% of people working in office, while the rest were working from home to reduce infection […] fortunately, all of our religions, including Buddhism, which is conducting the celebrate Pchum Ben ceremonies, have made a significant contribution to preventing Covid-19, which gives us the opportunity to reopen the country and hold large-scale gatherings as we do today […]
Our good point is that today we observe the presence of all major religions in Cambodia, with Buddhism, Islam and Christianity sitting together. I used to say that the Cambodian People’s Party has since the beginning properly implemented the policy of national and religious harmony, which gives all religions the opportunity to live together with a common goal. Racial differences are not an obstacle to national development. This is what is happening on the territory of Cambodia. In countries considered respecting human rights and democracy, in a meeting (between) one religion and another, or the same religion, but different denominations, there could be violence against each other.
For Cambodia, this has clearly made the point. In Cambodia’s Buddhism, we have the Mahanikaya and Dhammayutika Nikaya sects, but we can be together. Islam has many denominations, and Jesus Christ has many denominations too. I reiterate here that religious differences, sectarian differences, and differences between religions are not obstacles to our common goal, as was in the past, our common goal is to fight Covid-19 to avoid infection and death. We traveled together to prevent the disease, and the success has allowed us to re-celebrate in Buddhist temples, in Jesus Christ Church, and in mosques […]
(2) Fleeing from One country to Another Is Unfortunate for the Poor and an Opportunity for the Wicked
The Royal Government needs the participation of all religions in Cambodia to combat human trafficking. As Samdech Krala Hom Sar Kheng has just made a report regarding the serious issues for Cambodia, I should assess some of the Cambodian situation regarding a joint framework and a separate framework. Without a clear explanation, our country could be (considered) the worst in the world. That being said, I do not consider Cambodia the best country, but I urge others not to take advantage of this development to label Cambodia the worst country in the world. I should start by assessing the overall situation in the world in relation to human trafficking or crimes (related to) migration. Cambodia is not alone in experiencing these problems.
We look at the United States and the Americas. (There were cases that happened that prompted) former President Donald Trump to build a fence between the United States and Mexico. What was that aiming to solve? It aims to prevent people from fleeing from other countries to the United States. For some people, who have to go from one country to another, fate has been unfortunate for the poor, but it is an opportunity for the wicked to do this work for their benefit. What happened in our country, compared to other countries in the world, is not too serious. But, if we do not stop now and together prevent it, the country could become a safe target for criminals to smuggle people into Cambodia or to smuggle from Cambodia to abroad […] we must hurry to work together to take actions against human trafficking […]
Why did I say Europe is struggling (with this issue)? A few years ago, when the war broke out in the Middle East, a large number of people fled from the Middle East to Europe, and partly to Turkey. Later, Turkey let them go because Turkey alone could not house them all. Some countries have accepted refugees, while others have not. Acceptance of refugees, such as in Sweden, has forced the prime minister, who pursues a softer policy on refugees, to step down due to the dissatisfaction of the Swedish people at a time of crisis. Refugees from the Middle East were from countries like Syria, Libya, and Iraq. I am just giving an example, but there are other nations. As the crisis is not yet over, some 5.6 million refugees from Ukraine enter Europe.
At that time, Europe began to feel the burden for the fact that the majority of Muslim refugees from the Middle East were not welcomed and had to be in refugee camps, compared to a welcome to the Ukrainians who have just fled the country due to the war. That is why there is a reaction from some African leaders to Europe […] for us, we have no possibility to help solve the problem there. Indeed, a few years ago, to help Australia prevent human smuggling into Australian territory, Cambodia signed a memorandum of understanding to accept refugees attempting to flee to Australia to live in Cambodia.
Although this memorandum has not yet been implemented (or it has not been implementable) or only a small portion of it were implemented, the memorandum is still valid. But no one came because their goal was to live in Australia. When we brought them to Cambodia, they went back (to their countries). In the United States, there is a huge refugee problem. In the Middle East and Europe there is a lot of human traffic. In Asia, the problem of Rohingya refugees is also creating serious consequences and also opportunities for exploiters, such as bringing this group of refugees by boat across to Malaysia or Indonesia and being denied entry by these countries […] they had to stay on the water until they ran out of food, drowned, […]
This is a situation that has been happening in the world today, and human trafficking is on the rise. It does not occur only in Asia, but in all parts of the world. It has become a global issue that requires joint cooperation from one country to another and is also within the framework of comprehensive cooperation mechanisms under the umbrella of the United Nations, under the umbrella of regional organizations and NGOs […]
(3) Due to the War and Later Deception of Going Abroad to Work, Some Cambodians Fled the Country
For Cambodia, I should remind you a little bit. Previously, Cambodia was a place where its people fled abroad. Because of what? The war that broke out in 1970 forced some of our people to flee abroad. During the Pol Pot regime, some of our people also fled abroad. After the Pol Pot regime, at a time when Cambodia was in parts at peace and in parts at war, some Cambodians fled abroad until we became aware of the Cambodian people’s boat trip to Australia or what we called human smuggling. At that time, some Cambodians died due to the sinking of engine boats in the sea. Later, some Cambodians were tricked into going abroad to work.
Of course, most of them go abroad to work in a legitimate arrangement of the Royal Government and partnering countries such as South Korea, Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, etc., mostly through employment agencies. Some also go through human trafficking channel. Some of our people were cheated by the mastermind of human trafficking thinking that they were going to get paid well. They have to borrow money to bribe them to travel (abroad to work) […] some have gone without any news of where they are. Sometimes we find in other countries our citizens being used as fishing laborers, who have never landed and are completely cut off from their families.
Some of our people go to work abroad, such as South Korea. At their expiration date of the employment contract, they do not return and continue to stay there illegally creating more problems for the host. At this point (there is) smuggling people all the way to the Middle East. I should mention about Amat Yasya, a Muslim who is also a Member of Parliament and a Secretary of State at the Ministry of Public Works, and most recently (Secretary of State) of the Ministry of Social Affairs, who has been arrested and prosecuted. (He) smuggled Muslim teenagers to the Middle East […]
(4) It Is not Possible to Use Human Trafficking to Force Cambodia to Implement Two Chinese Policies
This indicates that we need to work together. No matter what race or religion, we must work together to prevent human trafficking. Cambodia (evolved) from the fact that its citizens fled abroad, its citizens were deceived into working abroad to the point of tragedy that our women get married abroad, and some of them get a good marriage life, and some get themselves traded. Around 2006 or 2007, at that time there was a request for me to open a Taiwan mission in Cambodia (on argument) to deal with (about) 5,000 women to marry in Taiwan […] I said that I will burn the papers. The problem of human trafficking, voluntary marriage, and forced marriage cannot be used to force Cambodia to pursue a two-China policy. Cambodia accepts diplomatic relations only with the People’s Republic of China.
Do not take the issue of thousands of women to force me to accept the (Taiwan) mission to solve the certification from their office in Phnom Penh to establish legal status to live in Taiwan […] what is their intention to do this? On the one hand, it is human trafficking, on the other hand, the issue of human trafficking pressures us to pursue a policy that is contrary to the principle of national sovereignty, that we do not have any representative of Taiwan in Cambodia. We only accept Taiwanese investors, but we do not accept any Taiwanese representative in Cambodia […]
(5) From Being the Source of Trading to the Target of Trading, Government Officials and Investors, Be Careful in Case There Are People Who Go Abroad with Do Not Return
Now the situation is different. Starting from the time when Cambodians were going abroad to find work and were being trafficked, now there are foreigners being trafficked to Cambodia […] before, only Cambodians were being trafficked, now foreigners are being trafficked to Cambodia. What is the point to start all this? […] it has to do with the fact that Cambodia is at peace. If there is no peace, who would come to Cambodia. But the other point is also from any weakness that creates a gateway for people to do business in our country. We see that the presence of some foreigners who are trafficked into our country is in stark contrast to what happened before, when only Cambodians were trafficked abroad.
Some of this trafficking tarnishes the reputation. For example, going to the United States with a valid visa. Some delegations brought people with them. When they arrived in the United States, they refused to return. Let me remind all government officials or investors traveling to the United States to do the right thing. Some say they wanted to go with them and then they do not come back. The United States therefore will not only punish those who go to the United States illegally, but including the head of the delegation, who will not be able to enter the United States at a later date. I am saying this to keep the dignity of the Cambodian delegation to other countries, not just to America, but sometimes to France, and to Europe […]
(6) Implement Policy of “Safe Villages and Communes” Like Light Rain, Crack Down on Gambling Places, There Is No Need for the Minister of Interior or the Prime Minister to Shout
In recent months, when our country reopened, we have seen an increase in human trafficking, drug trafficking and other crimes. Gambling happens a lot. Samdech Krala Hom Sar Kheng has led this job of combating them, and I had to sign an inter-ministerial commission and issue a voicemail. After sending a voicemail, in one day, Kandal province found (more than 700 illegal gambling places), and in Phnom Penh more than 1,000 places. What if gambling is serious? It has to do with the issue of safe villages and communes that we have been implementing for many years, gambling places never happen in the sky, they happen on land, in villages, in communes, district by province, and the problem is whether we do it or not. I should say that it is not necessary to wait for the Minister of Interior to shout or not to go to the Prime Minister to shout to do it. Let us just do it like a light raining. Some coffee places but they are places for people to bet online about horse racing, football, etc. Was this all because of fast digital development? […] in time of Covid-19, there has been a fast digital growth. This digital development would give us benefit if we use it right, and loss if we use it incorrectly […]
(7) All Religions Educate People to Prevent Crime; Cooperation of all Actors, Especially the People Dare Report to the Authorities
This requires all stakeholders to act in unison, not just human trafficking, but its branches, starting with gambling and corruption, and leading to a serious stage of human trafficking, sex trafficking, which is something we must inevitably address. We must set the goal, as Samdech Krala Hom said, regarding the timely rescue of victims, the investigation of perpetrators and factions, and the search for the mastermind to be punished according to the law without exception, while collecting evidence to close down illegal businesses, especially illegal gambling and electronic games, and if found to be a human trafficking case, to investigate and refer to the law.
I should remind us how to prevent this from happening and we start to look for solution. Prevent it from happening, […] through which each religious denomination contributes to educate the people – that would be the best course of action, […] Buddhism educates people who follow Buddhism. Christianity also educates Christians. Islam also educates Muslims. There may be other denominations in here, such as Hinduism. What we should do is to prevent crime, and we must also use the cooperation of all actors, especially the participation of our people in relation to the activities that they see and dare to report to the authorities. Prevent unfortunate things from happening to our children, our families and our relatives and from making Cambodia a haven of crime.
(8) Although Cambodia Is Not the Target of Terrorist Attacks, Do Not Let Cambodia Become a Haven for Terrorists Who Use the Territory to Attack Other Countries
We were successful in foiling terrorist network in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York City. At that time, we worked with the United States and other partners to prevent terrorism. I remember that we have done a good job, including arresting the terrorist master […] Hambali […] we are cooperating with the United States, cooperating with other partners to catch the terrorist master. We can prevent terrorism from happening on our territory. We always reminded ourselves not to let Cambodia become a haven for terrorism, even though Cambodia is not the target of terrorist attacks, but we do not let Cambodia become a haven for terrorists who use Cambodian territory and attack the other country. We did a good job with our partners.
I hope that we will also do this work well through efforts of prevention, education, and taking administrative measures and legal measures. Now, some of the crimes are involved with weapons on our territory. We must destroyed/expelled (this) dangerous (case). Where do weapons come from? How are they brought into the country? Make use of all ports of air, land and sea to ensure that weapons are firmly in control and that weapons do not flow into our country without rules or weapons in stockpiles become those used by the criminals who shoot and kill people on our territory. We must attend to the work. The monks of all religious denominations are able to provide education about that. The best option is to educate people to do good.
(9) Keeping Science and Technology by Virtue, Ethics and Rules
On the other hand, I would take this opportunity to call on our young people with technology knowhow to pay attention to management. This is not a new issue. I have been talking since 2003-2004 about the ethics of technical management. They (science and technology) must be governed by virtue, by value, by a rule […] terrorists or traffickers, drug makers are not ignorant […] be careful not to let our knowledge of technology become an agent or a technician in the production of so-called illegal devices […] as they import raw materials or other processing to turn into drugs. Those who can do drugs are not (ignorant). Like us, if you bring drugs to me, I do not know what kind of drugs […]
Some of our young people do not want to take drugs, but sometimes they were cheated in the way of “trying this one pill,” it would help with desire for food and good sleep […] that becomes addictive. They become hostages of drug dealers. That is the unfortunate circumstance. Not that some nieces and nephews want to commit drugs, but sometimes do not know […] some of our young people who are addicted to drugs are not those who want to use drugs, but because they do not know […]
(10) August 20 Every Year – Interfaith Day Against Human Trafficking, Interfaith Cooperation and Understanding … Opportunity for Cooperation, Relevant State Actors Must Act Simultaneously
Let me inform that from this year onwards, the Royal Government sets August 20 every year as “National Interfaith Day Against Human Trafficking.” At that time, everywhere, all religious denominations informed their apostles every August 20 to hold a memorial meeting and review the results we have made in the fight against human trafficking. There can be religious meetings in the provinces, in the districts, and if possible, the religions in the villages and communes are already there. If there is Islam or Christianity, along with Buddhism, we work within the framework so that we can find the strengths and weaknesses of our safe villages/communes. However, please note that we do not act against human trafficking only for one day on August 20, but for 365 days.
I believe that with the cooperation and understanding of interfaith, which has gained mutual trust, national and religious harmony in our country opens up the opportunity for us to cooperate well. Relevant state actors must act in unison, not just the Ministry of Interior alone, not just one police force, but also defense in relation to the military police, the Ministry of Justice, and the Ministry of Labor, dealing with those who might come to reside in the country legally or illegally, with or without a work permit, […] the local authorities on the spot must know where people come and go. We do this work for the well-being of our people […]
I hope foreign partners who are present today will join us, and help us solve this complex task, which is a complex issue, not just separately for Cambodia, but as I just mentioned, everywhere in the world, more or less. In Cambodia, if we are not careful, we will become a safe haven for criminals who come to operate in our country and use our country as a stepping stone for the production of drugs and redistribution […]
For casinos […] calling on people who are addicted to gambling to save up money. In terms of targets for suppression, there are not that many. For example, the gambling (of suffix number of the Vietnamese) lottery, it needs to suppress only the suffix number takers, because the people you go to buy the suffix number of the lottery are not the target to suppress. Educate them to stop playing. Those who sell the suffix number of the lottery is the target that we take legal action if they do not reverse […]
This suffix lottery number works on a Khmer lottery suffix, a Thai lottery suffix, and a Vietnamese lottery suffix. I wrote on a notifying letter before I left for New York warning those legitimate lottery operators. If they opted to suffix number gambling, they will face a complete shutdown in the future. We will shut down. It does not have much income anyway […] I am calling on our citizens and advising them that gambling does not bring any success for personal or family life. Our authorities must hit right at the masterminds and/or chiefs of the suffix lottery number gambling […]
(11) Thousands of Foreigners Lured to Work in Cambodia; Eradicate Gambling, Drug Trafficking – Elements to Prevent Human Trafficking
Let us use religious education and public education to avoid perfidy. We can do it. People would save money because they do not lose it to gambling. All relevant forces that act in unison can only be successful. Lastly, in recent months, we have worked hard to keep Cambodia from becoming a haven for crime, money laundering, and human trafficking. Samdech Krala Hom reports to me continuously. It is beyond our thought that foreigners were cheated […] there are thousands of them, with some 100 are real victims, lured for works in Cambodia, […] from Indonesia, Malaysia. Previously, Cambodians fled to work in Malaysia, now Malaysians come to work in Cambodia as they were deceived that they would get a high salary. In the past, it was said that in Cambodia, the salary was very low, so one had to go to Thailand to find work abroad. Now they cheat from abroad that in Cambodia there is a lot of salary […]
I thank Samdech Preah Sangkhareach for coming and all the monks and nuns to attend. Leaders of the Muslim elite as well as Christian leaders attending today. I thank His Excellency the Ambassadors and the leaders of the United Nations organizations, His Excellency Patrick Murphy, the US Ambassador, […] thank you for joining us. We are showing that race and religion are united, even though we have different religions, but there is one common goal that we must continue to do today – fight human trafficking. Our partners, our friends also come here to join us in the fight against human trafficking in Cambodia […]
(12) Waiving More Bans for Covid-19; Monitoring Rain Floods; Need 9.5 Meters of Mekong River; What Happens to the Climate Change Commitment; Signs of Declining Clothes Orders from Europe
I have instructed HE Mam Bunheng, I told Lok Chumteav York Sambath from Tokyo to convene the technical meeting to remove more bans (regarding Covid-19). We should waive a requirement for this vaccine card and a health certificate […] if it is no longer necessary, it is not necessary to use. The guest who arrives, if he does not feel well, let him test himself, or he comes to us for a test. Let him go after test. If he is sick, let he find the treatment […]
We will revive our economy to rise again, despite the risks posed by Covid-19, and ultimately those external factors brought about by the Russia-Ukraine war and their sanctions on each other that also affects our country. We will continue to pay close attention to the repeated rains that are causing floods in some areas of the country. The water level of the Mekong River does not rise very much in Phnom Penh, only to more than 8 meters when we need it to reach 9.50 meters […] normally, after celebrating the Phchum Ben days, seasonal Mekong flood recedes but with the present weather condition, the flood can rise […]
Climate change is becoming a major topic in the world. For several years in a row, the water level in the Mekong River did not reach 9 meters or 9.50 meters as we wanted. The people living along the river are most worried that the river flood does not reach their preferred level. If it does not rise to their level, the insects do not die, the sediment does not come, so the cultivation of crops along the Mekong River is difficult. That is a global issue. Almost all speeches at the UN General Assembly always address the issue of climate change […]
This year, the state continues to suffer losses. We do not dare to raise electricity prices. There are signs of declining orders for clothes from Europe as they were during the economic and financial crisis of 2008-2009. People are saving money against inflation and rising electricity prices in Europe. Where they used to buy three sets of clothes/year, now they only buy one set. The orders to countries that produce clothes are reduced. This is the point we see […]./.