April 3, 2023
PHNOM PENH – Prime Minister Hun Sen reiterates that Cambodia is committed to maintaining peace, political stability, sovereignty and public order and will continue to make reforms that will contribute to strengthening good governance as well as combating corruption.
Hun Sen renewed his pledge in an April 2 address to the nation marking the upcoming Khmer New Year.
He vowed to protect the Kingdom’s territorial integrity, religious harmony and Constitutional Monarchy, as signified by the country’s motto: Nation, Religion and King.
He added that his government will protect the Kingdom’s progress from being threatened by any forces, whether from inside or outside the country.
The premier said the government is implementing deep reforms through the five-point approach of “Look in the mirror, take a bath, clean the body, get treatment, and undergo surgery” – in reference to his advices for officials to reflect on their mistakes and correct them.
The government is strengthening governance thorough empowering national and sub-national institutions, decentralisation and deconcentration, reforms of public administration, finances and the justice system, and combating corruption.
It will also continue to make the education system more robust by linking it to the digital economy, improving the job market, promoting social protection systems, and improving the public health system. It will continue to improve infrastructure including roads, bridges and irrigation systems, and distribute electricity to every villages across the country.
“The government appeals to all stakeholders to support the implementation of these reforms by putting the interests of the nation and its people first. All of these reforms are aimed at steering Cambodia towards lasting peace and social justice,” he added.
Yong Kim Eng, president of the People’s Centre for Development and Peace, said he supports these principles. He regarded the notice as a clear instruction to all officials that they must follow the five-point approach to ensure sustainable development.
Kim Eng urged the government to apply the reforms to all civil servants, noting that holding officials accountable for their mistakes is an excellent way to improve governance.
“This is a positive commitment, but I still see [loopholes] when it comes to its implementation. Along with the policy guidelines, the government must task people with ensuring that they are enforced,” he said.
“This is important, because if there is no punishment for those who make mistakes or commit wrongdoing, they will not be deterred, and this will influence the public’s perception of the Kingdom’s governance. For example, some individuals have used the names of senior officials to advance their personal interests”, he added.
Hun Sen’s letter stressed that all the government’s achievements stemmed from the will of the leadership, along with the participation of the members of the legislative and executive branches, officials at all levels and armed forces across the country, as well as the honest support of the international community and development partners.