Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Selected Comments at the Action Plan 2009-2013: Administration Reform Directions Conference

18 February 09



In addition to prepared text, Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia gave comments on some debating issues relating to national program for administration reform and preparation of Action Plan 2009-2013 …



… Usually I always have my comments in addition to the prepared speech … Before setting my journey here I have received information that there had been a lively discussion from participants in this seminar … HE Sok An reported to me the twelve points that were raised in discussion … and point 11 was about the fact that some ministries or state institutions have got many unqualified staffs and I am sure this is the whole issue we need to look at in relation to continuing our reform priority …



It reminds me of the situation in 1988 when I wrote a book entitled “Ten Years of Cambodia’s Journey” … in which I covered issues relating to structural and human resources and I mentioned of “being too many, but too little.” When I said “too many” I meant too many staff and by “too little” I meant despite too many staff, there is a need for more capable ones. That is why I stressed on the fact Cambodia possessed a unique character of its own as we have started from lack of human resources take for instance the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was started with three persons …



All institutions in Phnom Penh were first started after the liberation on January 7 with two to three peoples … My first secretary at that time was Mr. Di Lam Thol and when I sent Mr. Di Lam Thol to continue his study in medicine, HE Long Visalo, currently Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, became my secretary and then HE Sok An and when I sent HE Sok An as an Ambassador to India HE Cham Prasith became my secretary and the HE Ho Sitthi, currently my Cabinet Director, who has been in this position ever since …



At the time when the Paris Peace Agreement came in it was required that we integrate armed forces and civil servants into one … The plate of food for ten persons had then, with the same amount of food, to be shared by 15 as we have integrated civil servants from other factions … And some who had failed their exams in Phnom Penh went to the border and became a teacher and when he returned, the country at that time became a market of position sale … There were no proper university at the border but all reported themselves to be doctors, professors, etc. The result is we had an inflation of positions and staffs …



Take for instance the Ministry of Trade which was first started by HE Taing Sarim and then HE Ho Naun and then HE Nhem Vanda … had gathered so many staff – because at that time people do not have work and little food to eat – but later had to discharge some of them. As integration started, we went back to staff inflation again … So not only salary cannot be propped up, proper offices also could not be provided too ... The point is that if they come to work with capability to do the job it would be great but some came with nothing to help … Therefore we had the need to organize training courses and hands-on training from which some have become capable asset while others could not make it … That is the reason why we had “too many but too little.”



HE Meh Rotra, when he was Special representative of the United Nations to Cambodia, recommended us to get rid of some government employees or civil servants … I did not agree with his method and I was strongly opposed reducing number of teachers and medical staff … For sector that is trivial I accepted to let some senior people go into retirements while no new staff is being recruited … What remains to be done here is to urge for capacity building and no slashing of jobs as such to be taken into effect … It was because of this need that we have organized this Royal School of Administration which at the time aimed at training and re-training government officials …



In order to have a comprehensive public administration we can no longer recruit staff because of kinship but to organize competition exam in a transparent way … Or we would not get strong personality and hard-working people at all … The selection of staff should be strictly and transparently conducted irrespective of political party’s affiliation at all as the aim of this is not for a party but for the whole country … By saying this I mean to recruit staff for public function but this cannot be applied for the Government or political function … because they have to be filled by appointments from political parties in the coalition government – in this case the Cambodian People’s Party and Funcinpec …



I think that from now to next elections no one will take up this issue of salary as their campaign topic anymore as we have gradually increased salary … every January of every new year in this term we will keep adding 20% increment of salary so by 2013 no one could preach against this anymore … Our aim has been to use up to 4% of GDP or 40% of the current expenses for this purpose but now we have used only 3.57% of the GDP … I called HE Keat Chhon to see the Government payroll because I need to increase the number of soldiers in one battalion and he told me that we have used only 3.57% of the GDP … I told the Ministry of National Defense to prepare the sub-decree so that I can order for the soldier number … It is not for fighting but for defending the country …



There is this Point 3 which stated about changes of attitude of Head of Institution so that staff under his supervision could build up their capacities … I would remind you all that some senior staff have made themselves a huge rock on new buds obstruct ing his/her staff from getting capacity development … This is indeed a bad habit from long ago but I suggest that it has to be changed at all levels … I am so proud that some of my previous colleagues from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have become Deputy Prime Minister, Senior Minister and Ministers …



I have a pride because I took the bold decision to share them as human resources with various ministries in need of huma resources ... some economists like HE Kang Keng and Sin Serei were all former staff of Foreign Affairs … who had been transferred to the Ministry of Planning, the Council of Ministers, etc.



I have started from being a messenger to this position so I have done countless things and I would urge our senior staff to allow for training among junior staff. It would be a silly thing to hold on to all the work and complain of being overworked …



I have the experience that one qualified and able person could do a job that ten people would do it … This is so because his work ability and productivity is high and this is what I would suggest attention be paid when we have to seek people suitable for what we call “priority package” – which looks into benefit for those able staff …



We have achieved so much indeed but we should not be over-satisfied … the International Republican Institute (IRI) has brought out its release of new polls about the leadership of Cambodia and by November 2008, 82% respondents had approved leadership on right direction … This has indeed positively changed as in 2006 only 60% approved the same question, January 2007, the rate of respondent had gone up to 71%, in August 2007, 75% and last February 2008, 78% … This is a clear indication that we have achieved this not because we have cheated or made our people unhappy but because we have been working hard …



As I said we should not be complacent because of this but instead we have to make more effort to improve further public service and if we were to have no good roads, bridges … people would not give their consent … In order to guarantee this rate of approval I would urge our senior officials/staff and leaders to hold on to this concept of serving the people and not masters over people … You should not see this as a discrediting manner but it is a pride in life … sharing our people’s culture is by no means cheap …



I reiterate here that I am expecting to see efficiency from now to 2013 and if you all help make this possible it will be a magnificent and fortunate thing for our people … We have done some of them already like digging for them water canals, giving water pumps, seeds, fuels, and roads and bridges … I contrast it with the time when my family had a hard time with crops being destroyed for lack of water or for too much flood … I could still see my father crying for that … but it is now a different thing which I would credit it in part to our reasonably good public and effective public service … I may remind you that our love for people is limited by no boundary and I beg you to provide better public service for our people and continue to make better what has not been good yet …



I have information about acts of disturbing our people in Snuol district where people trade with Vietnam … We have grown cassava and we do not have processing plant yet so our people had to trade their cassava to Vietnam but they were severely taxed on count of trucks … and this should not be assessed as a separate case for Snuol alone but for the whole country … I do not have many advisors only more with additional role as advisors to their incumbent positions like governor or/and deputy governors of provinces, commanders or/and deputy commanders of the armed forces – army, military police and police, etc. I urge you to act in your authorized capacity and in your advisory role in seeing this matter through … If you are not able to help the people you should not make them more problems … I warn you of monthly income from off the record taxes or checkpoints as I would not hesitate to remove anyone found colluding in this … I would not let one bad element causing a spoil the whole … When I mean efficiency I would deem to see good and effective service provided for the people …/.

2 comments:

  1. Hi , thanks for sharing your information. If you are interested in politics, first you should know about POLITICAL STRATEGIST, then you can start your career in POLITICS.
    Political strategist in india
    political science courses In india
    election management courses in india

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for your blog. If anyone want to know about political related company, courses, career etc, this company will be the rightchoice for you.
    Election Consultant India
    political marketing agency
    political communication courses

    ReplyDelete