I want to send to all the monks, compatriots, especially those who live in Phnom Penh and Takhmao, Kandal province.
Today, it is a necessity for me to broadcast my voicemails to all of you. After the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takhmao, Kandal Province, we have observed that human traffic continues. With this, I would like to order the authorities at all levels to reaffirm to our citizens that if you live in that house, you need to continue to live in that house, in that village, in that district, in that place for a period of 14 days. There are some exceptions, but the exception should not be used as always. Therefore, I’m begging our people to endure the hardships that present in our nation.
I want to confirm that, if the 14 days have passed and our compatriots have still disobliged the rule, and the situation has not been better, I will extend lockdown in Phnom Penh and Takhmao and may close some other provinces as necessary. Without the cooperation of the people, it will be difficult for us to succeed. Without the strict implementation of competent authorities, especially the police and the military police, we will not able to achieve this.
Therefore, I would like to confirm that this closure is to prevent people from leaving their homes, except in some instances, and also, please do not use those exceptions as an excuse for your departure. Now I ordered to strictly ban people from leaving Phnom Penh and not allowing people in the province to come back to Phnom Penh. Those who visit the province and want to return to Phnom Penh must stay in that province for 14 days until Phnom Penh is opened. I request the Phnom Penh Capital Hall and the Armed Forces of all kinds to scrutinize this issue to avoid transmission from province to city, from city to province. On the one hand, it is to reduce the transmission, to cut off the transmission from house to house, from village to village, from commune to commune in Phnom Penh, and also to cut off the transmission from Phnom Penh to the provinces or from the provinces to Phnom Penh. Therefore, those in Phnom Penh are not allowed to go to the provinces. Those in the provinces are not allowed to come to Phnom Penh, including those who visit the province during the New Year and return to Phnom Penh, which will not be permitted to enter Phnom Penh. They have to wait until Phnom Penh is reopened.
In all these points, we have already seen that some people have left Phnom Penh to provinces such as Prey Veng and Kratie and have brought the COVID-19 disease to those provinces. In such a situation, it requires us to tighten measures further, and I have received unofficial reports that there has been some smuggling of people for some travels, including the use of ambulances, but I do not believe it. However, I have to explain to the ambulances that they cannot secretly pick up the passengers in the ambulance or any military vehicle, police vehicle, and high-ranking person vehicle. Please make sure of this point.
Besides, I would like to take this opportunity to request the police and military-police to work hard to maintain the social distancing, which I saw on the television that the police force and the military-police on the road were a little negligent when getting close to the commuters whom we do not know. Even more dangerous is when they checked the travel documents. Therefore, it is necessary to find a solution, General Commissioner of the National Police, the National Gendarmerie Commander, to maintain security for the police force and the Gendarmerie to ensure that no infectious diseases transmitted into the police force and the Gendarmerie. Checking for travel documents is important, but they need to keep a distance of 1.5 meters. Still, the police and passengers were standing side by side or next to each other. Therefore, I would like to request you to pay attention to the safety of the operational force, which includes the police force and the military police, to maintain social distancing and to find a new way to check (the documents without standing closed to each other).
I was also informed that drinks-gathering has continued at different levels, so I would like to take this opportunity to ask the authorities to take the strictest enforcement measures. We will not ease the city’s lockdown; it has already seriously damaged the economic and social sector. We cannot have a gathering and not enforce the law. It must strictly enforce. I am thrilled with the news that there are violators to be arrested and sent to court. I encourage the law’s implementation by sending them to court without exception for anyone violating the prohibition of the lockdown and violating the sub-decrees and regulations we have set in the past.
Let us work together to bring our nation back to its original state. Otherwise, problems will continue to arise, which is difficult for our entire country. And I would like to call on the people in the provinces, in the villages, in the districts, to check those who have left Phnom Penh and then ask how they left Phnom Penh in order to provide information to Phnom Penh. Because when they left Phnom Penh to the provinces, they carry the transmission to places such as Snuol district, in Kratie province, and in some other communities in other provinces, how did they escape from Phnom Penh? Please inform to Phnom Penh so that management can be strengthening when they receive this information.
I want to reiterate that this time, no matter how high-ranking or not, rich or poor, we must stay at where you are. It is to prevent the transmission from one house to another, from one town to another, from one place to another. And each villages/communes/provinces (must) monitor people who are traveling from the outside to their territories to ensure that no virus has been spread. Therefore, we hope that we will all practice this. People who now stay in which house/village must keep staying in that house/village, the monks who stay in which pagoda must continue to remain in that pagoda, without exception. This is an additional regulation to strengthen law enforcement. And every day I still see traffic jams, where do people need to go? This is a point that the Phnom Penh and Kandal authorities should implement very strictly. And the provinces that have declared lockdown in some areas, must enforce this law without exception. Otherwise, we will face severe problems that (we) cannot control and it will prolong the duration of the lockdown, from 14 to 28 days or more, as in some countries. Governments have done a lot, so Cambodia is ready to prolong further implementation. In low efficiency, we have no choice but to lockdown, which leads to risks.
Do not let one, two, ten people destroy millions. Well, I would like to send this message as an urgent matter, especially to the Phnom Penh Municipal Authority, to strengthen law enforcement and monitor the reason for those who leave home. So please do not leave the house/village, and remain in that house/village. There are exceptions, but do not use the excuse of this exemption to continue traveling unnecessarily. If the information is accurate, smuggling people under the license plate of this/that person, even the ambulance, we must implement strict enforcement if this case is found, it will be severe because we cannot be soft and let those violated go free. I hope that all the monks understand the nation’s difficulties so that we can all live in peace on this land, and the situation will return to normal soon, and your life will be better.
We experimented that there are still activities in the market, there is a supply of fish and rice until a company was willing to sell at a loss for some vegetables and rice to contribute to the government. Leng Navattra sells rice at a loss of USD 49 per ton to contribute to the government to help our people who need food, but we must not buy cheap food just to sell at a higher price later. So the seller has to be monitored, and we are also ready to offer tens of thousands of tons of rice to Phnom Penh if needed. Now the situation is good for the food supply and no severe problem.
The serious thing is to reduce the travel, what is the purpose of their journey? I think it is time for the governor and all law enforcement forces to implement the law without any conditions and request those who went to the province for the New Year to not return back to Phnom Penh. If you come to Phnom Penh, in any case, you cannot enter Phnom Penh and have to return to the province. At the same time, do not allow Phnom Penh residents to travel out of Phnom Penh, so it is prohibited to enter and come into Phnom Penh. Therefore, those in Phnom Penh can travel within a limited framework, as contained in the decision on the lockdown of Phnom Penh and Takhmao in Kandal province, which we have already put forward. There will be no more exceptions and only law enforcement can solve the problem. Emotions exist, but if those emotions only kill the law enforcement’s effectiveness, and bring disaster to the nation, the law must be strictly enforced for the sake of peace, our country, and our people. Thank you./.