President of the ruling Cambodian People's Party (CPP) Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen made here this morning a statement at the kicking-off campaign for the 6th legislature General Election and 67th anniversary of CPP.
The full statement reads as follows:
Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo HUN SEN
President of the Cambodian People's Party
Kicking off Campaign for the 6th Legislature
General Election and 67th Anniversary of the Cambodian People's Party
07th July 2018
� My utmost respect to all Venerable Monks;
� Dear beloved compatriots, members of the CPP and youth activists!
Today, it is an auspicious day to kick off the general election campaign to select our representatives for the 6th legislature across the country, which marks an important historical and political moment for Cambodian people! This landmark event is being held along with the commemoration of the 67th anniversary of the founding of the Cambodian People's Party (CPP) which is being energetically celebrated by all CPP members, our youths and people. Our CPP party has great history, as being founded by the people's patriotic movement to fight for the national independence against French colonization, and has bravely persevered and lived through the most difficult and chaotic periods in the modern history of Cambodia. On behalf of the Central Committee of CPP and my behalf, I would like to extend our deepest gratitude to all our compatriots everywhere who always give us justice, who have firm belief in us and provide strong support to the leadership of CPP. It is indeed all these great aspirations, determination and deeds that have become the source of enormous power for the party to succeed in fulfilling its obligations to serve our nation and people over the past 39 years.
On this great occasion, we all wish to convey our deepest respect and gratitude to Preah Korona Preah Bat Samdech Preah Baromneath Norodom Sihamoni, the King of Cambodia and Samdech Preah Mohaksatrei Norodom Monineath Sihanouk, Preah Voreakreach Meada Cheat Khmer of Freedom, Dignity and Happiness, for their reign in providing a blessing shade to Khmer nation; and we all would also like to respectfully wish His Majesty King of Cambodia and Samdach Preah Voreakreach Meada Cheat Khmer, good health, great wisdom, and longevity to continue to navigate Cambodia toward long-lasting progress, prosperity and happiness.
Also in this occasion, we all wish to commemorate, with our utmost respect and gratitude, the bravest sacrifices of those military men and women, and the Khmer patriots of all generations who fought and sacrificed their lives for national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity, peace, freedom, democracy and progress of our beloved motherland.
� Dear Beloved Compatriots!
For the past 39 years, Cambodia had traveled a long journey that is filled with successes and pride, with ownership of her destiny by prevailing over all kinds of obstacles and all sort of hardships. In this long journey, under all circumstances and situations, CPP has been the only political force that has stayed and shared the ups and down with the people, and has done everything for the interest of the people. Major historical achievements that CPP has made for the nation have been engraved on the hearts and minds of our people; and no one can manipulate or deny this reality. The CPP had spearheaded the overthrow of the genocidal regime to save the nation, with a historical victory on January 7, 1979, that resurrected the country and gave the people back their rights, freedom, democracy, dignity and honor that had been lost completely during the cruel regime. The CPP had protected the people, prevented the comeback of the genocidal regime and accomplished many historical achievements in the rehabilitation and development of the economy and society starting from year-zero with steady progresses reaching the current development stage in all sector as we witness today. The CPP had brought about full peace and achieved national unity for Cambodian people by implementing Win-Win Policy in the late 1998, which completely put an end to the almost 30-year chronic civil war in Cambodia. At the same time, CPP had made Cambodia gained greater reputation and prestige in the international arena, and transformed Cambodia into a fully independent and sovereign state, which is actively contributing, on an equal footing and right, to the international affairs under the global and regional frameworks.
In the 5th Legislature of the National Assembly, the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) under the leadership of CPP, which have been given the mandate as a ruling party through a free, fair and just national election that took place in July 2013, with me serving as the Prime Minister, has led the country to overcome many dangerous situations and succeeded in implementing its political agenda, despite the attempts by a number of ill-intended groups inside and outside the country to create all kinds of difficulty to hamper our journey in building, protecting and developing the nation. The Color Revolution Movement led by the former opposition party and string-pulled by foreigners with the attempt to overthrow the legitimate government born out of the national election, has been timely prevented by the implementation of stringent legal measures. On this basis, the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) led by CPP has saved the country from falling into another destruction once again, and has safeguarded peace, stability, security as well as public order for the nation, which are the pre-requisite and indispensable conditions for the socio-economic development and peaceful living of our people. National defense has been further enhanced to ensure the safeguarding of the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Cambodia. The multi-party liberal democratic system and freedom of the people are legally protected and further enhanced, which have contributed to political stability and national development. In-depth and comprehensive state reforms have increasingly become more efficient and fruitful, as evidenced by the enhancement of good governance in public institutions, the improvement in the efficiency and quality of public services at all levels for the people and the strengthening of social justice and equity.
With respect to socio-economic development over the last five years, Cambodian economy has achieved an annual growth of around 7% as projected, while ensuring overall macroeconomic stability, particularly stable exchange rate and low-inflation level. The sustained high economic growth with equity, inclusiveness and resiliency has been achieved on the basis of rapid growth in industrial sector particularly manufacturing and construction, as well as in agriculture and service sectors including tourism, real estate and all types of telecommunication and transport services. The size of investment, both public and private, has increased significantly; balance of payment has further improved; while public finance position has been increasingly sound and more sustainable. This was due to the good outcomes of budget revenue mobilization with its outturns doubled during the last 5 years; the increased efficiency in national budget expenditure both in terms of allocative efficiency which focuses more on priority sectors such as education and health and operational efficiency which ensures the value for money; and the prudent management of public debt that ensured sustainability and low-risk appetite comparing to countries in the region and across the world. The GDP per capital has increased from US$ 1,402 in 2013 to US$ 1,435 in 2017, and it is expected to reach US$ 1,560 in 2018. Similarly, Cambodia's economic structure has gradually transformed from being an agriculture-based to industry and service-based economy. Poverty rate had dropped from 53.5% in 2004 to 13.5% in 2014, and continued dropping in the last three years.
The high growth and sound macroeconomic stability with strong economic resiliency as aforementioned have enabled our people from all walks of life across the country to have better opportunities to find jobs and increase their incomes. Civil servants and armed forces also get higher and higher income from year-to-year through the implementation of the RGC's policies since the beginning of the 5th Legislature of the National Assembly, which has aimed to increase their monthly salary to more than 1 million Riels by 2018 and to increase the pension for the retirees (in 2018, the lowest is 480,000 Riels) as well as to increase other benefit schemes. Likewise, tens of thousands of workers, who are currently working in the private sector, have also had better opportunity to increase their incomes, as the RGC have formulated a minimum-wage policy to increase the monthly wage of workers in the garment and footwear industry every year; and it has reached US $170 in 2018 excluding other benefits and allowances from the implementation of the social protection policy of the RGC such as the healthcare schemes covered by the employers and the maternity leave allowances provided by the RGC such as 400,000 Riels for a new-born child etc. The income of the farmers, vendors and other laborers have also increased. In particular, our farmers have been given greater priority by the RGC, through the huge investment in rural economy infrastructure, promotion of agricultural productivity, as well as, timely government's interventions when prices of agricultural commodities (particularly rice) declining in the international markets. On top of these, the RGC has laid out a number of policy measures aiming to address the hardships, concerns and aspirations of the people� the elimination of fees for a number of essential public services; tariff reduction in electricity and water utilities; the removal of the estimated tax regime; the increase in the level of the minimum threshold for taxable salary/wage; the exemption of transportation tax on motorcycles and tricycles with the power below 150 CC; the exemption of stamp tax on property ownership transfer among close relatives; the removal of fees and other charges for small vendors selling wares in makeshift stores; allowing small business owners with stalls, booths, stores and other selling plots to have the ownership title and right to transfer; the elimination of tax on slaughter house and the removal of the monopoly ownership in the slaughter house business; and the improvement and coverage of social protection and social security for all civil servants and the vulnerable groups etc.� which have been providing benefits to the general public, particularly those with low-income including civil servants, armed forces, teachers, doctors, workers, as well as, small vendors. In addition, the RGC has substantially increased the expenditure on improving the quality and widening coverage of the public services, both through the current budget and capital expenditure, to make the public service delivery better and closer to the people.
All these great accomplishments are indeed a strong testimony to the fact that, under the leadership of CPP, Cambodia has been moving forward in the right direction and has further expanded the enabling-environment for our people to continue achieving greater success in building and safeguarding the country. This also vividly reflects the participation of Cambodian people from all walks of life, all ethnic groups and religions, civil servants, armed forces, and other progressive groups in forming interwoven unity for the interest of our nation, as well as reflects the sincere support of our neighbouring and friendly countries and international community for the just cause of Cambodia.
In general, the history of CPP's political activities, from its founding day until now, presents the history of a courageous, determined and unwavering leadership who adhered to a political and policy path with clear and realistic objectives, and long term and comprehensive vision to uphold the following four essential causes:
First �safeguarding Cambodia's independence, sovereignty and full territorial integrity as well as the prestige of the nation in the international arena;
Second �struggling/fighting to liberate the people from the cruelty of Pol Pot's genocidal regime and preventing the return of the killings, tragedies, destructions and sufferings that can come back to torture Cambodian people once again;
Third � struggling/striking to undergo through all hardships with all kinds of sacrifices to bring about peace, stability and full national reconciliation for the nation and people under One Constitution, One King and One Government in one Kingdom of Cambodia without any disunity and territorial separation into different self-governing regions; and
Fourth � rehabilitating and developing the country as well as enhancing the living standards of the people towards prosperity through a step-by-step building of Cambodia's society with peace, stability and social order; firmly adhering to the principles of democracy, rules of law as well as respect for human rights and dignity; promoting sustainable, inclusive and equitable development, achieving interwoven social fabrics, having people with high education, sophisticated culture, decent livings in harmony both in the society and in the family.
For this noble cause, CPP had led the country through many difficult and challenging periods, and had made Cambodia proudly gain a new image. Looking back at just the last two decades, we all could not forget that Cambodia was a war-torn and conflict stricken poor country that accepted the deployment of the UN's Blue Berets for peacekeeping operations. Now Cambodia is a country dispatching forces to join the UN's peacekeeping missions in some hot spot countries of the world. Cambodia, previously well known as a killing field, an insecure region and dangerous mine fields, is now transformed into an island of peace and a popular tourist destination in Southeast Asia that welcomes millions of tourists annually. Cambodia, previously well known for using armed forces in power struggle and changing of government, is now a country that firmly respects the principles of multiparty democracy by regularly holding free and fair elections to allow people to choose the country's leadership; a state governed by rule-of-law that firmly adheres to legal principles; and a sovereign state with full territorial integrity and deep respect for human rights and dignity. Cambodia, not long ago politically isolated and placed under economic embargos, is now actively integrating itself into the regional and global architecture, and playing a dynamic role in all regional and global affairs on equal footing and with equal rights as other nations. Cambodia, previously perceived as economically-underdeveloped and mired in high rate of poverty and food insecurity, is now a food-exporting country and one of the Olympians of Growth for sustaining high economic growth; and a country that has achieved significant poverty reduction as well as making good progress to improve social indicators, and recently has successfully graduated from a low-income becoming a lower-middle income status.
� Dear Beloved Compatriots!
All these achievements to-date have been hard-earned with human flesh and blood or putting lives at risks as capital, and the priceless great sacrifices made by party leaders, military men and women, members of the CPP, and millions of our compatriots. Therefore, we all must be determined to preserving all these great achievements to last forever at all costs by not allowing any circle/group to once again destroy them. We must jointly safeguard peace, stability and public order, as well as must be committed to further developing our nation toward achieving our vision of becoming an upper middle-income country by 2030 and a high income country by 2050, becoming an advanced and civilized country in the region with harmonious and loving society without wars, genocides, and internal conflict like before.
In this regard, the upcoming election of the people representatives for the 6th Legislature, on July 29, 2018, is truly a historic political event, which is of utmost importance for the nation. The political decision of our people in this election to choose which party to lead the country will determine the destiny of our nation and theirs as well. A right decision will bring about growth, prosperity and happiness for the nation. On the contrary, a wrong decision would push the country backward; and our people would once again face with destruction, disaster and tragedy that we had suffered terribly in the recent past. Hence, I believe that the Cambodian people who themselves witnessed the resurrection, progress and resiliency of our nation with peace, stability and development under the leadership of CPP, will have good judgement to choose political party and political figure to continue leading the country for the 6th Legislature through the upcoming election on July 29.
The CPP has announced and requested our compatriots for the support on Political Agenda for Building and Defending the Nation for 2018-2023, which serves as a compass in setting directions for the party in continuing to serve its nation and people for the next 5 years. This political agenda has set major strategic directions as follows:
1. Respect and defend the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia, protect the Monarchy and all the national achievements to last forever, promote the multi-party liberal democracy and respect for human rights.
2. Protect the independence, sovereignty, and full territorial integrity and peace of the country without allowing anyone to violate and destroy them; and categorically oppose foreign interference in Cambodia's internal affairs.
3- Develop the Kingdom of Cambodia into a strong and advanced state based on the rules of law; ensure the law enforcement with equality for all citizens; each citizen has full rights and responsibilities to actively take part in building and defending the country.
4. Continue socio-economic development toward achieving a more prosperous country status with more resilient economic foundation in order to ensure that people have decent livelihoods and are living with dignity and free from poverty, illiteracy, diseases, exploitation, and violence in all forms.
5. Strengthen and enhance friendship and good cooperation between the Kingdom of Cambodia and all countries as well as with international organizations to promote the development of the country, expand the engagement of Cambodia for the cause of peace, security, stability and prosperity in the region and the world.
� Dear Beloved Compatriots!
As the Prime Minister Candidate from CPP for this upcoming 6th Legislature, I solemnly make my promise and commitment to our compatriots that, if CPP continues winning in the upcoming election of Members of the National Assembly on July 29, 2018 and leading the RGC for the 6th Legislature, I will be fully determined to lead the Executive Institution of the Nation to ensure successful implementation of the political agenda and major strategic goals of CPP highlighted early, in particular with focus on the following key policy priorities and practical measures:
1. Strengthen the unified solidarity of the nation under the roof of Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia without any discrimination on race, colour, sex, language, belief, religion, political ideology, national origin, social status, resources, or other circumstances in order to defend the country, safeguard all the national achievements and continue to advance the socio-economic development.
2. Continue strengthening and expanding the multi-party liberal democracy to be firmly taken root from national level down to sub-national level; protect and promote freedom of the people, and enhance the respect of law and social justice.
3. Develop the economy to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth of around 7% per year, distribute equitably the fruits of growth; continue reducing the poverty rate of more than 1% per year.
4. Do not impose tax on agricultural land for subsistence-farming; help famers with production expansion and find markets for their agriculture products at reasonable prices; and landless people will receive land for housing and farming through social land concession programs.
5. Increase wage of workers/employees annually plus provision of additional benefits/allowances, enhance their livelihoods, improve their working conditions and protect their careers. In this context, the RGC of the 6th Legislature of the National Assembly, led by the Cambodian People's Party with me as the Prime Minister, will further improve the payment of wage for workers by having their wage paid once every two-week as other developed countries in the region from 2019 onwards, in order to ensure that workers receive their wage, which continue increasing at reasonable rate, and to receive their incomes regularly and timely in order to fulfil their needs and their daily livelihoods.
6. Increase the salary of the civil servants and armed forces annually and increase the pensions for the retirees and veterans to improve their livelihoods. Similar to workers in the private sector, in the 6th Legislature of the National Assembly, the RGC led by CPP with me as the Prime Minister will have the monthly salary of civil servants and armed-forces as well as pension of the retirees and veterans, paid via banks once every two-week. This is another important step in the RGC's Salary System Reform in order to ensure that all civil servants and armed forces fully, regularly and transparently receive their salary and pension, which will continue to further increase. This policy will be implemented first for civil servants as well as retirees and veterans starting in 2019. Besides that, for armed forces, we will carry out a study and then implement the policy, as armed forces are stationed in remote areas with limited access to banks.
7. Vendors operating at markets, which are owned by the state, can transfer their title, usage and possession to their descendants and others without any term limit.
8. All youths are provided with full opportunity to education, jobs, and allowed to engage in decision-making at national and sub-national levels. Every district has high school, every commune has junior high schools and every village has primary schools. Cambodian people are provided with better healthcare services at health centres and public hospitals. Poor people and those who are unable to pay will receive free check-up and treatment services at health centres and public hospitals.
9. Promote the development of irrigation systems and clean water, as well as to increase water supply capacity in all areas. Expand the electricity supply from national networks to all villages by 2020 and continue reducing electricity tariffs. Continue to promote the development of telecommunication and transport infrastructure networks with quality and sustainability, and expand connectivity of roads from urban areas to villages, further develop rural roads by turning dirt-roads to asphalt/concrete roads. Expand micro finance services, especially those providing loan services in rural areas to people with low-income and small enterprises with reasonably low interest rates. On this point, I would like make a number of concrete promises to our compatriots nationwide, the RGC led by CPP with me as the prime minister, will prepare and implement programs for the reduction of electricity tariffs for all users nationwide for 2019 and 2020 with the following targets:
Source: Agency Kampuchea Press