At the review meeting of the Ministry of Interior, Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen made eight recommendations, along which extempore comments and recommendations are selected and added in italic to the prepared text as followed:

… On behalf of the Royal Government of Cambodia, I would suggest following policy recommendations in relation to the competency of the Ministry of Interior:

(1)   Continue to collaborate in maintaining peace, political stability, social stability and making more efforts in maintaining security and social order to create a favorable environment for the fifth national elections on 28 July 2013 to be conducted in a free, fair and just manner …

(2)   Continue to strengthen national security while making efforts to increase cooperation with police forces from friendly countries and international police networks along with cooperation with competent forces inside the country aimed at preventing terrors, cross- border crimes, which also include IT related crimes, use of internet for kidnapping and ransom, illegal gambling, which plague South East Asia …

End of Local Use and Export of Rosewood

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior HE Sar Kheng has drafted a circular for my signature in relation to the issue of illegal logging. Our country has to stop using locally as well as exporting rosewood. We need to contact countries that are export destinations of rosewood to urge them stop buying it. Rosewood processing also has to cease or logging of rosewood would rampage other countries as well.

Yesterday I already signed the circular. It has gone into press already. Everyone has to abide by the instructions. As long as there are people who use the wood, there will be people who supply them. Rosewood suppliers would not only chop the ones inside Cambodia but also in other countries too. If we go on allowing export of rosewood, illegal logging will go on too.

Where there are no buyers, there would not be suppliers. We have to seek cooperation from countries that are importing rosewood and cooperate with them so that they stop buying rosewood from Cambodia. That is one way of solving the problem. Certain elements in some countries already had rosewood logged but they could not get them out. In this case, Cambodia has become a transit place. Rosewood does come into Cambodia but the Cambodians were not the ones to log it. There are rosewood loggers who operate in those countries. They logged it and got to their contacts in Cambodia so that they can channel their rosewood through.

We will have to find way to curb that. However, let’s first study the circular and implement it altogether.

(3)   … the Cambodian armed forces – the national police also included, have to heighten their vigilance and spirit of ownership in their collaboration to grasp the situation and to take effective measures against threatening acts as well as psychological war over the Kingdom of Cambodia’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and reputation.

Beware of Small Embers that Makes Big Fire

Please allow me to stress on this point. I have told Lok Chumteav Yingluck Shinawatra while she was visiting Cambodia to attend the funeral of the late King Father that in Cambodia there was no extremist tendency. I told her, no matter how the International Court of Justice would interpret, even if the interpretation would give Cambodia the upper hand on the issue, Cambodia would not resort to force to move the Thai force out of the area. We would sit down and talk to prepare for a smooth process.

However, on the Thai side, there have been many opinions, which also include the demand for implementation of the Tokyo Treaty in 1941, which compelled (the French) to concede to Thailand the provinces of Battambang, Siemreap and Kompong Thom at the time of the WW II. There are also ideas that if the ICJ interpretation would be a disadvantage to Thailand, the country should deny it and use force.

Facing with this situation, between the Royal Governments of the two countries, there might not be a problem, but there have been increasing public opinions on the Thai side on the issue that we may have to take high precaution. From our side we will have to exercise retraint on this issue, no matter how the interpretation would come out. We will exercise calmness while seeking ways to evade conflict. We will take precautions. We would not allow those extremists to start fire in the relation between Cambodian and Thailand.

We will do our best to maintain the good relations no matter what the ICJ interpretation would come out. I told HE Yingluck Shinawatra that let’s not allow this problem to expand into the whole border issue between our two countries, prevent it from impairing other fields of cooperation – like economics, trade, etc. In short, we should not allow a small ember make big fire. We cannot move Thailand to other place on this planet and Thailand could not do the same for Cambodia. We have to coexist peacefully.

It is indeed regretful that in Thailand there are many trends of opinion. Some even went this far to deny the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice, while the other brought up the Tokyo Treaty of 1941, in the WW II, that forced the French to concede Battambang, Siemreap and Kompong Thom provinces to Thai side. Well, now we have already created new provinces in the area – Preah Vihear, Uddar Meanjei and Banteay Meanjei. So, let me remind you once again that there have been provocations from their side to use force. For us, we would not do that. I am stressing it today because we have here the presence of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of National Defense too. No matter how advantageous would the interpretation be to our side, we will exercise restraint and seek ways to implement the ICJ’s decision.

(4)   Further encourage participation of the mass in safeguarding security, local safety so as to strengthen firmly security and public order by continuing to implement sustained safety village/commune policy in the whole country …

(5)   Continue to organize and improve public order in tandem with the country’s pace of progress, while traffic is still challenging issue that causes lethal and property-damaging accidents …

Overloaded Lorry Measures and Fire Catastrophe

As far as traffic issue is concerned, this morning I talked about it in the Cabinet’s meeting already. However, there is one point that I want to get out for public knowledge. I also just learnt about it. Deputy Prime Minister HE Yim Chhay Ly who led the meeting between the Ministry of Public Works and Transports and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries brought to my knowledge that all overloaded lorries were fined and then allowed to drive on with excess weight. What do you call that? It is weighting lorry to charge for excessive weight. It is not measure to prevent overloaded lorry from driving on the roads.

This will bring about more malfeasances as transport companies would pay the two million Riel (or about 500 USD) fine and go on abusing the roads with excessive weight. Our streets/roads will keep on damaging because of this. I am giving serious instruction that extra weight will need to pay a fine, while the company has to remove excess goods and load it on to another vehicle. Otherwise, the lorry would not leave the weighting station. If you only fine them and let them go on, we cannot guarantee the state of our streets and roads. I order you to check this again.

I also inform the transport companies that all transportation means from today on will not just pay the fine and go on. I urge those involved to fulfill this work together. If we overlook the situation, no matter how much money we would have, there would not be enough to repair or rebuild roads. I just learnt about this problem too. It took me by surprise. Maybe I did not have sufficient information.

As for fire disaster, I already talked about on 25 December 2012 at the inauguration of the sugar factory in Kompong Speu, where I encouraged the private companies to take part in preventing fire disaster themselves. I am longing to see concrete outcome. I am so sorry that last night a market in the district of Koh Thom was on fire. The Koh Thom market of 200 stalls was on fire at around 3 am and we have yet to receive the assessment report. However, according to HE Sun Chanthol, the destruction costs about 300 to 400 thousand USD. It is on this note that maybe it is better to build a new one.

I have assisted in rebuilding a number of markets so far in Kratie, Kompong Thom, Pursath and Preah Sihanoukville. In saying so, I hope our people do not put their markets on fire for the Prime Minister to help build a new one. I raised money from colleagues and friends to build the market. It is not the state budget …

(6)   Heighten efficiency in implementing the above tasks … to provide protection, rescue and justice equally to the people …

(7)   Continue to promote decentralization and de-concentration reform program in a sustainable manner … to respond to the local people’s demand with speed, transparency, accountability and efficiency …

(8)   All level sub-national administrations must continue to take responsibility in implementing actively the new action based on existing policy on land ownership issue … seriously implementing the Royal Order of the Royal Government of Cambodia in the reform of fishing lots … and to abolish anarchic checkpoints altogether in every administrative competency in the whole country …

It is still the same old issue. It happens in repeated manner. I have begged it on behalf of the Buddhist monks and by various other means. You at the provincial level also have all the power you need. Why the issue is still hot here? I have the report about the fact that these anarchic checkpoints are mobile. In fact, I should not bring it up, as it is your work already. I just advise you further. Let’s do it altogether now./.