In the past two decades, Cambodia has gone through many major changes reflecting the heroic sacrifice of the Cambodian people to protect and to rebuild their homeland, the standard of their living, and the prosperity of their future. With the October 23, 1991 Paris Peace Agreement, Cambodia achieves full right and sovereignty. For the result, the Cambodian people may fervently develop their country with generous assistance from international communities. Before reaching their goal of prosperity, they faced many critical proceedings. With His Majesty vision of Preach Bat Samdech Norodom Sihanouk, the beloved king of the Cambodia people, peace and national reconciliation were finally achieved. At the second session of the auspicious plenary meeting of the National Assembly, I (Samdech Hun Sen, Prime Minister) have the honor to submit the Royal Government of Cambodia's Platform for approval from the august legislative body, the National Assembly. It is a foundation of governance to ensure peace, stability, democracy and development for the Cambodian people and to rebuild their country.
A.Domestic Policies: The main goal of the Royal Government is to ensure peace, stability, and national unity. In order to create a political stability conducive to the economic and social development, and the alleviation of poverty, Cambodia respect of human rights must be firmly promoted.
1.Pacification: The Royal Government adheres to national solidarity. To respect the consuls of His Majesty the King, the Cambodians from all walks of life and political backgrounds from every corner of the world must come together to defense their national's independence, peace and prosperity.To restore permanent peace and political stability, the Royal Government would welcome the return of the remnant of the Khmer Rouge. It continues to integrate the armed force and the people, who support the policy of pacification successfully implemented in Pailin, Samlot, Malai, Anlong Veng, Preah Vihea, and in other areas. The Royal Government continues to cooperate with international organizations to set up the repatriation program to settle the Cambodian refugees into their society. It would pay at any price to stop the return of the genocidal regime, and the recurrence of the recent past tragedies. The hard-line leaders of the outlawed Khmer Rouge would be put on trial by the court. In the meantime, the Royal Government would reinstate a handful of former servicemen into the Royal Armed Forces. Under the chairmanship of His Majesty the King, the November 13 statement clearly emphasized that the working group in charge of military affairs must immediately and properly implement the agreements set forth in the spirit of the November 12-13 summit. The Kingdom of Cambodia has full sovereignty. It is a unified state, not a seceded state.
2.Liberal Democratic Process and Respect of Human Rights: The Royal Government adheres to the principle of democratic pluralism and to the respect of human rights for which, it strongly believes they are fundamental to the social progress. The democratization and liberalization of all social fabrics must be rapidly addressed, because they are the essential forces of economic and social developments. The Royal Government assures and protest freedom of its citizenry bestowed in the Constitution, in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, in the Covenants on Civil and Political Rights and Social, Economic and Cultural Right, and in the Convention on the Rights of Women and Children. It strongly opposes racial hatred. The overall structure of the state run human rights institution would be upgraded.
3.Freedom of the Press and of expression: The Royal Government vigorously supports freedom of the press, freedom of expression and of assembly, which freely contribute to social and political conscience. In order to seek different shade and color of opinions, public forums are encouraged to take place. At the same time, freedom and anarchy should be clearly differentiated. The Constitution provides it citizenry their freedoms to be enjoyed and honored, not to be destructive and intrusive.
4.The Role of Oppositions: To mobilize the wisdom from all walks of life and backgrounds to build the nation, the Royal Government widely supports the role of oppositions for constructive criticism, and for good services to the nation. The oppositions have full legal rights to perform its political activities. They are fully guaranteed by the Royal Government equal social and political benefits, such as freedom, justice, security, and employment. They may assist Cambodia’s young democracy to be fully developed. They do not have to implicate themselves in order to be labeled oppositions. The Royal Government and the oppositions would have to promote jointly the national interest, the social stability, and the welfare of the people, so that Cambodia and her people may enjoy the fruits of long lasting political strength and national stability. The role of the oppositions shall be defined in the law.
5.The Participation of the Civil Society: The Royal Government and the civil society shall incorporate their principle of state of law into strengthening democracy, liberty, and social law and order. They may not develop the country by conflicting interests between civil and political societies. The civil society shall be a key partner of the Royal Government in the construction of Cambodia. In view, the Royal Government would endorse the multiple activities of then on-governmental organizations and of associations, which have served the Cambodian people nationwide. It will appropriate special funds and allocate them to the non-governmental organization in providing services on its behalf to the needy. The Royal Government would welcome the participation of the international non-government organizations in the process of rehabilitation of economic development and in the promotion of democracy and human rights. Therefore, it needs drafting a law on the non-government organizations and associations.
6.The Rule of Law: The rule of law is the basic principle of democracy, the sustainability of the government, and of all institutions. It is to ensure freedom, national interest, justice, harmony, and social sustainability. A forceful legal structure to end assaults on human dignity is urgently needed. The enforcement & education of law would be widely disseminated. All men are born free and equal, but they must not be allowed to be above the law. A set of law must be applied equally to all.
7. Reforms: Presently, administrative, judicial, military antipolice, and economic reforms are urgently to be addressed. Today, Cambodia's administrative machine is excessive. The Royal Government cannot further support it. It would take steps to reformat. It should gradually trim. It should be neutral and sound administration, which is capable to effectively serve the people. The rule of civil servants must be strictly applied. The training program to update the knowledge and skill of the employs must be spontaneously upgraded and maintained. The physical structure of provinces and its cities must be reviewed. The provincial administration autonomy should seriously consider. The management of provinces, districts, communes and villages should be properly carried out to rules and regulations. The judicial system and the court are necessary to be entirely overhauled. By law, they ought to be independent, honest, and trustworthy. To succeed their quest, the corporations among the national institutions, such as the National Assembly, the Government, the Constitutional Council, the Council of Magistracy, and the court, should be overcome. Judges ‘salaries must be adequately raised. Especially, they judges in the Supreme Court must request their summons be properly recorded and executed. However, if there is a judge committing a violation, the Council of Magistracy should immediately reprimand him or her. The corruption and power abuses, which obstruct the promotion and supports of the people's living conditions, ought to be stopped. The Cambodia's, the businessmen, and the investors must not be victimized by those exploitations. The Royal Government of Cambodia considers the fight against the corruption as its matter of priority. The Royal Government would set transparency in every work force. The anti-corruption institution would be soon formed. To ensure the effectiveness in the work force, the following measures would urgently be realized:
1. The anti-corruption law against the corrupt,
2. The creation of an agency to monitor and to fight corruption,
3. The wealth clearance decree,
4. The State estates control,
5. The encouragement of citizenry to participate in the corruption fight,
6. The appropriation of pay rise for the civil servants in accordance to the national budget.
B. National Defense and Security: The Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF), the Military Police, and the National Police would fulfill their roles according to the Military and Police rules of order. They must be neutral, obedient, and self-restraint. They must sacrifice their lives to protect the Constitution of the Kingdom of Cambodia. They would bravely defense the national independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, to maintain peace, security, and stability, and to enforce law and order. They must end insurgency, terrorism, and secession. They must completely eradicate kidnapping, armed robbery, drug trafficking, artifact smuggling, money laundering, and sexual exploitation of minor children and women. They must properly enforce the law to make their homeland prosperous and safe for all, including diplomats, investors, tourists, and foreign workers. They would participate in the national development programs. They must be active in the rescue operation to save lives of the people from the natural causes. They ought to curtail the use of illegal weapons, and close down the arms black markets. The service of militia may be reviewed. Some places still its assistance. For other places, it help is not applicable. However, the demobilization of militia and its disarmament should be highly considered.
C. Foreign Policies: Cambodia adheres to policy of neutrality & non-alliance. It indiscriminately establishes relations with all friendly states worldwide. It conducts policies of mutual understanding, equality, respect, and non-interference in other state's internal affairs. Cambodia would fortify bilateral friendship and cooperation with its neighbors. The border issues with its neighbors would be resolved through negotiations, and peaceful means. Cambodia would establish bilateral and multilateral friendships with regional countries, especially with ASEAN. It wants to contribute as it may in jointly building the Southeast Asia to be a region of peace, tranquility, and prosperity. When it becomes an active member of ASEAN, Cambodia would conduct itself within the principle of the agreements. Cambodia is a member of non-aligned movement. Within the principle of agreements it would increase its diplomatic relationship with other nations, and set up embassies within its financial and human resources. Cambodia with high respect to humanity would conduct itself to be a good member of the United Nations. To solve the problem of illegal immigrants, Cambodia would utilize its immigration law that enshrines the principle set forth in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. The Royal Government of Cambodia is very grateful to the international community for their contribution, peace, democracy and prosperity in Cambodia.
II. Economic Policy:
1.The economy is a principle domain to support the national development program, which involves sustainability and macro-economy. It should effectively use its natural and human resources. Cambodia would promote free market economy linked with the program of combat the poverty, and social justice. The economic mechanism runs its course within rules and regulations of free market economy.
2.The Royal Government would not manage the market, but it would support it. The Royal Government would grand the private sector the right of self- determination on productivity, investment, and expenditure, and it would intervene much less. For the reasons, it would set legal and administrative structures to ensure freedom and autonomy of the private sector to property right, employment, profession, and the right to compete freely.
3.It would improve mechanism and structure of economic management to ensure the effectiveness and transparency to cope with corruption and violation of law. That is very important to stabilize the macro-economy, to boost the people's standard of living, and to encourage the investment.
4.It prioritizes the physical agricultural infrastructure, electricity and human resources, which are the basic of overall development. The following goals must be achieved:
1.To speed the economic growth in order to improve the popular living standard and to create more employment. The chief potential to promote the economic growth is a mass and to transform the natural resources and the national products into the products of export. The Royal Government would improve economic rules and regulations and to promote Cambodia to be a goods producer in order to attract more foreign investment.
2.To ensure the stability of Riel currency, to keep the inflation rate at bay, to prevent the loss of revenue and private saving by the Riel fluctuation, and to build confidence in Riel by devaluating with caution the dollar.
3.To increase the export of agricultural and manufacturing products with high expertise and quality.
4.The Royal Government would do it best to alleviate the poverty. The alleviation of poverty is not only the basic of sustainability of the economic development, but it also the priority to implement the social program.
5.To attain the above goals, the Royal Government would seize down the following imbalances:
6. Between the need and supply, especially on foods, housing, transportation, education and health care.
7. Between the revenue and expenditure within the national budget.
8. Between the import and export.
9. Between the currency and goods.
10. Between salary and the standard of living of civil servant and servicemen.
11. Between the increase in the work force and the employment.
12. Between the need for national development and the training of human resources.
13. The Royal Government would continue to carry out the projects, which are identified in the national program of rehabilitation and development of Cambodia. It would focus on the long-term program for the economic & social development in the first five years from 1996-2000. It also attempts to achieve the urgent need for the investment on public sector. Based on these basics and the ongoing achievements, the Royal Government may carry out the following economic strategies: The Royal Government strongly believes in the process of selecting the ones, who are healthy, well educated, well-disciplined, honest, independent, and responsible. In this spirit, the improvement of quality of education, health services, and food security must be strongly promoted by the Royal Government, it would prioritize the investment on the vocational training and on higher education. The Cambodian workers would be better equipped with skill and the know-how. The Royal Government would cooperate with the Chamber of Commerce and other professional institutions to set up the center of transfer of the know-how. The present shortcoming of the national infrastructure tremendously undermines the economic growth of Cambodia. The Royal Government would continue to rehabilitate the national infrastructure. Eventually it would privatize the mass transportation and communication, the telecommunication, and the electrical power supply.
Agriculture: The main economic infrastructure of Cambodia is agriculture. The Royal Government would enhance the irrigation system, because agricultural activities in Cambodia are solely dependent on the weather. Consequently, it is essential to upgrade the General Direction of Irrigation to the level of Ministry of water Resources and Meteorology. In five years from1998-2003, it would increase the irrigation capacity from 16.62% to 20%, i.e. a capacity from 374,603 ha. To 450,600 ha of rice fields. The water supply would be strictly monitored and distributed. The high quality of clean water must be absolutely maintained. The rubber plantation would be privatized. The Royal Government would encourage a large or small scale of rubber production by the provision of credit and ownership. The Royal Government would consolidate the forest management to ensure its sustainability. It strictly and completely bans illegal logging. It would take the following steps to:
1. Cease further investment on wood processing.
2. Review all forest concession contracts and cancel non-complied contracts. The forest under the non-complied contract would be used for national parks and habitats.
3. Encourage the companies with complied contracts to modernize their factories in order to increase the value of timber, and to create more jobs for the Cambodians the Royal Government must strictly enforce its reforestation policy.
4. Review and amend the law on forest management to benefit the investors, who do comply with the rules. Persons, who commit illegal logging and violate the forest law, must be brought to justice.
Industries: The Government would encourage small and large industries to fulfill its tasks. It would focus on strategy of producing export goods rather than import ones. The liberalization of international trade makes the local products difficult to compete in the foreign markets. The small industries produce its output enough for domestic use. It strives all efforts to make the textile industries and agricultural industries to be the core structure of Cambodian industries. The Royal Government promotes the research and exploitation of petrol, natural gas, and other mineral, which becomes the potentiality of the national ensure adequate electric supply with low cost and to meet its economic goal.
Trade: The Royal Government would enhance its policy of trade liberalization. It would facilitate the free circulation of goods. The price and quantity of the growth of its production. It would also broaden international trade relation by bridging the domestic markets to foreign markets. Finally it would promote the integration and global trade.
Tourism: The Royal Government would promote the development of tourism and make it to become tourism of culture and nature. It would heighten the private and public investments targeting at building up tourist infrastructure. It would ensure security and political stability. Tourist work has to be linked by the preservation of natural cultural heritage and natural environment.
Foreign Economic Policy: The Royal Government adopts a precise political guideline of its external economic conforming to the liberalization of international trade, and integrating national economic into the world economic. Through this policy, Cambodia prepares itself to attract and to face regionally and globally the process of economic internationalization. At the same time, the competitive productivity and capacity of Cambodian economy in the international markets will be enhanced through the application of mass based on the availability of the domestic resources. Cambodia, however, will face the influx of foreign finished products, which rejects a number of industries in the country. The pressure of the integration process of the regional economy, in which Cambodia expects to join ASEAN and the World Trade Organization in the near future, will add more burden to the national budget through the fall of the tax revenue, and import duties. These financial activities would change the economic structure of Cambodia. The Royal Government is optimistic and prepares to amend its legal procedures to accommodate the economic integration.
Investment Policy: The Royal Government of Cambodia promotes the internal and external investments through the application of the principle and the encouragement of the investment policy of the Kingdom of Cambodia. It strengthens its cooperation with friendly countries and their institutions in order to attract more investment, developed countries and the expansion of the markets. To have a good environment for the investment, the social political stability and the stability of the macro-economy must be ensured. The principle and the guidance of the investment policy must be firmly adhered. The Royal Government of Cambodia may reform and strengthen the institution, which is responsible for the activities of the investment, especially for the improvement on the formality of the application for the investment undermining the illegal activities and corruption.
Financial & Monetary Policies: The Royal Government must ensure the effectiveness of the execution of its financial and monetary policies. The fiscal policy recently improved has not yet been properly carried out. The national budget, which has duty to evaluate, to collect, and to distribute the national resources, is the most important tool to handle the economic and social policies of the Royal Government of Cambodia. Therefore, the national budget must be disbursed distinctively for the support of public services, and for the handling of public projects with the economic sense of prudence, conscience, and proficiency, the Royal Government must give the priority to the promotion of productivity, the private investment, the social programs, and public health care. The future SEAN membership of Cambodia would influence tremendously the reform of the revenue of the national budget. The national revenue by taxation on the import and export goods will be decreased. For that, it would strengthen all faces of tax the entrepreneurs to be in the investment process, and to achieve the budget surplus for which it is to be the sources of internal credit, such as for the public investment and for the financial intervention to pay raises for the employees of the government.
1. To achieve the effective control over the budget and fiscal policies, the Royal Government of Cambodia must immediately take the following steps:
2. Use every measure at all costs to combat tax evasion.
3. Strongly prohibit revenue collection and shelter, and disbursement infringing the budgetary system.
4. Abolish tax exemption, which is not stipulated in the investment law, the law on fiscal policy, and the law on the annual financial management.
5. The Ministry of economy and Finance must strictly check and control goods before loading in order to properly tax the merchandises, while its services are being effectively conducted with high consideration of time consumption.
6. Carry out strict measure of austerity, especially against the unneeded expenses. The financial resources from privatization must only be used for the public investment such as the infrastructure, or the counterpart fund of the credit fund from the financial institution.
7. The fund used other than infrastructure purpose must be prohibited.
The Royal Government undertakes its political will to impose punishment on fraud, illegal transfer of fund, and corruption. To ensure the stability of buying power of Riel currency, the Royal Government would set the spending rate of the national budget to be below the rate of the national economic growth, and the rate of reserve fund of the banks. The interest rate conducive to the promotion of private saving, and the intervention of the National Bank in the domestic monetary markets in order to stabilize the rate oriel exchange. The attempts of the Royal Government of Cambodia to cut down the economic imbalance will encounter numerous difficulties, because the limited financial resources force it to prioritize the use of the economic measure. But often the economic tools to come together at one time. At the sometime, the lingering economic crisis and the declined economic growth in the region will impact the flow of the foreign investment and the domestic growth. The Royal Government would overcome those economic stumbling blocks in order to attain its economic goal, because of its last achievements. This task needs the joint participation of national and international sectors to improve national economy and to strengthen the capacity building, the work sprit, ethics, and social obligation of public servants.
III. Culture, Health, And Social Obligation
The Royal Government initiates tough measure to restore and to promote culture heritage and national civilization, to end the declination of national culture, to highlight the social ethic, and to promote the national cultural characteristic and progress. For that, the Royal Government has to expand the education of culture and civilization, to promote the general understanding of the national identity and pride, and to stop the flow of the foreign culture, which affects the national culture. On health matter, the Royal Government would promote health service to public and private sectors, disease prevention, mother and child care, flight against the contagious disease, and health check up and treatment in State hospitals and clinics. On social issues, the Royal government would upgrade the standard of living of the people and to ensure the equal benefits for the people from all walks of life. Primarily, The Royal Government would cut down to the maximum of the vulnerability, and increase the chance for the poor and indigent citizens to be able to participate in the social and economic programs. It would firmly carry out the labor law and the international convention on labor unions in order to secure the right and privilege for the workers, employees, and employers. It would establish a good working condition to benefit the handicapped persons, the orphans, the widows, and the indigent men and women, so their livings could be better conditioned. It would defense the right of women and children according to the universal convention. It would engage the women in politics and in other social and economic fields. It would assist the minority to involve in restoring the economic, social, and cultural heritage. To succeed the social rehabilitation and development, there is an important factor to be addressed; that is the task of building social conscience, confidence, and self- determination, which produce quality work. The idea and stand on ordinary productivity to improve the skill and the knowledge of know-how in agreement with the rules of development must be encouraged.